How to Care for Juniper Bonsai Trees

Overview

Some of the most beautiful and valuable bonsai trees are junipers. Junipers can be trained easily using weights and wires to produce beautiful, natural windswept forms. By providing proper water, feeding, pruning and training, you can create a singularly unique and beautiful bonsai. A well-cared for bonsai can last decades and increase in value with each year. Old, well trained bonsai trees can sell for thousands of dollars.

Step 1

Water the tree regularly. Do not over- or under-water the tree, as both can damage your bonsai. A good way to ensure the tree has the right amount of water is to use a bonsai pot with holes in the bottom. Place the bonsai tree and pot in a matching tray and re-fill the tray when the water is gone. The proper moisture will enter the bonsai pot through the holes in the bottom.

Step 2

Fertilize the tree once a month using a good organic liquid fertilizer. Remember, you are trying to re-create natural conditions, but in miniature. Different liquid fertilizers will require different dosages; refer to the fertilizer bottle for guidance.

Step 3

Re-pot your bonsai juniper once every two or three years. If you want to limit the tree's size to the existing pot, trim back the roots every two or three years and re-pot the tree.

Step 4

Prune your bonsai juniper in the spring and summer. Wait for new growth to reach about an inch long. To prune, pinch the new growth back about a half an inch using your fingers and thumb.

Step 5

Remove any larger branches that adversely affect the visual balance of the tree. Use pruning shears on larger branches or very sharp scissors on smaller branches.

Step 6

Use bonsai wire to train the shape and direction of the trunk. Use wire that is heavy enough to guide the tree's growth, and not so fine that it quickly grows into the tree bark.

Step 7

Add attractive weights to the tree to gently shape its canopy. Be sure the weights are hung using soft cords to avoid damaging the branch.

Tips and Warnings

  • Prune carefully, only removing as much as is necessary. Over-pruning can adversely affect the health of your tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Bonsai pots with holes in the bottom
  • Plate that match the pots
  • Organic liquid fertilizer
  • Pruning shears
  • Sharp scissors
  • Bonsai wire
  • Bonsai weights or objects to use as weights
  • Soft cord for attaching weights

References

  • Bonsai Juniper Tree Care
  • Bonsai Care Guide

Who Can Help

  • The Bonsai Tree
  • Growing Your Juniper Bonsai
  • How to Care for Juniper Bonsai Trees
Keywords: bonsai tree care, bonsai training, juniper bonsai care

About this Author

Although he grew up in Latin America, Mr. Ma is a writer based in Denver. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, AP, Boeing, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, RAHCO International, Umax Data Systems and other manufacturers in Taiwan. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, English and reads Spanish.