Beginner Bonsai – Juniper

A Juniper bonsai is one type of bonsai trees that is suitable for beginners because it is quite easy to be taken care of.

Their are many types of juniper that can be turned into bonsai, such as Shimpaku, Japanese Garden, Green Mound, Chinese Juniper, Sargents, and Needle. These trees are also adaptive as they can be placed outdoors or even indoors. This means that they are great for bringing a little greenery to a room where you might spend a lot of time reading, or spending some free time playing on websites like On the other hand, they can thrive just as well in an outdoor space, like a garden rockery. So you have plenty of options available to locate your Juniper and by following some basic rules in growing juniper bonsai, the plant will flourish without giving too many problems.

One of important characteristics of juniper bonsai is that it need a dormancy period. This period can be considered as hibernation or resting, which is required by the tree to revitalize during spring and summer.

Like other bonsai, proper watering is important for juniper bonsai. Although it prefers a dry period between each watering, you should never leave the plant dry for a long period of time as it will stress and kill it. The proper way to water the bonsai is to soak it in a tray full of water up to its trunk for five to ten minutes. Then you should allow the plant to drain properly because waterlogged soil can rot the roots of the bonsai.

On the other hand, if you use a tap water, you should repeat the process several times. You can water the juniper bonsai, wait for several minutes, and then start watering again. This repetition is to make sure that the soil and the bonsai has stored enough water to grow.

Maintain the right humidity is important for your juniper bonsai. To create the preferable environment, you can place the plant on top of tray filled with small stones and water. The stones prevent the pot to be soaked with water, while the water will evaporate and create humid environment around the plant. Another good strategy in this regard is to use moss on the trunk of the juniper bonsai. Moss will improve moisture retention and additionally it also gives a more natural look.

Sufficient amount of sunlight is another factor that you should pay attention at to take care of your juniper bonsai. Low intensity sunlight, such as in the early morning and late afternoon, is enough for the plant. If you put the juniper indoors, you can place it near a window to get the essential sunlight. Fluorescent lamps can be used as an alternative if there is no enough sunlight available. You need to expose the plant around twelve hours a day if you use this artificial light.

Every two weeks, you should fertilize the juniper bonsai so it will receive important nutrients. Organic fertilizer is the most suitable type for this purpose. Repotting the plant should be done once every year or two years. During this repotting, you should also prune the roots to keep the plant small and to reduce the pressure experienced by the roots as it is contained in a small pot.


Written by Cindy Heller

Tips for Buying a Bonsai

Maureen Massey brings you the beginner some great tips on looking after your first bonsai. With these simple bits of advice you and your tree will get off to a good start.



  1. Try to buy from a reputed bonsai specialist or garden centre where the staff can help you choose the bonsai that most suits your needs. Indoor or outdoor, light of shade, the correct temperature etc. They can give you advice on the best position to keep your tree and how to care for it. If they don’t know, don’t buy!
  2. Make sure that you know the type of tree you are buying and you are given comprehensive care instructions on how to mind it. A label isn’t enough.
  3. Check to see if the soil is wet and the foliage is plentiful, healthy and undamaged. (Deciduous tree are the exception to this in the autumn, as leaves are falling. These trees should be bare in winter
  4. Avoid buying in supermarkets and hardware stores. Chances are that the bonsai has not seen light or water for several days. They may be cheap, but it’s a false economy if they die soon after you buy them.
  5. Make sure the place you buy has an aftercare service, so you can return for further advice, re-potting etc. Anywhere else and you are on your own.
  6. Avoid bonsai that seem wobbly in the pot, or looks like a twig stuck in the soil. The tree should have a well balanced shape and good anchor roots and should be in a proper bonsai pot, with good drainage holes.
  7. Finally, choose the tree that appeals to you and you feel that you can mind properly. It doesn’t have to be perfect, as a bonsai is an ongoing project and there is always room for improvement. If taken care of it should last for years and give you hours of pleasure
  8. Make sure the person you are buying for would like a bonsai and will appreciate it.
  9. Be sure they will take care of it properly, and not shove it in the corner and forget about it.
  10. Don’t give a bonsai to someone who is away a lot or is not good at caring for plants.
  11. Don’t buy it too early before christmas so you have to mind it and hide it away until the day.Shoving it in the bottom of the wardrobe is not an option.