The Juniper Bonsai is among the most recognized and popular Bonsai trees for many good reasons. Thanks to the growing characteristic and flexibility of branches, it is very easy to shape and train a Juniper Bonsai tree.
Types of Juniper Bonsai
The Juniper Bonsai can be found in various countries across the world. So far, there are over 50 different varieties of Juniper Bonsai trees that are available today.
Two of the more popular varieties are the Chinese Juniper Bonsai tree and the Needle Juniper Bonsai tree. Both of these are also among the easiest Bonsai trees you can ever care for that make it a great option for people who might just be getting started in growing a Bonsai tree.
Below is a quick overview of the most common types of Juniper Bonsai trees out there:
Shimpaku Juniper Bonsai
The Shimpaku Juniper Bonsai is native to the mountain range of Japan. It shares many similarities with the Chinese Juniper with both of them having the same kind of foliage and yellowish-green eaves. This is a dwarf Juniper and is often used as a piece of decoration. This bonsai is also very handy and can tolerate even the most extreme types off climates. This is a dioecious tree, meaning it only produces one organism so it is either female or male.
Chinese Juniper Bonsai
The Chinese Juniper Bonsai is a small bonsai that could endure changes in climate. These plants prefer full exposure to the sun and also require well-drained soil for them to grow and thrive. The Chinese Juniper Bonsai is different from other types of Bonsai trees as it is not a big fan of pruning and these plants can even be affected by the action.
Blue Star Juniper Bonsai
The Dwarf Blue Star Juniper Bonsai is a type of slow-growing evergreen that needs very little trimming and is also easy and simple to care for. With its unique appearance of silvery blue foliage, the Blue Star Juniper Bonsai is a low maintenance and attractive plant that you will surely love to tend to.
Cascade Juniper Bonsai
Creating a cascade Juniper Bonsai is meant to express and reflect the shape of a tree that has been through some tough times but still perseveres and remains standing. This is the best shape for a Bonsai that can make you imagine it as a result of the crushing weight of winter snow, landslides, or mudslides. These kinds of natural catastrophes tend to twist trees downward in nature and this is what the form or style of a cascade Juniper Bonsai depicts.
Zen Reflections Juniper Bonsai
Zen Reflections Juniper Bonsai creates the illusion of an old miniature tree found in nature. This is made using a hardy juniper with long and trailing branches that can be easily trained into various amazing Bonsai styles.
Juniper Bonsai Care
There are several things you need to know when it comes to properly caring for your Juniper Bonsai.
Juniper Bonsai Climate
Your Juniper Bonsai tree is best grown outdoors all year-long as it cannot really tolerate staying outdoors. These trees are frost-tolerant and hardy and they can survive even if temperatures go lower than 10 degrees Fahrenheit with no protection. Once extreme temperatures during winter dip below this, you can provide your Juniper Bonsai with moderation protection from frost and wind to help them overwinter outdoors.
Juniper Bonsai Fertilizer
It is important that you feed your Juniper Bonsai with fertilizer. But, this must only be done once every month. Especially during months of summer, there are times when your Juniper Bonsai will receive all the things they need from the soil and the atmosphere so it is not required for you to fertilize them that often.
Also, just so you know, Bonsai trees become dormant when winter comes. This is the reason why you need a fertilizer with low nitrogen levels, especially during fall seasons since your Bonsai is going to be dormant all season long.
Juniper Bonsai Pruning
Regular and proper pruning is important for both the health and aesthetics of your Bonsai tree. In the case of Juniper Bonsai, it is recommended to pinch back growth instead of cutting it back since cutting may lead to the death of the surrounding needles.
Juniper trees are able to endure aggressive pruning well. However, you need to remember that these will not bud again from bare parts of the tree. Some foliage should always be left behind on the branches to guarantee ongoing growth. Juniper Bonsai is best pruned during early spring and summer throughout the period of their active growth.
Juniper Bonsai Repotting
Bonsai trees generally don’t require frequent repotting and these include Juniper Bonsai trees. You can repot young trees at the maximum of every two years while the older trees can even go for as long as 5 years with no need to repot them at all. You need to avoid any heavy root pruning for your Juniper Bonsai during the time of repotting to ensure that the plant doesn’t get shocked.
Juniper Bonsai Pests and Diseases
A healthy Juniper tree is actually quite resistant to diseases and pests. But, it is a wise idea that you watch out for some common Juniper diseases or pests. Keep an eye out for signs of Juniper aphids, Juniper scale, spider mites, Juniper webworms, and Juniper needle miners.
Thinning out foliage pads on a regular basis can help lower the risks of pest infestations since dense foliage pads can give them the perfect environment to thrive and grow. Some Juniper tree species are also prone to fungal rust diseases.
Juniper Bonsai Soil
To get the best results, you can use the commercially available bonsai soil mixes made for Juniper trees. Bonsai soil mixes can drain properly to allow both water and air to get to the roots and are often a combination of fine pit or gravel, pumice, organic potting compost, and akadama, a form of Japanese clay granulate. You can find these at most plant stores or garden centers or online from the specialty Bonsai retailers.
Juniper Bonsai Watering
Just like most Bonsai, your Juniper Bonsai requires watering on a regular basis to ensure that the soil remains moist all the time. But, take note that these plants cannot really tolerate to be waterlogged. The general rule is to let the soil dry a bit in between waterings. You also need to prevent allowing it to completely dry out and always water your plant deeply. It is imperative to make sure that your Bonsai has enough drainage to ensure that the soil doesn’t become waterlogged.
How Long Does It Take to Grow a Juniper Bonsai?
Majority of Juniper Bonsai trees can grow at decent rate although they are not really regarded as fast growers although there are some species that are exempted from the rule like the Green Mound Juniper. It is good for a Bonsai tree since growing too fast can make it more challenging to manage the design and shape of the tree. But, you will still want adequate growth so that you can work with new sprouts for creating the kind of design you like.
How Much Light Does a Bonsai Juniper Tree Need?
Apart from a few species, your Juniper Bonsai trees are not able to live and thrive indoors. They need to stay outdoors instead all year long to get the best results. Many Juniper Bonsais also need to be out under bright sunlight the whole day, primarily direct light. Once again, there are certain species such as the Green Mound Juniper that can better tolerate less than ideal light and positioning that make it easier to care for and handle all year long.
Although planting the trees in containers instead of in the ground will mean that they completely depend on you and need more attention, this only means that moving them will be easier for them to get the shade and sunlight at the right times. It lets you relocate the Bonsai with ease daily as required in the heat and bring it to a safer and more protected spot during winter.
Why are the Green Needles Falling Off My Bonsai Juniper?
Several months of overwatering can result to root-rot that is only visible with the tree dropping its green needles and the tree losing its strength. Watering should only be done once the soil gets a bit dry then repot this in better soil when the tree gets better.
Underwatering is also a common reason for Juniper Bonsai trees to drop their needles. Although overwatering your tree will make it lose its strength little by little, if the tree is underwatered, it will drop its needles in a matter of days. Sadly, there is no cure to this issue so you need to be watchful of your tree and water it properly.
A tree with a disease or pest or has gotten too little or too much fertilizer will also lose its strength and drop its green needles.
Can Juniper Bonsai Trees Live Indoors?
Juniper Bonsai trees need direct and bright sunlight for most of the day. This is why these trees are most suitable for growth outdoors all year long.
Do Juniper Bonsai Need Direct Sunlight?
Yes, you need to keep your Juniper Bonsai under direct sunlight but make sure that it still has protection from too strong sunlight.
Are Juniper Bonsai Allergic to Dogs?
While Juniper Bonsais are not highly toxic to canines, these may still pose some harm. Junipers are regarded to be mildly toxic for dogs due to the mildly toxic chemicals found in their leaves and stems. Junipers may not kill dogs but they may still make these pets sick or even allergic.