When we think of traditional bonsai and what it should look like, most people think of a juniper bonsai trees. These are shaped and trained in a traditional Japanese style and are popularly known as the “Karate Kid” tree. Shimpaku and other juniper bonsai are long-lived and can tolerate many different growing conditions. They are traditionally outdoor trees but will grow indoors if not too warm and given a dormant period.

juniper bonsai from the nursery
There are over 50 trees for you to choose from

Ideal specimen plantslink to bonsai nursery page
They are outdoor evergreens but can be grown indoors if you take certain precautions. Give them a dormant period in winter. Don’t place in a warm room.

If you would like to try growing juniper bonsai on your own, you will find its a very rewarding hobby. Just remember these trees are really an outdoor trees, although most people grow these indoors without any difficulty. Bonsai Juniper trees are one of the better small ornamental trees for a patio.

A Juniper bonsai tree is really popular small ornamental trees for beginners. There is a variety of sizes from a variety sizes and pre shaped trees that you can choose from. This type of Japanese Juniper is a needled evergreen tolerant of a wide variety of soils and is dioecious which means that there are separate male and female plants, they often have the look of a pine tree.

Juniper bonsai tree care tips for small or large trees

In order to maintain good health, Junipers should be kept in a cool spot that is under 60 degrees F during winter months. It needs to experience a natural dormancy period. Keep your tree protected from drying winds and extreme cold.

Junipers, as with other similar bonsai, like to dry out between watering. If there is a rock in the planting lift it up and feel under or stick your finger about an inch into the soil. If the soil feels dry, water it. Never let your bonsai go totally dry for extended periods!

If your juniper is turning brown the two most common reasons are:

  • it could be from over watering
  • its indoors and it is too warm in your home. Place tree outside except in severe cold.

Filtered sunlight is best for all bonsai just not junipers. Allow your tree to get low intensity morning light when possible and avoid the hot direct afternoon sunlight. Fertilize your tree once every two weeks during the growing season, spring until fall.

A bonsai Juniper should be repotted about every two years when young, after this every three to five years. Trees can be repotted throughout most of the year, although, the best times for repotting are in the spring or fall.

When pruning juniper trees think of balance and the proportions of a full grown tree. Your miniature tree should look just like a fully mature plant. For instance you don’t want a thin trunk with thick branches. When wiring a trunk for shape you want it loose enough so no permanent marks are left on the branch or bark.