katanakid
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 4:40 am
Location: Vancouver,Canada

New Bonsai Caregiver-(Juniper)

I have just received my first Juniper tree she is 3 years old i have attached a pic she is starting to brown a little as i do not think she was kept up too well the soil was quite drenched when i broke off the glue rock. I live in an apartment in Vancouver B.C Canada with a balcony and a northern exposure. Could you suggest some methods to getting her green and lush.
I have been to bonsai4me and found it very informative but would like other advice to make sure i am giving the tree the proper care it deserves.
Thanx for your help.

p.s. great forum!
[/img][img]https://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff95/kendokid/DSCF0011.jpg[/img]
i also wanted to include a pic of the box it came in so you can see what people are stating on the things ....note what it claims!

[img]https://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff95/kendokid/DSCF0003.jpg[/img]

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

katanakid,

And so it begins, I have been expecting the annual flush of Christmas Junipers. If you have been to Harry's site (Bonsai4Me) and read [url=https://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Juniperus.html]this,[/url] then you are already aware that you are facing an uphill struggle that may not end well. Harry writes:
"Never try to grow Junipers indoors, though they may seem to tolerate indoor cultivation at first, poor humidity, lack of light and dormancy will eventually kill them. Do not trust a vendor, seller, book or website that claims Junipers can be grown successfully indoors! Dead Junipers can continue to display normal foliage colour for weeks or even months after they have effectively died."
The fact that your tree is already browning is cause for concern, it is already in distress, not surprising considering it came in a box. I never really know what to say in situations like this. I can't suggest putting it outside now, and keeping it inside is not appropriate either. You, generally speaking, should never be forced to make such choice.

To place it on your balcony after coming, presumably, from a greenhouse somewhere is a problem. It is not likely to be acclimated to the extremes of temperature that a tree that has been outside all summer and fall could withstand. Since you live in an apartment you are at further disadvantage in that you have no cool place (sheltered porch or spare room) to attempt a transition. Leaving it inside is not much better. The hot, dry air and low light is not conducive to the health of any tree but a Juniper is one of the least likely species to do well inside, sorry. Some do try, but without supplemental lighting and an artificially induced dormancy the chances of success are slim.

If you are determined to give this a try I do have a few thoughts. Read the sticky thread at the top of this forum for tips on watering, this will be your first hurdle. Despite what the box says bonsai is not a particularly easy endeavor. Even watering takes some time to master and the horrible soil that your tree is in only makes things worse. Give the tree as much light as you are able, most indoor growers use artificial lighting to replace/supplement any natural lighting that may be present. Make a humidity tray, this is a shallow tray with no holes that holds gravel and water. It is intended to raise the humidity in the immediate vicinity of the tree, misting would not hurt either. I would also suggest the coolest location available but in your situation it does not sound like that is possible.

Sorry to be so pessimistic, and I know you are not to blame, but it is better to look at this situation critically from the outset than to raise false expectations. Sometimes Christmas gifts are returned, is that an option in this case? I realize that you may not wish to offend the giver, but there are other species that at least would have a fighting chance in your apartment. Know that all bonsai growers kill a few, sometimes a lot of, trees. If this one should perish it does not have to be the end of bonsai for you.

BTW, welcome to the site and to bonsai, good luck.

Norm

katanakid
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 4:40 am
Location: Vancouver,Canada

Gnome wrote:katanakid,

And so it begins, I have been expecting the annual flush of Christmas Junipers. If you have been to Harry's site (Bonsai4Me) and read [url=https://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Juniperus.html]this,[/url] then you are already aware that you are facing an uphill struggle that may not end well. Harry writes:
"Never try to grow Junipers indoors, though they may seem to tolerate indoor cultivation at first, poor humidity, lack of light and dormancy will eventually kill them. Do not trust a vendor, seller, book or website that claims Junipers can be grown successfully indoors! Dead Junipers can continue to display normal foliage colour for weeks or even months after they have effectively died."
The fact that your tree is already browning is cause for concern, it is already in distress, not surprising considering it came in a box. I never really know what to say in situations like this. I can't suggest putting it outside now, and keeping it inside is not appropriate either. You, generally speaking, should never be forced to make such choice.

To place it on your balcony after coming, presumably, from a greenhouse somewhere is a problem. It is not likely to be acclimated to the extremes of temperature that a tree that has been outside all summer and fall could withstand. Since you live in an apartment you are at further disadvantage in that you have no cool place (sheltered porch or spare room) to attempt a transition. Leaving it inside is not much better. The hot, dry air and low light is not conducive to the health of any tree but a Juniper is one of the least likely species to do well inside, sorry. Some do try, but without supplemental lighting and an artificially induced dormancy the chances of success are slim.

If you are determined to give this a try I do have a few thoughts. Read the sticky thread at the top of this forum for tips on watering, this will be your first hurdle. Despite what the box says bonsai is not a particularly easy endeavor. Even watering takes some time to master and the horrible soil that your tree is in only makes things worse. Give the tree as much light as you are able, most indoor growers use artificial lighting to replace/supplement any natural lighting that may be present. Make a humidity tray, this is a shallow tray with no holes that holds gravel and water. It is intended to raise the humidity in the immediate vicinity of the tree, misting would not hurt either. I would also suggest the coolest location available but in your situation it does not sound like that is possible.

Sorry to be so pessimistic, and I know you are not to blame, but it is better to look at this situation critically from the outset than to raise false expectations. Sometimes Christmas gifts are returned, is that an option in this case? I realize that you may not wish to offend the giver, but there are other species that at least would have a fighting chance in your apartment. Know that all bonsai growers kill a few, sometimes a lot of, trees. If this one should perish it does not have to be the end of bonsai for you.

BTW, welcome to the site and to bonsai, good luck.

Norm
Thanx for the quick response i have had lots of success with other indoor and outdoor trees and plants and i realize this is going to be quite a difficult road to travel but i wont be discouraged and will give it my best to see that this little tree survives.I have been wanting to start the process of learning the art of Bonsai and was planning on getting a tree that already been cultivated for 10-15 years and from a reputable nursery but alas this is not to be and i am forced to take in a wayward "mallsai".Maybe though this is the mountain that needs to be climbed in order to see if i have the patience,etc. for the art?.....we wil see. :?:
And i should have mentioned i am not sure if you are familiar with Vancouver weather but it very mild here it rarely goes below freezing level .I have talked with the person that gave the gift and we will go together to do a little more investigating where the tree came from and i do have some things as far as artificial light sources and humidity tray,etc.
thanx again
Last edited by katanakid on Tue Dec 25, 2007 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

katanakid,
Thanx for the quick response
You're welcome, glad to help. Here are some more resources to aid you in your new hobby. Forgive me if you already are aware of some/all of them.

You have already mentioned [url=https://www.bonsai4me.com/index.htm]Bonsai4Me[/url] but make sure to explore the entire site as there is much read there.

Similarly, [url=https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/articles.htm]EverGreen GardenWorks[/url] is a great resource written from the perspective of a nurseryman.

Don't overlook [url=https://bonsaihunk.8m.com/cultural.html]Bonsai Hunk.[/url] Jerry is well known for his work with indoor species.

And finally, make sure to visit Ynot's [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3343]Bonsai Inspiration[/url] thread.

Since you are confined to growing indoors might I suggest a book that I have found useful. "Bonsai in Your Home: An Indoor Grower's Guide" by Paul Lesniewicz, ISBN 0-8069-0781-9. This book lists, and gives information on, numerous species that have potential for indoor cultivation.
[img]https://www.bonsai.co.uk/LesniewiczBonsaiinyourhome.JPG[/img]

Please make sure to return and let us know how you fare.

Norm

Return to “BONSAI FORUM”