Category Archives: Grow Your Own Bonsai

What Bonsai Tree are YOU

As Bonsai and garden lovers we spend alot of time getting to know our trees, we get intimate with shaping, trimming and styling. We water and feed, but how close are we to our trees! If we were a Bonsai tree what type of tree would we be.

In the following list, map your birth date against your tree type and then take a look at you description. Let me know how accurate it is and above all have fun.

January 2 to January 11 Fir

January 12 to January 24 Elm

January 25 to February 3 Cypress

February 4 to February 8 Poplar

February 9 to February 18 Cedar

February 19 to February 28 Pine

March 1 to March 10 Willow

March 11 to March 20 Lime

March 21 Oak

March 22 to March 31 Hazelnut

April 1 to April 10   Rowan

April 11 to April 20 Maple

April 21 to April 30   Walnut

May 1 to May 14 Poplar

May 15 to May 24 Chestnut

May 25 to June 3 Ash

June 4 to June 13 Hornbeam

June 14     to June 23 Fig

June 24 Birch

June 25 to July 4 Apple

July 5 to July 14 Fir

July 15 to July 25 Elm

July 26 to August 4 Cypress

August 5 to August 13 Poplar

August 14 to August 23 Cedar

August 24 to September 2 Pine

September 3 to September 12 Willow

September 13 to September 22 Lime

September 23 Olive

September 24 to October 3 Hazelnut

October 4 to October 13 Rowan

October 14 to October 23 Maple

October 24 to November 11 Walnut

November 12 to November 21 Chestnut

December 23 to January 1 Apple

Apple (Love) … quiet and shy at times, lots of charm, appeal and attraction, pleasant attitude, flirtatious smile, adventurous sensitive,loyal in love, wants to love and be loved, faithful and tender partner, very generous, many talents, loves children, needs affectionate partner.

Ash (Ambition) … extremely attractive, vivacious,
impulsive, demanding, does not care
for criticism, ambitious, intelligent, talented,
likes to play with fate, can be very egotistic,
reliable, restless lover, sometimes money
rules over the heart, demands attention,
needs love and much emotional support.

Ash (Ambition) … extremely attractive, vivacious, impulsive, demanding, does not care for criticism, ambitious, intelligent, talented, likes to play with fate, can be very egotistic, reliable, restless lover, sometimes money rules over the heart, demands attention, needs love and much emotional support.

Beech (Creative) … has good taste, concerned about its looks, materialistic, good organization of life and career, economical, good leader, takes no unnecessary risks, reasonable, splendid lifetime companion, keen on keeping fit (diets, sport, etc).

Birch (Inspiration) … vivacious, attractive, elegant, friendly, unpretentious, modest, does not like anything in excess, abhors the vulgar, loves live in nature and is calm, not very passionate, full of imagination, little ambition, creates a calm and content atmosphere.

Cedar (Confidence) … of rare strength, knows how to adapt, likes unexpected presents, of good health, not in the least shy, tends to look down on others, self confident, a great speaker, determined, often impatient, likes to impress others, has many talents, industrious, healthy optimism, waits for the one true love, able to make quick decisions.

Chestnut (Honesty) … of unusual stature, impressive, well-developed sense of justice, fun to be around, a planner, born diplomat, can be irritated easily, sensitive of others’ feelings, hard worker, sometimes acts superior, feels not understood at times, fiercely family oriented, very loyal in love, physically fit.

Cypress (Faithfulness) … strong, muscular, adaptable, takes what life has to give but does not necessarily like it, strives to be content, optimistic, wants to be financially independent, wants love and affection, hates loneliness, passionate lover which cannot be satisfied, faithful, quick-tempered at times, can be unruly and careless, loves to gain knowledge, needs to be needed.

Elm (Noble-mindedness) … pleasant shape, tasteful clothes, modest demands, tends not to forgive mistakes, cheerful, likes to lead but not to obey, honest and faithful partner, likes making decisions for others, noble minded, generous, good sense of humour, practical.

Fig (Sensibility) … very strong minded, a bit self-willed, honest, loyal, independent, hates contradiction or arguments, hard worker when wants to be, loves life and friends, enjoys children and animals, few sexual relationships, great sense of humor, has artistic talent and great intelligence.

Fir (Mysterious) … extraordinary taste, handles stress well, loves anything beautiful, stubborn, tends to care for those close to them, hard to trust others, yet a social butterfly, likes idleness and laziness after long demanding hours at work, rather modest, talented, unselfish, many friends, very reliable.

Hazelnut (Extraordinary) … charming, sense of humor, very demanding but can also be very understanding, knows how to make a lasting impression, active fighter for social causes and politics, popular, quite moody, sexually oriented, honest, a perfectionist, has a precise sense of judgment and expects complete fairness.

Hornbeam (Good Taste) … of cool beauty, cares for its looks and condition, good taste, is not egotistic, makes life as comfortable as possible, leads a reasonable and disciplined life, looks for kindness and acknowledgement in an emotional partner, dreams of unusual lovers, is seldom happy with its feelings, mistrusts most people, is never sure of its decisions, very conscientious.

Lime (Doubt) … intelligent, hard working, accepts what life dishes out, but not before trying to change bad circumstances into good ones, hates fighting and stress, enjoys getaway vacations, may appear tough, but is actually soft and relenting, always willing to make sacrifices for family and friends, has many talents but not always enough time to use them, can become a complainer, great leadership qualities, is jealous at times but extremely loyal.

Maple (Independence of Mind) … no ordinary person, full of imagination and originality, shy and reserved, ambitious, proud, self-confident, hungers for new experiences, sometimes nervous, has many complexities, good memory, learns easily, complicated love life, wants to impress.

Oak (Brave) … robust nature, courageous, strong, unrelenting, independent, sensible, does not like change, keeps its feed on the ground, person of action.

Olive (Wisdom) … loves sun, warmth and kind feelings, reasonable, balanced, avoids aggression and violence, tolerant, cheerful, calm, well-developed sense of justice, sensitive, empathetic, free of jealousy, loves to read and the company of sophisticated people.

Pine (Peacemaker) … loves agreeable company, craves peace and harmony, loves to help others, active imagination, likes to write poetry, not fashion conscious, great compassion, friendly to all, falls strongly in love but will leave if betrayed or lied to, emotionally soft, low self esteem, needs affection and reassurance.

Poplar (Uncertainty) … looks very decorative, talented, not very self-confident, extremely courageous if necessary, needs goodwill and pleasant surroundings, very choosy, often lonely, great animosity, great artistic nature, good organizer, tends to lean toward philosophy, reliable in any situation, takes partnership seriously.

Rowan (Sensitivity) … full of charm, cheerful, gifted without egotism, likes to draw attention, loves live, motion, unrest and even complications, is both dependent and independent, good taste, artistic, passionate, emotional, good company, does not forgive.

Walnut (Passion) … unrelenting, strange and full of contrasts, often egotistic, aggressive, noble, broad horizon, unexpected reactions, spontaneous, unlimited ambition, no flexibility, difficult and uncommon partner, not always liked but often admired, ingenious strategist, very jealous and passionate, not compromise.

Willow (Melancholy) … likes to be stress free, loves family life, full of hopes and dreams, attractive, very empathetic, loves anything beautiful, musically inclined, loves to travel to exotic places, restless, capricious, honest, can be influenced but is not easy to live with when pressured, sometimes demanding, good intuition, suffers in love until they find that one loyal steadfast partner, loves to make others laugh.

For reference I am a Pine (Peacemaker) and it is very accurate.

The original author of this piece is unknown…


Penjing, Landscapes in Miniature

Fujian Tea Penjing (C) Qingquan ZhaoWe look at an ant and consider it tiny. Millions of years ago, a T-Rex would have looked at us and considered us diminutive and an easy catch for dinner. Perhaps the ancient Chinese just wanted to see the world from a T-Rex perspective when they created the art of penjing, the arranging of miniature trees and landscapes in shallow dishes called “pens.”

Though pen pottery has been dated back to the Yangshao culture in Neolithic China (5000 to 3000 BC), the creation of the penjing miniature gardens was rumoured to have started in the third or forth centuries. No written proof has been found earlier than the Tang Dynasty (618 to 907 AD). The earliest drawing, discovered in 1972, dates back to 706 AD and shows servants carrying pots with miniature trees surrounded by small rocks and greenery. These tiny tree landscaped gardens were also called “penzai.”

Originally the dwarf trees were collected from the wild. Artists would seek out trees with the most twisted, asymmetrical and deformed branches. The belief was that these naturally tiny plants that grew wild, away from civilization, were sacred. They were too small to be used as timber or for any other project, so why else would they exist? Eventually Chan Buddhism would influence the collecting and eventual shaping of the trees, using techniques to manipulate the size and shape of the trunks and branches. Though younger plants were being collected and cultivated closer to home, they were made to appear like the wizened specimens found in the mountain wilderness.

It is suspected that Buddhist students returning to Japan from China brought back some penjing during the sixth century. The first visual proof was found in the Kasuga-gongen-genki scrolls dating from 1309 AD. On the fifth scroll was a drawing of a wealthy gentleman with two penjings, one in a flat wooden tray and the other in a Chinese style ceramic container. Once Zen Buddhism became established in Japan, the art form was refined to where one single tree planted in a container with or without the rocks and greenery defined the universe. This is the origin of the Japanese bonsai tree we know today.

Though the Japanese bonsai is derived from the Chinese penjing, each art form has its own style. The Japanese bonsai defines beauty by its simplicity. A single tree is trimmed, sometimes one leaf or needle at a time until the never-quite-finished project appears to mimic a full sized tree. That tree is placed in a monochromatic pot, usually flat and usually earth toned, so that the tree is the focal point.

The penjing art form is just as often placed in colorful ceramic or brass pots. The tiny trees are also coaxed into shapes that mimic their full grown cousins, but the results are often wilder, more rugged and anything but symmetrical. Trunks are gnarled and branches twist in every direction suggesting barely controlled chaos.

Think of a Japanese bonsai as a sleek lined Porsche. If one were to draw that car, it would only take a few fluid brush strokes to convey the suggestion of moving while standing still. The Chinese penjing, on the other hand would perhaps be represented by a vintage MG. More angles, headlights that crest the hood and bumpers that have a definitive curve. Perhaps not as sleek as the fluidic Porsche, but just as cherished and just as capable of delivering an enjoyable driving experience.

Just as we look at the tiny ant and the T-Rex eye-balls us as a potential dino-snack, the Japanese and Chinese cultures look at the natural world from their own perspective. It is this difference in viewpoint that has helped create these two similar, yet distinct miniature landscape art forms.

Penjing, Landscapes in Miniature
within potted worlds
tiny trees are giants made
size is relative

Image courtesy of the NABF (North American Bonsai Society)

Aucuba Japonica 'Gold Dust'

All gardens have problem spots – those areas where it seems that nothing will grow. Often, this tends to be in the shade – either under a large tree or the eves of a house. This week we are featuring an evergreen that will solve the problem of bare, shaded areas and will add eye catching color and interest to your garden – Aucuba japonica ‘Gold Dust.’

Unlike most garden plants that only tolerate shade, Aucubas prefer shade and will thrive in the shadiest of spots, even under trees where no grass grows.

Native to Japan, Aucubas are a small group of evergreen shrubs that belong to the same family as dogwoods, but look nothing like them. ‘Gold Dust’ is one of the most popular of the Aucubas, named for its speckled leaves that look as if someone had sprinkled gold dust on them. These handsome leaves are the reason why most folks add this shrub to their garden. ‘Gold Dust’ will flower in late March and produce red berries in October, but neither is very noticeable next to the striking foliage.

Planting and Care
‘Gold Dust’ will mature as a rounded shrub six feet to eight feet tall by six feet wide. It can be kept severely pruned to a compact three foot by three foot shrub. ‘Gold Dust’ grows almost one foot per year. It is ideal as a dense screen; also in difficult spots in foundation plantings. Very pollution tolerant; excellent for urban sites.

  • Very easy to grow.
  • Plant in a shady location. Will tolerate morning sun. In Zones 6 and 7, avoid exposure to cold winter winds.
  • Prefers well-drained soil. Once established ‘Gold Dust’ is extremely drought tolerant.
  • If needed, prune in the spring before new growth begins.
  • Hardy in Zones 7-10 (6 with protection). ‘Gold Dust’ is one of the hardiest of the Aucubas.
  • Fertilize in spring with Plant-Tone or Cottonseed Meal.
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    How small can a Bonsai get!

    It is true that Bonsai are miniaturised versions of the wild things that can be found on the edge of famous lakes and gardens or seen hanging off the edge of cliffs. But did you know that Bonsai too have their miniature versions!

    These Bonsai are commonly known as Shohin and Mame.

    Shohin is a Japanese word that means ‘tiny thing’ and in Bonsai this means that the tree has to be within a certain size to qualify as a Shohin. So the rule is that the tiny-thing must be 35 cm wide and 21 cm high.

    Mame are another thing. These can be between 10 to 15 cm. These are also called ‘mini-bonsai’.

    Some Bonsai classifications:

    • Up to 2.5 cm high: Keishi
    • Up to 7.5 cm high: Shito
    • Up to 15 cm high: Mame
    • Up to 40 cm high: Kifu Sho
    • Up to 60 cm high: Chu
    • Up to 100 cm high: Dai

    Creating Mame Bonsai

    Creating Mame is a very difficult task. It’s challenging enough training a normal Bonsai tree, but these Mame are incredibly small.

    One of the most important aspect of growing Mame or any Bonsai is to understand your tree and its growing habits.

    Selecting the right species for your small bonsai adventure is very crucial to its success. Ideally you should go for a plant with naturally small leaves; this will make it easier to train the bonsai as it grows. Due to their extremely small size it would be very difficult to trim the leaves and roots, you could use a magnifying glass to help you whilst carrying out these activities on your plant. Best plants to use, are the Chinese Elm or Cotoneaster. These have naturally small leaves and would be best to start off with.

    Another important aspect of growing your Mame is choosing the right kind of pot. You would need to get an equally small pot to give your bonsai the effect of miniaturisation. Watering such small bonsai is a difficult task. You could easily over water these plants, as the pot sizes are small and it becomes difficult to gauge the exact amount of water required by the plants. To create a moist atmosphere for your tree, keep the pot buried in damp sand, only to bring out for presentations.  However your Mame cannot completely do without water.

    Considering the fact that Mame Bonsai do not have a lot of growth to support, fertilizers should be used less than you would use with normal Bonsai. It’s probably best practise to dilute your fertilizers.

    Since the size of the pot is small, the amount of soil is also very less. As a result of this the soil looses its fertility very early. Hence you must repot the Mame more frequently than you do repotting for normal bonsai trees. The average repot time for normal bonsai is every two years. See Repotting Bonsai.

    For more information on Shohin Bonsai, check out Shohin Bonsai Europe.

    Bonsai bugs!

    shutterstock_31707127Bonsai trees are very delicate and are susceptible to decay, disease, damage, and infestations by pests. Lack of proper care is one of the top reasons for these problems, and if your tree gets into trouble you will need to know how to treat the tree without damaging it.

    Some of the problems that you may come across include spider mites, scale insects, mealy bugs, aphids, green fly, black fly, and gall aphid. There are also several different types of moths that can attack a bonsai tree. They include the goat moth, leopard moth, geometer moth, and ermine moths.

    You will want to watch the leaves of your plant, spider mites and greenhouse mites attack the bottom of the leaves that will leave marks, holes and discoloration as signs that they are present. You may also notice webs on the tree, as there are some types of pests that will leave webs as an indication of infestation. You will need to treat the tree at the first sign of infestation. Spray the foliage, especially the undersides, with insecticides, mild symptoms can be handled with acaricides. You will want to use a variety of acaricides to keep the pest from adapting to the chemical. Red mites and spider mites will also attack the needles of evergreen trees and will need to be treated immediately. With evergreen trees, check the cracks in the bark for eggs, this is the mites preferred location for laying eggs.

    The needles of evergreen trees will turn a brownish color when they are infested. Caution is needed though, be aware that evergreen needles will turn this color naturally during its’ winter dormancy period. Look for the webs that the mites leave as an indicator also. If your bonsai is evergreen or deciduous you can wait until warm weather and do further treatment by removing, and destroying the affected branches, and foliage.

    Another sign of infestation that you can check is the leaves for the eggs. Most pests will attach their eggs to the bottoms of the leaves, and these will show up as red spots on the leaf. The eggs can be destroyed with oil-based products, or if the eggs are found on very few leaves, you may just remove and destroy the affected leaves.

    Feed that blooming bonsai!

    florlion-(c)-ShutterstockThe proper soil and fertilization rates are imperative for a healthy bonsai. Typical bonsai soil is a fast draining loose mix of several compounds such as course sand, gravel, fired clay pellets, expanded shale, peat, and bark. Dependent upon your location the soil components may change or some extra components added such as in Japan the use of volcanic soils.

    The harmonic mixture of organic and inorganic components set the base for the cultivation of your bonsai tree. The fast draining soil harmonizes with the bonsai containers made specifically for proper water drainage. The whole beginning process of acquiring the proper soil for your specific species of bonsai compliments the whole harmony effect achieved from a finished bonsai masterpiece.

    Soils that contain little to no clay or native soil to the specific species of bonsai requires regular fertilization to overcome the soils lacking. Bonsai planted in non soil components definitely need nutrient elements added.

    Plants fluctuate significantly in their reactions to soil nutrients that are programmed in their natural growth rates, the length of their growth periods, their ages, the types of root systems they have, and their ability to take in nutrients. Plants have broadly diverse growth rates and amplified nutrient intensities in the soil will not change natural growth rates. For an example, trees within the same species can have notably diverse nutrient needs and will respond in their own way to nutrient intensity in the soil.

    Although one may think by increasing the intensity of fertilizer given to their bonsai will produce greater and more rapid growth rate, in reality it can have a complete negative effect and cause great distress to your bonsai. There comes a point when too much is just that, too much and the fertilizer begins to use the initial effect it was meant for and begins to cause more harm than good. Overdosing on fertilizer with your bonsai can result in a toxicity effect; make it more susceptible to disease, abnormal unbalanced growth, and nutrient imbalances.

    Knowing and studying the specific species of bonsai you are working with is the first step in optimizing your fertilizer routine and save you from undue harm to your bonsai. Plant growths differ as well as the season s the plant displays the most growth and need for extra nutrients. Feeding fertilizer in doormat times or times of slow inherited growth is not only senseless but can be disastrous.

    Depending on the maturity of your bonsai will also determine the amount of fertilizer it will require. Young bonsai will require more fertilizers than their slower growing mature counterparts. You cannot make a doormat tree begin growing by adding fertilizer. Absorption rates of nutrients by plant roots also vary dependent on several factors: salt levels in soil and high levels of other nutrients. Fertilizers specifically made for all sorts of varieties of bonsai are the best bet of any bonsai artist.

    Organic Bonsai Techniques

    Because of the toxins associated with fertilizers and pesticides, many people are turning to organic gardening. The Bonsai is one plant that people are adding to their organic gardens. Originating in Asia, bonsai gardening has become very popular throughout the world. Bonsai plants require a lot of loving care. Growing them is often considered an art form.

    Organic Soil and Fertilization
    The proper soil mixtures and fertilizers are essential for healthy bonsai growth. Research shows that the best bonsai soils are soils that have organic matters. Bonsai soil tends to be a loose, quick-draining mix of natural and non-chemically treated soil. The foundation is a mixture of sand or gravel, fired clay pellets, or shale, which is mixed with an organic compound such as peat or bark. Volcanic clay soils are a preferred selection in Japan. Kadama and Kanuma are two popular choices.

    Bonsai trees require a fair amount of organic fertilizer. Fertilizer should only be given to the bonsai after watering. Feeding is usually performed once every two weeks during the summer months, and then reduced to once a month for the remainder of year. Organic fertilizers, organic liquid fertilizers are available at many online organic plant stores. You should call your local plant store to see if they have any organic bonsai supplies in stock. Manure and compost are two examples of organic feeds that can used when growing a bonsai tree. It is important to work organic mixtures into the soil.

    You use your own compost in your bonsai organic soil mix. To do this, you will require more than one type of compost. According to most bonsai experts, the best organic bonsai soil mix is 40% compost, 30 % seramis clay granule, and 30% grit.

    Watering Your Bonsai
    With minimal space in a bonsai pot, careful and frequent attention is required to make sure the tree is adequately watered. Sun, heat and wind can dry bonsai trees in a short time which ca result in permanent damage. You need to know the needs of your particular tree because some trees can survive short periods of dry spells, while others need constant moisture. Deciduous trees are more susceptible to dehydration. Evergreens can appear to handle periods of dry conditions better, but do not display any signs of damage until it is has occurred. One indication of damage is that the leaves will start wilting.

    The process of watering is different than how you would normally water regular houseplant. Bonsai trees require submersion of the whole pot in water for several minutes. Once you remove the pot, allow the bonsai to drain. Too much watering can result in root rot and fungal infestations. Free draining soil prevents water-logging. To maintain proper soil, provide water in small amounts frequently because there is a flushing effect when the water is added. Bonsai plants are repotted regularly during their development. This encourages new feeder root growth so that the tree will be able to absorb moisture better. When they mature, they are repotted less often.

    Young bonsai, known as potensai, are placed in ‘growing boxes.’ The large boxes permit the roots to grow which allows for food and water consumption as well as adding life to the tree. When the bonsai has outgrown the ‘growing box,’ it is then replanted in a ‘training box.’ This box is smaller allowing for a denser root mass. This makes replanting the bonsai in its final pot much easier.

    Growing bonsai trees can be a very peaceful and spiritual experience. With the right care and trimming techniques, you can grow a beautiful living piece of art.

    Organic gardening guide features tips and solutions to common garden issues – Redenta’s is committed to a natural and sustainable approach to organic gardening and organic gardening supplies.

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    Blooming Bonsai!

    azalea by walter pallSome azaleas and rhododendrons occasionally bloom twice – in the fall, as well as spring, depending upon the weather. For years, breeders have been trying to amplify this repeat bloom trait to achieve azaleas and rhododendrons that will bloom reliably every fall and spring. We have trialed several of these fall blooming azaleas and the results here in Zone 6 have been disappointing, although our trials continue and we have high hopes for one new variety which we are just starting to evaluate. However, we happened upon one deciduous azalea, with no reputation for reblooming, that blooms for us reliably every fall and spring year after year. This week we are featuring that azalea, the Northern Lights hybrid ‘Lemon Lights.’

    Beginning about 20 years ago, The University of Minnesota began developing a new super hardy series of deciduous azaleas called Northern Lights. Their goal was to allow gardeners in colder areas to enjoy azaleas in their gardens. This series is also known for being extremely floriferous, putting on a stunning floral show in late spring. Coincidentally, a few cultivars in the series turned out to be quite fragrant and foliar fungus resistant.

    ‘Lemon Lights’ has striking two-toned lemon yellow flowers which are lighter at the outer edges of the petals and deeper at the throats. The flowers emit a powerful sweet citrus fragrance. The dark, glossy foliage has excellent resistance to powdery mildew and provides a beautiful contrast to the clear yellow blooms. Fall foliage color is maroon bronze. Expect ‘Lemon Lights’ to reach 5-6 feet tall and 4 feet wide.

    Planting and Care

    Deciduous azaleas prefer more sun than evergreen azaleas, although they do best with some protection from the hottest afternoon sun. When planting ‘Lemon Lights,’ select a site with almost full sun to light shade that has well-drained, acidic soil. Azaleas have a very shallow, fibrous root system and can dry out rapidly. For that reason, be sure to water during dry periods and hot summer days.

  • Does best in an area with well-drained soil in full sun to light shade.
  • Do not plant too deeply; place the top of the root mass level with the soil surface. Dig a shallow hole and backfill around the plant with equal parts mixture of organic compost and the existing soil.
  • Until established, do not allow the soil to dry out.
  • Fertilize with Kelp Meal when planting and again every year in early spring and late fall.
  • Hardy in zones 4-7.
  • Practical Juniper

    © Budi Setiawan - Fotolia.comClose your eyes and picture a typical Bonsai tree. You are probably visualizing a Juniper Bonsai. Juniper is one of the most popular Bonsai because it is very easy to grow and care for. Juniper Bonsai does very well both indoors and outdoors. In addition, it is a very forgiving plant as it will put up with a lot of abuse and still flourish.


    Juniper Bonsai will do best in partial shade. They will do fine if they get morning or late afternoon sun but keep them out the harsh mid-day light


    Juniper Bonsai love humid conditions. Place your Juniper plant over a tray filled with water. Do not place the Juniper directly in the water but on a plant stand or pedestal placed in the water. For a “zen” look place smooth stones in the water.


    Juniper Bonsai do need to be watered regularly. You want to test your soil daily. Simply stick your finger into the soil up to your first knuckle. If the soil is dry it is time to water. Usually this will be every 2 days or so. Do not use water that has been treated with a water softener. If your water is high in minerals leach the soil by flushing with distilled water once in a while.

    There are 2 ways to water your Juniper. Immerse it in a water filled container up to the trunk and keep there until the bubbles stop. Or, water normally, wait a few minutes and then repeat. Do this 3 times to make sure your Bonsai has received a good soaking.


    Juniper Bonsai are quite hungry little guys and need to fertilized every 2 weeks during the growth season. It is best to use an organic liquid fertilizer like seaweed or fish emulsion. There are chemical fertilizers available for Bonsai but read the directions carefully. You may need to dilute this fertilizer to prevent the roots and plant foliage from burning.


    Spider mites love Juniper Bonsai. This is especially true if your Bonsai is indoors due to the dry air. Spray your Bonsai and any other surrounding plants with a regular insecticide monthly.


    Repot your Juniper every few years when your tree is under 5 years old and ever 4 years or so after that age. The best time to repot is in the spring although fall is also acceptable. Repotting can shock your Bonsai so water well and keep the tree in the shade for 2 weeks.

    Pruning Roots

    It is best to prune your roots every other spring. Simply remove the tree from its pot. Gently remove the soil and spread out the rootball. I use a chopstick to smooth out the rootball on my younger Bonsai. Trim about 1/3rd of the roots and return to the pot. When you perform this step your Bonsai might go into shock at first. You can purchase some vitamin b-1 transplant shock solution and apply to you plant. Misting a few times a day for a couple of weeks will also help.

    Pruning your Tree

    During the spring buds will grow on the tips of the tree’s branches. These buds will need to be removed so tree limbs do not grow. Unless you actually want a limb to grow in the area of a new bud go ahead and remove them. This will not harm the tree but it will keep the tree shape you have worked so hard to accomplish.

    Sleepy Time

    Bonsai need to go through a dormant or sleep period where the temperature drops to at least 60 degrees F. If your tree is kept outside during this dormant time keep it well protected from the elements. Do not worry about freezing temperatures. Your Bonsai will survive.

    Growing Indoors

    Junipers can be grown indoors. Be sure they get at least 2 hours of sunlight a day. Usually indoor climates are very dry and Juniper Bonsai love humidity. Keep a humidity tray under your Bonsai and mist everyday. Do not place your plant near air conditioning or heating vents. You will also want to dust your tree regularly as indoor dirt and grim will clog up the pores of the your plant.


    As you can see Juniper Bonsai are fairly easy to care for. However don’t just follow the above steps and believe you will have a perfect Juniper. Pay attention to your plant. You may find to achieve perfection you need to water less or expose your tree to more sunlight. Like you and your friends and family, every tree is different and responds in different ways to love and nurturing.

    Did you know there are over 300 varieties of Bonsai to choose from? I’ve narrowed down my favorites to 15. Check out my Bonsai Tree Gallery and growing video collection to learn more about this fascinating hobby!

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