Bonsai Juniper Care. Simple and Easy!
A rugged Juniper in training
Bonsai Juniper Care is fulfilling and artistic. You will take control of a Juniper’s life and mould it into a work of art.
You probably either own a Juniper, or are about to grow one. Either way, you will need to read the following information on Bonsai Juniper care.
If you haven’t read our brief introduction to the basics of Bonsai care click here to familiarise yourself!
Lets start with the basics……..
Soil, Lighting, & Watering
•Bonsai Juniper care is much easier than other Bonsai, as the Juniper is tolerant of most soil types, but will benefit greatly from a soil mixture including 10 per cent peat, 30 per cent rough sand and sixty per cent soil .
•This mixture allows for air pockets to form, allowing the roots to gain ample amounts of oxygen. It also allows for water retention, whilst providing adequate drainage.
•Obviously you understand that all plants need light, and both the needle and scaled types of Juniper thrive in full sun. Sunlight will help prevent branch dieback, although both varieties will benefit from shade at times.
•Here’s a little tip: Placing your Juniper Bonsai in the shade from time to time will encourage the foliage to darken, and avoid it drying out!
•During the winter months, the Juniper will need to be protected from frosty conditions or harsh winds. Good Bonsai Juniper care will require vigilance during this season
•Water your Juniper when the soil feels dry. This will probably be every two to three days, however in the warmer months this may be every day
•It is desirable to water in the morning or evening to prevent the soil from drying out
•Make sure you do not over water your Juniper as it may cause root rot
•The foliage will also need to be misted frequently, to avoid dust build up which will cause the pores to clog up, and stop your plant from breathing
•For further information on soil click here!
•For further information on watering click here!
•For further information on Bonsai care click here!
By now you probably understand that feeding is very important, but must be done at appropriate times. Your Bonsai Juniper care regime should include a feeding pattern that is regular but only in the right season.
•Feed your Juniper every two weeks during the growing season; spring until mid summer, with a high nitrogen fertilizer. During this period you will witness vigorous foliage growth and watch your tree flourish!
•Use a low nitrogen fertilizer during winter, roughly every six weeks.
TIP! - During this growth period, you should conduct finger pinching for shaping, but more on that below.
•Your Juniper should be re-potted every two years during mid spring, until the age of ten. After this your Juniper will only need re-potting every five years! Bet you can’t wait for that! Lets call this period ‘weaning’, much like babies!
•When re-potting, make sure you prune out all the rotted roots and clean grit and stones of alkaline deposits. If all the roots are rotten consider that your soil needs optimising and that you should add some stones to your pot to assist water drainage.
•Try adding Sphagnum moss to the top layer of your soil. It’s anti-bacterial properties will help fight the bacteria associated with root rot whilst soaking up excess water.
If you plan on growing a plant from seed or one you have taken from the wild, click here to read our article on how to do this!.
Pruning & Wiring
Junipers are a fun and rewarding species of Bonsai to care for, as your future masterpiece comes to fruition through the techniques of pinching and pruning.
•Bonsai Juniper care requires continued pinching throughout the growing season, as this will maintain your desired shape and compact the foliage.
•Needle shoots enlarge quickly if you don’t pinch them, so catch them early to achieve tight foliage. You do this by using the soft part of your thumb and forefinger.
•The use of scissors is not recommended as this can cause the foliage to turn brown, and the branches to scar. Branches require adequate foliage to support growth and when over pinched or pruned they can die. This is bad Bonsai Juniper care!
•Foliage pads need to pinched strongly around growth areas to support the cloud like foliage you have envisioned.Heavy pruning and restyling will be required throughout your Juniper’s life. This should be completed during the early growth season.
•Your Juniper’s foliage pads will eventually become too heavy, and will need to be thinned so that branch dieback does not occur. Select which branches need to be pruned and carefully prune the foliage pad at the little woody base stem.
•Wiring Bonsai trees is indeed an art form, and when wiring your Juniper, ensure you do this during the growth season.
•Be sure to wire your trees at 45 degree increments and not too tight. Wiring tightly will scar your branches and leave them susceptible to disease.
•There is no golden rule in Bonsai Juniper care wiring. You can shape the tree to your own specifications.
You may ask the question; “How do I even know what specifications I want? Click here and have a look at our Bonsai Shaping guide!
We’d be happy to help!
You will find that Junipers benefit from a number of different styles. The more popular ones though include cascade, informal upright and windswept.
Leave Bonsai Juniper Care and head back to the Bonsai Juniper Guide!
Click on the photo below to own this 35 year old Juniper!