These are one of the most versatile species of bonsai that you can grow and lend themselves well to virtually all bonsai styles.
This conifer tree is adaptable and has fine foliage and branches that can be bent and trained easily and so adapts well to wiring. It is also relatively easy to care for and is a great choice for the beginner.
However, there are just a few things that you should keep in mind when you own a juniper bonsai tree. First and foremost, this type of tree is not well suited as an indoor plant. It belongs outdoors where it can thrive in most conditions and can go into a proper state of dormancy as the seasons change.
By tending to a juniper bonsai indoors on a permanent basis, it is likely neither to get the light it needs for survival nor the harsher outdoor conditions that it needs to thrive.
Unlike the more delicate tropical tree varieties the juniper tree has grown for hundreds of years in conditions most plants would not like and, because of this, it needs winter dormancy in order to be able to repair itself from any damage it sustained in the growing season.
The leading cause of death in juniper bonsai is that people try to keep this pine indoors. It should be kept outdoors whenever possible, and only brought in during the harshest parts of winter or during snowstorms that would suffocate the plant. Once the extreme bad weather has passed, your juniper bonsai should be placed back outside so it can remain in dormancy.
Juniper bonsai are extremely common, as this type of tree is so easy to care for and train. They grow quickly, allowing people to see their hard work progress, making this an excellent tree for beginners.
Because of the fast grow rate, many bonsai nurseries will keep this hardy tree in stock as it can be trained much faster than other species used in bonsai. This is also why the juniper bonsai is so common as a gift. As they are easy to care for and fast to grow, many people are comfortable giving these trees away.
Whether you have received a juniper bonsai as a gift, purchased one or you are interested in growing your own from a seed or seedling, you will want to keep pruning and wiring supplies on hand, as these are the most common tools you will use with your juniper bonsai.
Careful pruning of new buds and excess branches and needles will help improve your design of the tree. Foliage needs to be thinned during the fall in order to avoid disease and pest problems that can blight these trees in the spring to come.
Fungus, caterpillars and scale insects are the most common juniper issues that you are likely to encounter. So vigilance and regular checking for signs of these problems is needed.
Pests can usually be controlled with the use of a white oil or pyrethrum spray and systemic insecticides may be required for insect infestations.
Always remember to wear gloves when working with junipers, for the needles can cause allergic reactions and irritation to the skin.
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