Keeping a Juniper Bonsai Indoors
The Juniper Bonsai, also called Juniperus Chinensis, is one of the most popular Bonsai out there, making it a great choice for beginners. The Juniper tree is coniferous, and can range from low-growing shrubs to 15 to 16 foot tall trees. This is one of the only Bonsai that can be grown indoors or outdoors. As long as it has the right humidity and light, it can survive anywhere. 4 hours of light is ideal along with dry soil.
Slightly dry soil is preferred for this kind of Bonsai, however, prolonged dryness could be potentially hurtful, and therefore should be avoided. One method in determining when to water your Juniper can be done with what is called the chopstick method. Simply place a chopstick one or two inches into the soil and wait 10 minutes. After this time, examine the chopstick. If the soil is damp, it means you do not need to water yet because the soil is still wet. When watering the plant, allow proper drainage and let the soil get dry again before watering. To achieve optimal growth, regularly misting its leaves or using a humidity tray is recommended.
While it is true that Bonsai can be kept indoors, they are able to adapt to being outdoors if you choose to move them. The Juniper can handle direct sunlight, but the best option is to place your tree where it can get some shade in the afternoons. If your Juniper is indoors, be sure that it is placed in an airy location where it can get the proper light it needs.
For optimal humidity levels, try placing a humidity tray underneath the Juniper’s pot. Be sure not to put the pot directly in the water, however, as the roots will be submerged and will rot, killing the tree. Without proper humidity, Juniper bonsai will die.
Fertilizing your Juniper once every three weeks is ideal. Additionally, in the spring, use a fertilizer containing high levels of nitrogen. In the summer, using a balanced fertilizer is the best option. Use a fertilizer with low nitrogen levels in the fall. Because the Juniper is dormant in the winter, it does not need any fertilizer, but keep in mind it does still need to be watered. Also, after you’ve repotted the tree (every two years for Bonsai under 10 years of age, every three or four years for those older than 10 years), wait three or four weeks to fertilize it.
Benefits of Juniper Bonsai
As mentioned previously, Juniper Bonsai can be grown indoors or outdoors. As long as it gets watered properly, it’ll pretty much survive anywhere. The tree’s preference is the outdoors. And while some people put them in containers, which is fine, the container can restrict the tree’s growth. They are easier to take care of outdoors and can be placed in normal garden soil. One thing to note is that neglecting the Bonsai can be beneficial. While you may be skeptical of this, Junipers can die if they are over-watered or over-fed.
If you live in a cold climate during the winter, you should bring your tree inside so it doesn’t die. Even during the winter, the Bonsai needs sunlight. In these winter months they do not need to be watered or fertilized often as it is dormant during this time.
The flexibility of the Bonsai’s branches make it easy to train and shape. Specifically, wiring it’s trunk is very common. Pruning should be done in the spring or summer. Pinch back new shoots once they are an inch in length, continue this process until September.
Whether indoors or outdoors, Juniper bonsai make a beautiful addition to any home. This tree’s adaptability makes it very easy to care for, which is perfect for beginners and experts alike. Juniper bonsai will survive just about anywhere with the right amount of water and sunlight, even in the winter. Be sure your tree has the right amount of humidity, perhaps with the help of a humidity tray, without the roots getting submerged in water. Fertilization needs vary from season to season. There are many benefits to the Juniper, like the easy care requirements and training capabilities. In addition to that, Juniper’s thrive better when neglected rather than when pampered. We hope you enjoy your Juniper Bonsai!