The juniper bonsai tree, known to resemble plants of the cypress family, is a popular coniferous shrub. Some of its notable characteristics are its needle-like leaves and its beautiful foliage color, ranging from light green to a bluish dark green. Many consider the juniper bonsai to be one of the most beginner-friendly bonsai trees. However, failure to follow the care fundamentals for the juniper bonsai may cause plants to grow brown leaves, wilt, or even die. So, before looking at the possible remedies for the juniper bonsai tree turning brown, a quick check of the causes of its browning would be essential.
Causes of a Juniper Bonsai Tree Turning Brown
For a juniper bonsai tree to have its leaves brown, something must have gone wrong while caring for the bonsai. What are the most prevalent mistakes while caring for the juniper bonsai tree?
Overwatering Causing Leaves Browning in Juniper Bonsai
Different bonsai trees have different water requirements, with the soil used also playing a part in the amount of water needed. If the soil retains too much water over a long period, you have overwatered the plant. Juniper leaves tend to discolor when the plant is overwatered, with the color turning from green to brown or yellow. Other signs of overwatering include shrinking of the branches, softening of the trunk, and an unhealthy appearance.
Underwatering Causing Leaves Browning in Juniper Bonsai
On the other edge, underwatering may also cause the juniper bonsai leaves to turn brown. Notably, this may be caused by poor watering habits or the use of excessively low water-retentive soil for the plant. Lack of quick intervention in this area may lead the juniper to wither and die. Signs of underwatering include soil hardening, tiny creases on the trunk, and roots sticking out.
Low Light Causing Leaves Browning in Juniper Bonsai
With the juniper being a tropical tree, it needs lots of exposure to light. For optimal lighting conditions for your juniper bonsai, I recommend considering both the local climate and season of the year.
Now you know what probably made or might make your juniper bonsai leaves turn brown. That doesn’t mean all is lost. There is still hope for the browning juniper to become a healthier green juniper bonsai.
How to Revive Juniper Bonsai from Browning
There are three basic ways to revive your juniper bonsai from browning. They include making corrections related to the mistakes listed above, as well as repotting. Let’s have a look at each procedure.
- Correct Watering
Watering your juniper bonsai is the most critical technique to master for the excellent health of the plant. The major rule here is to neither overwater nor underwater the plant. I recommend that you test the moisture conditions by poking a finger in the soil daily. If the soil feels dry, you should water the plant, ensuring you don’t leave the soil waterlogged. Depending on the season, the plant may need anywhere between a day to a week before watering again.
- Proper Placement of the Juniper Bonsai
When we talk about proper placement, this means positioning your bonsai to receive adequate sunlight and temperature. Many bonsai trees prefer outdoor weather, since they can obtain at least six hours of sunlight and a warm temperature. While indoors, always have your juniper bonsai in an area where it can receive adequate temperature and sunlight, especially by the window. At times, adjusting the position of the plant may be needed to have it obtain adequate sunlight and temperature.
The frequency at which repotting is done depends on the container size of the juniper bonsai. Most of the juniper bonsai trees require repotting anywhere between every year and every two years. Usually done during spring, repotting is the perfect time to check on the overall root health (bacteria presence), trimming them to get rid of some of the old and rotten roots. I recommend that one uses a quality potting compost mixed with pebbles and sand for optimal drainage.
Investing time in caring for your bonsai tree is vital for a healthy plant. While the juniper’s major issue is the browning of the leaves, there are several things you can do to prevent or revive your juniper bonsai from browning. With the above tips, your juniper can maintain a green, healthy color, a crucial characteristic for the juniper bonsai’s beauty.