Juniper species, like Chinese juniper, Japanese garden junipers, green mound, sargent’s needle, and shimpaku, are grown extensively as bonsai trees. Dramatically twisted shapes are very popular and correspond with the natural shapes that used to grow in the Japanese mountains. They are evergreen coniferous trees or shrubs, which are very popular for Bonsai. The California Juniper is native to California and has bluish-grey scale-like foliage. Juniper Bonsai Tree Care Guide There are over 50 different types of species of Junipers or Juniperus. The rust fungus infests the junipers permanently and cannot be cured. Most of the time, if your Japanese Juniper Bonsai is well taken care of and is placed in a position with the right temperature and amount of light, you’ll have no problem. Juniper bonsai require bright, direct sunlight for the majority of the day. Other popular species include the Chinese juniper (Juniperus Chinensis,) the Japanese Shimpaku (Juniperus sargentii,) the Japanese needle juniper (Juniperus rigida,) two central European species: The savin (Juniperus sabina,) and the common juniper (Juniperus communis.) Removing the parts with the swellings and galls is no guarantee that the fungus will not reappear. The two most popular juniper species for bonsai with scale-like foliage are the Chinese Juniper and the Japanese Shimpaku. Our web site is checked and updated daily. The position of your tree might not have enough access to sunlight. Continue reading about pruning Bonsai trees. Wiring: Junipers produced for Bonsai are often heavily wired when they are very young. Juniper bonsai trees can take care of themselves, but they are not exempted from extremely cold temperatures during winter, late-season frost, reflective heat emitted by buildings, excessively wet soil, rock mulch, shade, poor or excessive drainage, competition from other shrubs and trees, and also soil disturbance, causing harm and damage to your Juniper bonsai trees. When you have a Rocky Mountain juniper that has its main structure and secondary branches set, you will be working on the tertiary branches. Welcome to Bonsai Northwest!. When the foliage pads become too dense they must be thinned out with sharp scissors at the base. To avoid shocking the roots, don’t fertilize a juniper bonsai after it has been repotted for at least a month. Both have scale-like foliage with color ranging from yellowish-green to bluish-green or silver-green. Juniper trees are especially popular choices in bonsai due to their ease of care, variable form, and gorgeous foliage. The bonsai is a delightful and fun plant to have around the home or office. Don’t worry they will turn green again in spring. The triad of green foliage, reddish-brown or yellowish-brown bark, and silvery-white deadwood is very appealing. Juniper Bonsai Trees These Dwarf Junipers from Japan are the most popular evergreen in the U.S. You should plan to water it every two to three days. Acquisition of juniper Bonsai: Many well-suited juniper species in different sizes can be found in most nurseries. Juvenile growth can also result from heavy pruning, bending, or overwatering and can last as long as a few years until the normal scale-like foliage grows and the young needle-like foliage falls or can be removed. It grows live veins below broken or dying branches that dry out and die to make deadwood. Most care sheets fail to mention is that juniper bonsai are exclusively outdoor trees. Learn how to take care of Juniper Bonsai Trees in this Quick 30 minute Crash Course. Use caution when bending areas with deadwood as those parts do break easily. They are rugged, adaptable trees well-suited to bonsai culture. Chinese Juniper (Juniperus Chinensis) It’s a small bonsai that can withstand climate change. The Japanese Shimpaku is actually a variety of Chinese Juniper which was originally found in the mountains of Japan. When extreme winter temperatures dip below this, providing juniper bonsais with moderate protection from wind and frost will help them to overwinter outdoors. Junipers have a naturally compact growth habit which makes them well-suited to bonsai growing techniques, and relatively young juniper bonsai can look well-established without much effort. However, they cannot tolerate being waterlogged. Junipers can sometimes get infested with spider mites, juniper scale, juniper aphids, and juniper needle miners as well as juniper webworms. During winter the junipers must be kept in a place with enough light and they must be checked for pests regularly even in winter. Some people have a different opinion, but it’s best to burn rust-infested juniper immediately or put it into the garbage instead of your compost heap. Misting the tree can be done regularly, especially after the tree has been repotted because it benefits from air humidity. At this stage of “finished” bonsai, you want to be pruning in early to mid-summer. In nature, it grows columnar or as a depressed shrub. We say this because they are born healthy and are adaptable to all temperature conditions. Shimpaku Juniper Bonsai Care. Growing a juniper as a bonsai is comparatively easier, when compared to other types. Caring For Juniper Bonsai. Traditional insecticide/miticide sprays will help but if you want to get rid of pests, you should investigate why the tree was prone to infestation. Some species change their foliage color during frosty periods to a purplish brown which is a part of their internal frost protection mechanism. As a rule of thumb, the blue-green junipers are more resistant than those with yellowish-green foliage. Some are even considered resistant to fungal rust diseases. For this reason, juniper bonsai are best-suited to being grown outdoors year-round. Its leaves are scale-like, coarse, and can be dark green or bluish-green. The Juniper bonsai tree is a hardy tree recommended for beginners. Healthy juniper trees are quite resistant to pests and diseases, however, it is a good idea to keep an eye out for several common juniper pests/diseases. Pruning: To develop the foliage pads, long shoots that stick out of the silhouette can be pinched or cut at the base with sharp scissors throughout the growing season. All of which have very similar care guidelines. It grows in mountainous terrain at altitudes of 2500 to 10000 ft. (800–3000 meters) Its foliage is scale-like with grayish or dark green coloring and tends to grow quite dense. The teacher, Bjorn Bjorholm, studied Bonsai art for over six years in Japan. A Juniper Bonsai is a living miniature tree and not a house plant; therefore, your bonsai must be maintained in a cool/cold environment during the winter season. The Juniper cannot live indoors. They will grow resistant against pests. If you’d like to see strong growth you can apply some higher nitrogen levels in the spring. For juniper bonsai, pinching back growth rather than cutting back is recommended as cutting can cause the surrounding needles to die off. The cones are often eaten by birds who spread the germinable seeds through the bird’s droppings. Before you water, the soil should slightly dry. The Japanese Needle Juniper has sharp, dark green, stinging needles with a narrow white line along their length. The Juniper Bonsai trees that can be found in large stores, like Walmart and Home Depot, are often Japanese Garden Junipers, also known as Green Mound Junipers (Juniperus procumbens nana.) Always leave some foliage on the branches to ensure ongoing growth. Juniper Bonsai Most of the 60 species of junipers (Jumiperus spp.) There are numerous varieties of Chinese Juniper, many of which difficult to distinguish with certainty, but the care guidelines for these varieties are very similar. They make perfect beginner bonsai trees for inexperienced growers as they are forgiving, easily shaped, and well-suited to bonsai growing techniques. Very old trees can be repotted at longer intervals. Juniper bonsai appreciate regular feeding during the spring and fall months to promote strong growth. It came in a small pot at first you can see from the picture. Pests / diseases: If junipers are well cared for and placed in an ideal location they are very resistant to pests. These impressive, trouble-free evergreens are an excellent choice for the beginner. Some trees will survive just fine indoors with some grow lights, but juniper’s aren’t that kind of species. While the pear trees in most cases are not fatally affected – they are newly infected each year, and they can even be treated successfully with a fungicide. When we think of a traditional bonsai and what it should look like, we think of a "Juniper Procumbens Nana." Cori is a freelance writer based out of Ontario, Canada, who specializes in houseplants and houseplant care. The first step in growing a Juniper Bonsai tree is to … However, cut back on fertilizing during the summer months to give the tree a break. The Juniper cannot live indoors. The Sierra Juniper is a shrub or tree native to the western United States. If you need help identifying your tree, try our Bonsai tree identification guide. The juniper bonsai tree has long been recognized as one of the most popular trees for bonsai. respond especially well to bonsai training, establishing readily and tolerating neglect. You can usually find good raw material for Bonsai there. Junipers can be bent aggressively, but be sure to wrap branches with raffia or tape for protection. Juniper trees can withstand aggressive pruning well but keep in mind that they cannot bud again from any bare tree parts. I've been keeping it outside to help it go into dormant state for the winter and I thought a bigger pot would be less likely to freeze. However, during the winter, you need to be extra careful. Once the branches have set in their new shape, carefully remove the wire with wire cutters so as to not damage the tree. For more detailed information on these techniques, take a look at our Bonsai tree care section. For more details, see our, How to Grow and Care for Alligator Juniper, How to Care for and Maintain a Bonsai Tree. 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