A Guide to Juniper Bonsai Care
One of the finest tree species to cultivate as bonsai is the Juniper. This evergreen shrub looks stunning in rock gardens and topiaries, and it can be quite easy to overwinter Juniper trees indoors during the winter season. If you want to ensure the beauty and health of your tree, then this Juniper bonsai care guide can be a great help for you.
Location and Misting
Juniper bonsai can be placed indoors or outdoors, which make them quite simple to care for. When indoors, make sure you position the plant in an area that has an access to bright light, although you need to make sure it gets at least 3 hours of full sunlight. If placed outdoors, keep the plant in a spot that has some shade for protection from strong wind and rain. You may also consider moving the plant outdoors during spring when the minimum temperatures at night go beyond 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, put it back indoors in the autumn prior to the first frost.
If you want to provide extra humidity to your plant during winter months, you may mist it frequently or set the bonsai in a tray filled with small pebbles. Add water up to the level that is below the pot’s bottom.
Your bonsai plant needs to be watered frequently or at least every 2 days. Make sure the soil does not dry out completely to prevent the tree from dying. The best way to tell if your plant needs watering is by checking the texture and color of the soil. Generally, when soil color becomes lighter and its surface feels rough and dry, you should start watering your plant.
When watering, place the bonsai in a container with up to 2 inches of water and leave it there for one hour until the soil becomes moist. In case you are planning to go on a trip for a few days, keep your plant properly hydrated by enclosing its pot in a kind of plastic bag right after you have watered it. This will help retain the moisture on the soil for a maximum of one week.
There are some areas where mineral and salt buildup occur on the soil’s surface. When this happens, simply spray the surface of the soil with water to eliminate buildup and discoloration.
It is important to prune your tree’s branches and roots to ensure its growth within the small space provided for the plant. When pruning, you should carefully pinch out the ends of new growths at least once every 6 weeks. This technique helps maintain the plant’s shape and bushy appearance.
Root pruning must be done between March to May or every other springtime. This process should be done with great care since you would not want to damage the plant’s roots, particularly younger ones. Remove the plant from its container and loosen the soil around the bottom and sides. Cut off 1/3 of the roots from the bottom and around it. Then, put new and porous soil as you replant your Juniper bonsai. When you have finished potting, mist the plant and place it in its usual location indoors or in your garden.