How to Care for a Juniper Bonsai Tree


The juniper bonsai is a hardy, low-growing tree, ideal for first-time bonsai owners. Its showy evergreen leaves provide a range of color from the deepest green to shades of blue. It blooms a spray of white spring flowers that offer a pleasant fragrance and freshens the look of any room or landscape.

Step 1

Pot your juniper bonsai in a small- to medium-sized container that provides ample room for the root system. Ensure that the container is not excessively large compared with the tree. This will help to promote miniature growth. Fill the container with nutrient-rich soil. Juniper bonsais prefer sandy loams. Mix the soil with a small amount of sand; about 2/3 soil to 1/3 sand will create a good balance.

Step 2

Water your bonsai only when the tree's soil feels dry. Measure the tree's moisture by sticking your finger in the soil near or around the roots. If the tree feels moist, do not water. Juniper bonsais like to dry out completely before each watering. Still, most juniper bonsais will dry out relatively quickly. The tree will usually require watering every day. Water your tree in the early morning and the same time with each watering. Ensure that the soil is properly drained and does not allow any standing water. The juniper bonsai tree's root system cannot tolerate resting in standing water. This may promote root rot or other tree diseases.

Step 3

Place your tree in a well lit area that provides large amounts of sunlight. Juniper bonsai trees are sun-loving trees that require at least four hours of low intensity sunlight each day. The best sunlight for the juniper bonsais is morning sunlight, which provides the low intensity combination that they require. The tree also requires ample humidity. You can use a humidity tree to ensure accurate humidity or place a small fan by your tree to promote proper ventilation.

Step 4

Fertilize your juniper bonsai tree. Use a balanced fertilizer that includes equal levels of potassium, phosphorous, and nitrogen. This combination will promote a healthy root system, green foliage, full blossoms, and vigorous growth. Fertilize the tree every two weeks during the growing season, from early spring through late fall. Use small amounts of fertilizer and mix it gently into the soil around the roots and base. Avoid placing the fertilizer directly onto the roots to avoid root burn.

Step 5

Prune your juniper bonsai regularly. Prune the branches and stems regularly. Prune the tree's root system every spring to promote miniature growth. Trim about 1/3 of the root from the tree, around the entire tree. Trim fast growing limbs to the desired length and shape. Avoid pruning all new growth simultaneously, as this could damage the tree and stunt its growth. Thin wires can be used to shape the branches of the tree. Tie the wires gently around the branches, adjusting every two or three days to promote the desired shape. Leave the wires in for six months. Remove the wires by gently cutting away from the branches. Do not unravel the wires, as this may cause damage to the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Juniper bonsai tree
  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Potting container
  • Pruning shears


  • Pruning Juniper Bonsai Information
  • Growing Your Juniper Bonsai
  • Care Instructions for the Juniper Bonsai
Keywords: caring for a juniper bonsai, juniper bonsai, bonsai care

About this Author

Writing professionally since 2004, Charmayne Smith focuses on corporate materials such as training manuals, business plans, grant applications and technical manuals. Smith's articles have appeared in the "Houston Chronicle" and on various websites, drawing on her extensive experience in corporate management and property/casualty insurance.