The juniper tree is among the most favored trees for creating a miniature bonsai. The hobby of bonsai is easily affordable and simple to get involved with.
Cone-bearing trees can be used to produce magnificent bonsai specimens, and among the most popular of conifers for bonsai is the juniper. There are as many as 50 different varieties of junipers, and they are found across the world. Juniper are also one of the easiest bonsai trees to take care of, thus their popularity, particularly among novice bonsai growers. Juniper trees need to have plenty of humidity and light in order to survive when grown indoors and will die quickly if they’re not given enough of either of these. You can display your juniper bonsai tree inside for short periods but take it back outdoors after a few weeks where it will thrive.
Depending on their stage of life juniper might show two unique types of foliage. The immature plant will have needle-like foliage which will become scale-like foliage as a mature adult plant. Juniper’s foliage may have a golden hue, or be bluish-green, or even light-green in color.
A traditional juniper for bonsai is at times referred to as a Chinese Juniper. Another juniper, the Needle Juniper, is also popular among bonsai enthusiasts. As the name suggests the Needle Juniper has sharply pointed needles.
Proper Watering for Your Juniper
Unlike some other types of bonsai trees Junipers in fact like to dry out between watering. test the soil everyday to ascertain when it is time to water your juniper tree. When the soil looks and feels dry on top it is time to water your tree again. Stick your finger about a half of an inch to an inch into the soil. Water your bonsai tree if the soil is dry at this depth. Allowing your juniper bonsai tree to get completely dry will cause harm to the plant. Set your bonsai in the sink or in a container of water, almost up to the rim, for 15-30 minutes or until all the air bubbles stop rising and the soil is saturated. After watering using this suggestion you want to make sure that you allow it to drain completely because junipers are vulnerable to root rot if the roots sit in water. Sometimes it isn’t possible or convenient to water your tree using this method so you can just water them from the top, wait a few minutes, and then water it again. Repeat this until your bonsai has received a thorough soaking. During a correct watering cycle the soil will be completely saturated and then will be allowed to become somewhat dry before the next saturating watering.
A juniper’s foliage should be sprayed often to help keep them clean of dust which will help them to breathe. If your bonsai has been recently repotted this is especially crucial. Junipers are able to absorb enough water through their foliage to keep from becoming dried up until the roots have recovered sufficiently to sustain the tree themselves. Spraying your juniper on hot summer days will lessen the amount of water loss through transpiration too.
Make Sure Your Juniper Gets the Right Amount of Sunlight
Juniper bonsai are more often than not grown outdoors. Ideally, a Juniper tree would prefer to get a good dose of morning sun, and then have shade in the afternoon. Filtered or shaded sunlight would be the next best thing for your juniper bonsai tree if the ideal morning sun/afternoon shade is not possible.
Your Juniper Bonsai Tree Needs Humidity
Almost all species of trees benefit from humidity. A humidity tray, or a plate with small stones and water placed beneath your bonsai pot will help keep the humidity levels up. Place your bonsai pot on top of the stones in the tray. The tray or plate will also collect the draining water of your freshly watered bonsai. As mentioned previously, misting once a day will also help minimize transpiration, or the loss of water through the plants leaves or needles.
Fertilizing Your Juniper Bonsai Tree
Use a high nitrogen fertilizer in the spring and fertilize every three weeks, then use a more balanced fertilizer during the summer months, and then reduce the nitrogen for fall fertilizing. If using chemical fertilizers be sure to dilute to half strength so that roots are not damaged.