Juniper Bonsai Care (Juniperus): Extremely hardy, long-lived, easy care
Juniper Bonsai Care - General:
Chinese junipers (Juniperus chinensis) are often cared for as bonsai. Especially the Chinese juniper variety Shimpaku and Itoigawa play a big role in bonsai care. They are often offered in the bonsai trade and are popular as bonsai and very suitable. Chinese Juniper Bonsai are extremely hardy, grow slowly (low maintenance), are well suited for deadwood and look very nice with their fine needle pads.
The Chinese juniper is native to Japan, China and Korea and grows in nature as a shrub or tree. Sometimes up to 15m high. Chinese juniper form as bonsai 2 needle shapes: Prickle-shaped youth leaves, which later turns into dandruff. Cushions with dandruff foliage look very fine.
Care of Juniper bonsai - Location, light, temperature
With sufficient hydration a sunny summer location is very conducive to the healthy development of a juniper bonsai. Juniperus chinensis tolerates heat well, likes high temperatures and occasional air dryness is tolerated by the China juniper. Partial shade around lunchtime is well tolerated. However, the Chinese juniper bonsai location should not be too shady, otherwise individual branches will become long. In the sun a juniperus bonsai grows much more compact, the needle color is in the partial shade but darker.
Juniper bonsai - Overwintering
Juniper bonsai are hardy and tolerate cold very well. Below -10°C juniper should be placed a little sheltered - protected from dehydration when the root ball is frozen. Young plants need protection against strong and constant winds. In winter quarters the juniper bonsai location must be bright.
In the cold season, the needles are usually brownish to redbrown. Probably a protection of the bonsai from the sunlight in the frozen state. This discoloration quickly recedes in the spring with increasing temperature and day length.
Juniper bonsai care - Bonsai soil, repot
Older juniper bonsai need to be repotted only every 4-6 years, depending on the growth rate and pot size. Younger specimens are usually repotted every 2-3 years. The best time to repot is the late spring. Repotting in September is possible, but spring is preferable.
It should not be used too flat pots, because juniper bonsai need sufficient substrate. Use a well water- and air-permeable substrate (eg Akadama, better is Kiryu). Fine, damp soils provoke root damage in winter. Chinese Juniper Bonsai do not like sour soils. From time to time, the pH should be checked. If the soil reacts acidly, lime can be added.
Juniper bonsai - Pouring
Juniper bonsai tolerates brief dryness well, but should be watered well. It is essential to avoid waterlogging. A slight drying of the earth between watering seems to be beneficial. Short drying is tolerated. Keep moderately moist in winter. It is important that the substrate is well permeable to water and air otherwise it will cause root damage.
Juniper Bonsai Care - Fertilization
In the growing season from April to September every 14 days with mineral or organic Bonsai fertilizer. After that fertilization is significantly reduced. Finished juniper bonsai should not be given too much nitrogen. The Chinese juniper responds to much nitrogen with the formation of prickly needles instead of dandruff foliage.
Juniper bonsai - Styling
China junipers can be designed throughout the year. If drastic deformations are to be carried out, the late spring is a good time. The juniper can better cope with the resulting damage in summer.
Juniper prebonsai, Japan imports 2015. This raw material can quickly make a good juniper bonsai.
Juniper bonsai of various species (especially Juniperus chinensis, Juniperus rigida, Juniperus communis) are very commonly used for bonsai design. Jin and Shari underline the age of a juniper bonsai. Juniper tolerate extremely well such deadwood designs. Even large-scale debarking is possible. Juniper can survive well even if only small pathways of living bark connect the roots with the branches. Most varieties used for the bonsai design are with only flaky or needle-only leaves.
Juniper - Bonsai Styles
Juniperus species can be designed in almost all styles. Many juniper bonsai are free upright (Moyogi style).
Juniper bonsai - Pruning, plucking
The new shoot must be plucked regularly to get a compact shape. In doing so, the shoots to be plucked are held between the thumb and the forefinger, and with the other hand the outermost tips are removed. If a Juniperus bonsai with dandruff foliage reduced too much in one step, it forms more needle-like foliage. Slow shaping over long periods is highly recommended. Spiny leaves in the fine scales of a Chinese Juniper Bonsai are usually disturbing. It slowly forms, but often stays for years.
Juniper Bonsai - Wiring
Juniper bonsai can be wired all year round. At the end of the summer more attention must be paid to the ingrowth of the wire. The wire usually has to stay on the tree for 1-2 years otherwise the shoots will bend back to their original position.