- How to Bonsai: For beginners
- Bonsai: For the experienced
- The Bonsai Way
The Chinese Juniper (Juniperus chinensis) is a shrub or tree, very variable in shape, reaching 1-20 m tall. It is a popular ornamental tree or shrub in gardens and parks, with over 100 named cultivars selected for various characters.
Informal Upright, Slanting, Cascade, Semi-cascade, Rock-over-root, Clasped-to-rock, Twin-trunk, Clump, Straight Line, Group planting, Saikei
Full sun though in summer they benefit from being in a shadier display, especially protected against mid-day sun. While junipers are hardy and frost resistant, it is best to protect them from prolonged exposer to hard frost and snow. If temperatures are likely to get below -5C they will benefit from being stored in a cool glass house.
Water when the soil is moderately dry but do not let the soil dry out completely. Ensure Junipers are not over watered as they suffer root rot easily, foliage should be misted frequently to help keep pores free of dust enabling them to breathe. Spray the foliage with water daily during the growing season as this will avoid excess transpiration and water loss on hot summer days.
Feed fortnightly; high nitrogen fertiliser from start of growth in Spring until mid-summer. Do not fertilise during the hotter summer days. Slow release Arecaceous feed also work well and the occasional acidic fertiliser such as Miracid are highly recommended.
Pinch out the tender new shoots using your fingers. Do not use scissors, as the cut needles will turn brown. Pinching must be done continuously during the growing season. Prune when repotting or during the growing season.
Repot younger trees yearly. Reduce the roots gradually removing no more than one third of the roots at each repotting. Repot using an arecaceous mix, 30% loam, 30% peat and 40% sharp sand. The tree should be protected from sun and wind for a few months after repotting.
Wiring is best done in autumn or early winter while the plant is dormant ant. While wiring can be done at anytime it is best to keep an eye out for scarring.
In the case of trees that have been recently repotted or have root problems, misting is essential as conifers are able to absorb enough water through their leaf surface to maintain health until the roots are able to support the tree themselves.