Junipers are one of the most popular forms of bonsai and there are many different varieties. Junipers are also one of the easiest to care for. They grow both indoors as well as outdoors, but should be kept in a cooler environment during the winter months. They can be grown without any problems if certain rules are followed.
The Value of Moss:
Moss is not necessary for growing bonsai, but if it is added it can improve moisture retention while enhancing its beauty. If a bonsai has moss on top of the soil it can be kept alive by regular misting.
Junipers, like most bonsai, tend to dry out between each watering. If the soil feels dry it is best to water; a juniper or any bonsai should never go without water for long periods of time and soil should never go completely dry. The recommended way to water a bonsai is to soak it in a sink or container of water up to the trunk of the tree for approximately five to ten minutes, and then sit it back out and allow it to drain afterwards. A humidity tray or plate filled with stones and water is recommended to maintain the humidityin dry climates. Misting once a day for a Juniper bonsai is ok but should not replace watering.
If a juniper bonsai is being watered by tap, it is best to allow it to be watered, then to wait a few minutes before watering again. This method should be repeated several times to make sure that the bonsai has received enough water. A watering schedule will eventually be established for the juniper that will meet the climate conditions.
Food And Light:
The best light for Juniper bonsai is filtered or shaded sunlight. It is recommend that the juniper bonsai get low intensity sunlight in the morning when possible and should also avoid direct sunlight in the afternoon.
It is recommend that Juniper get a little fertilizer every two weeks during the growth season. An organic liquid fertilizer such as organic seaweed fertilizer is recommended. Chemical fertilizers can be used but they have to be diluted to half the strength so that it does not damage the roots.
Junipers should be repotted about every two years while they are young (less than five or six years old) and every three to five years after that. To maintain good health, Juniper bonsai should be kept in cool temperatures during the winter so that they can experience a type of dormancy. About 60 degrees F is recommended. During this time the bonsai should be protected from winds and extreme cold temperatures. They can remain outside in the cold winter but the pots must be buried in the ground or somehow protected from freezing.