Your First Juniper Bonsai

Your First Juniper Bonsai Tree

For most individuals, a juniper bonsai is their first introduction to the traditional artwork. Junipers make a good selection for first-time bonsai homeowners, as they’re cheap, hardy, and simply accessible. On this article, we’ll discover junipers as bonsai.  We’ll deep-dive on issues that mass produced junipers face, however extra importantly, find out how to restore them and achieve success with these majestic little bushes.

Your First Juniper Bonsai

The Ubiquitous Bonsai Tree

Junipers are the quintessential tree that most individuals affiliate with the phrase “bonsai.” In actual fact, it’s a standard false impression that every one bonsais are junipers.

Juniper bonsai bushes might be present in widespread tradition in tv commercials and Hollywood films, usually positioned in an ultra-modern government workplace, or as a part of {the japanese} decor at an upscale well being spa.

These newbie bushes are broadly accessible at nurseries, buying malls, house enchancment shops, roadside stands and grocery shops. Very long time hobbyists have jokingly nicknamed these bushes “Mallsai” as a mixture of “Mall” and “Bonsai.” These junipers get their nickname partially as a result of the bushes usually include issues, and until you appropriate these issues, your tree received’t thrive, and may not survive.

However don’t fear – we’re going to discover these subjects in-depth, and present simple methods to appropriate them.

Let’s dive in.

What They Don’t Inform You About Juniper Bonsai

Business nurseries that produce bonsai observe some unlucky practices that may stop your tree from flourishing. These practices assist the nurseries get the bushes safely to the retail shops and shield them throughout transport, however present a poor setting to your bonsai after you may have it house.

Juniper Bonsai in Supermarket

Listed here are the highest 5 points that juniper mallsai generally face:

1. They’re Incorrectly Marked as “Indoor Bonsai”

Most care sheets fail to say is that juniper bonsai are solely out of doors bushes. That’s proper, the well-produced commercials and Hollywood blockbusters have been mendacity to us for years. Junipers merely can not survive for any prolonged time frame indoors, even when you present them a shiny windowsill.

2. Moss is Used on the Trunk

Whereas moss is usually used when “exhibiting” bonsai at exhibition, it’s usually not a good suggestion to pack moss across the trunk of the bonsai tree. Nurseries add the moss for adornment, however the moss can result in issues, because it stays very moist for a very long time.

3. They’ve Glue Rocks to the Soil Floor

The one solution to know in case your bonsai wants water is to verify the moisture degree of the soil. In case you have rocks glued on prime of the soil, that is inconceivable.

4. The Pot Doesn’t Have Correct Drainage Holes

Watering bonsai entails saturating the soil to the purpose that water runs out of the drainage holes within the backside of the pot. Many commercially accessible bushes are available in pots that lack these fundamental drainage holes.

5. The Soil Doesn’t Drain Properly

Because the roots of your juniper bonsai are confined to a small area, they require a freely draining soil to make sure that the roots don’t rot over time.

Enhancing Your Bonsai

The excellent news is that every one of those issues might be mounted.

First, let’s use what we simply realized and check out a typical instance of a tree bought from a retail retailer to determine issues:

What's Wrong with This Bonsai

this juniper bonsai, you may see three issues instantly flawed with it. Happily, this tree does stay in a pot with drainage holes, so we are able to dismiss that concern. Nonetheless, remember to verify your personal tree to make sure holes are current on the underside of the pot for correct drainage.

Let’s look extra intently on the issues and speak about find out how to repair them.

1. It’s Dwelling Indoors

That is the best to repair, and has the very best affect on the tree’s well being. Conifers, like junipers, want numerous daylight to thrive. In addition they want a interval of relaxation, referred to as dormancy. With out it, the tree turns into weak.

Repair: Transfer the tree exterior.

2. Moss is Overlaying the Trunk Base

Here’s a closeup of the trunks:

Moss Covering Trunk Base

This moss absorbs numerous water, and holds that water towards the trunk of the tree. It could additionally stop water from correctly attending to the roots instantly under it.

Repair: Take away the Moss

3. The Soil is Lined in Rocks

Rocks like these are generally glued down to carry the soil in place throughout cargo. Fortunately, this explicit tree has rocks that haven’t been glued.

Decorative Rocks on Malsai

Loads has been written about eradicating rocks. There are a pair theories as to why they trigger an issue:

  • They stop correct oxygen trade within the soil, thus ravenous your tree of oxygen
  • They stop water from moving into the soil adequately

The previous is likely to be true, however uncertain. The latter might be extra true, nevertheless it relies on the rocks. If there’s actually a single mass of rocks held collectively by glue, then sure, it could be very arduous to get water into the soil. However that doesn’t appear quite common.

The true purpose to take away the rocks is that this: having these rocks in place will make it very tough to verify the moisture degree of the soil. For that purpose, they need to go.

Repair: Take away rocks

4. The Pot Doesn’t Have Drainage Holes

In our case, this pot got here with enough drainage holes. So no additional holes are obligatory. If you end up with a tree that has no holes within the backside of the pot, you may have two choices:

  • Drill holes (tough with ceramic pots)
  • Repot it into a special container will holes

Repair: Give the pot drainage holes.

5. Incorrect Soil is Used

Most juniper bonsai are available in both potting soil or a mixture of soil, peat moss, and compost. Whereas your tree can stay on this soil for a time frame, it’s finest to offer it an alternate, free draining soil. This may assist you regulate the quantity of water it receives.

There are numerous, many variations of soil used for bonsai. One of the broadly accepted bonsai soil mixes for junipers is equal elements Lava Rock, Pumice, and Akadama (a clay product produced in Japan).

Bonsai Soil Mix

Repair: Repot your juniper bonsai within the Spring.


A juniper bonsai could be a lovely addition to any backyard, however particular consideration should give to so-called “Mallsai” bushes. With the data you’ve realized right here, you’ll now have a important eye towards the crops you purchase, and when you see any of the widespread issues listed above, you’ll have the data to repair them.

With correct bonsai tree care, your tree will present years of enjoyment and tranquility.

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