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How to Turn a Juniper Shrub Into a Bonsai

A lovingly tended juniper bonsai is not just a beautiful plant. It is a horticultural work of artwork, achieved by many years of steady pruning, shaping, repotting and faithful care. To successfully produce a miniature dwarfed juniper, get started with study just before even getting the juniper plant. Find out what variety of juniper you want and what fashion of bonsai appeals to you. The far more background information you have, the better you are going to be capable to determine how to shape your plant. Start with a healthy, well-established juniper in a 1-gallon nursery container.

Juniper bonsai from Shrub

Preliminary Shaping

  1. Place the juniper plant in its container on a clean work surface. Sterilize small, sharp, clean pruning shears by dipping the blades in hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Analyze the stem framework of the juniper. Refer to images or images of your favored bonsai designs to recognize the basic trunk form you want to establish in your tree. Determine which branches to remove to demonstrate the trunk and primary branches.
  3. Prune off larger unwanted branches with the pruning shears. Will not remove far more than one-third of the total growth at this first pruning.
  4. Begin shaping the trunk. Use bonsai wire to wrap around the versatile portions to bend the trunk into area. Use foam for padding if needed so wire does not cut into the tree. Insert a plant stake to tie curved portions to if essential until they harden.
  5. Allow the tree rest for a number of weeks, then continue with pruning away excess branches and foliage and wiring smaller branches. Water the tree to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Keep the juniper where it will get total sun for at least half a day. Fertilize the plant routinely during the growing season with an acid-balanced fertilizer.

More Shaping

  1. Remove wires as plant growth hardens. Remove them also if the branches or trunk start to grow and swell up among the wires. Watch the plant often, since wires may need to be removed anywhere from three months to one year after application, based on the growth charge, time of yr and kind of juniper.
  2. Continue to prune branches to shorten them and inspire foliage growth closer to the tree trunk. Use small scissors for branch thinning on narrower stems.
  3. Pinch back the foliage with your fingers to build short bunches of leaves at branch ends. Tug at the terminal leaf joints of fresh young growth to remove them without leaving a dead brown stub that detracts from total look. For woodier growth, use the small, sharp scissors.
  4. Continue to wire portions of the trunk and branches to deepen bends already made or to create new ones. Most juniper bonsai have to be wired ultimately in excess of one hundred percent of the tree.

Root Pruning and Repotting

  1. Unpot the partially trained juniper bonsai on a clean functioning surface. Remove adequate soil to locate the principle roots. Prune away about one-third from the large roots, leaving the smaller sized roots with fine branchings on the ends, which are the feeder roots.
  2. Spread out the finer roots remaining, employing a blunt tool this kind of as a chopstick.
  3. Re-pot the root-pruned juniper right into a shallow pot -- typically called a training pot -- smaller compared to the 1-gallon container it was growing in but bigger than the bonsai pot it is going to ultimately occupy. Make confident there are numerous drainage holes. Spread the roots out on top of a layer of well-draining bonsai potting mix. Fill in around the roots with far more fresh potting mix, operating it in to eliminate any air pockets.
  4. Water the juniper until water comes freely out the drainage holes. Tend not to fertilize the repotted tree to get a few weeks. Keep the newly potted juniper away from direct sunlight to get a day or two.

Refinement of Form

  1. Continue to prune branches and pinch back foliage to more produce the desired shape, thinning branches so the trunk line and principal branching remain noticeable. Develop individual pads of brief foliage. Aim for a triangle using the corners at different levels.
  2. Continue wiring the trunk and branches for shape and form.
  3. Re-pot each two to three many years, likely to each and every three to five many years for junipers after the tree has become established. Continue to use bonsai soil mix advisable for junipers. Re-potting keeps soil from compaction and refreshes degraded organic soil components. Perform root pruning with each re-potting, removing not more than one-third in the soil or roots at one re-potting for junipers.
  4. When size and shape from the bonsai juniper have been mainly established, transfer it to a decorative bonsai pot, pruning the roots to fit to the smaller container. Allow the tree rest for any while following this transfer while maintaining watering and schedule care.
  • Do repotting and root pruning as growth is beginning for the year. Avoid hot weather for this work.
  • Work in progressive phases without getting rid of a great deal of roots, soil or branches at one time. This will take a lot more time however it is much less of a shock towards the juniper.
  • Juniper bonsai trees choose growing outside. Never bring them indoors except for extremely brief times to display for special events or to protect from intervals of very cold winter weather.
  • Purchase commercial potting soil recommended for junipers or make your personal. For junipers, use a mix of 40 percent organic material to 60 percent inorganic material such as coarse aggregate or fired clay pellets.

More About Juniper Bonsai Tree Care