How to Care for and Water a Juniper Bonsai Tree


Juniper consists of about 60 species of evergreen trees and shrubs, most of which make a good bonsai subject. The reason for this is that they can withstand poor soil conditions, heavy pruning and have a root system adaptable to small pots. Most master gardeners recommend juniper bonsai plants for beginners, as the trees can withstand neglect. Knowledge of how to care for this plant, however, will help you keep a healthy and unique addition to your home.

Step 1

Place your juniper bonsai outdoors in full sun, as they require good air circulation, lots of light and daily and seasonal temperature fluctuations. Do not bring your juniper indoors for more than a couple hours (and not at all in the summer), or it may die.

Step 2

Water the juniper bonsai daily during the growing season if it receives no rain. Make sure the soil is dry enough before watering by placing your palm on the surface. If you feel moisture, skip watering that day as more moisture may water-log the soil.

Step 3

Fertilize the bonsai during the growing season with a houseplant fertilizer diluted by half. Fertilizing twice a month should be sufficient for growth.

Step 4

Prune back new growth in early to mid summer with pruning shears. Shape your bonsai as you wish at this time. This will keep air flowing through the canopy of the tree and keep it small.

Step 5

Stop fertilizing in the fall when plant growth slows. Decrease watering frequency to once a week. When the temperature drops below 28 degrees Fahrenheit, place the juniper bonsai in a cold frame to protect it.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears
  • Cold frame


  • North Dakota State University: Questions on -- Bonsai
  • University of Kansas: Juniper as Bonsai
  • Virginia Cooperative Extension: The Art of Bonsai
Keywords: watering juniper bonsai, juniper bonsai care, maintaining juniper bonsai

About this Author

Sarah Morse recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature. She has been freelancing for three months and got her start writing for an environmental website.