Advice needed

Anjaneenp

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Hello, I’m new to the small juniper bonsai family. I’ve had my tree since last July 2020 I’ve always kept it outside since I bought a book and read up on the best ways to take care of a bonsai tree. I think It’s time for me to repot my tree. I also Read that my brown tips on the needles may be normal? Is there anyone who can assist me with this? I want My tree to thrive and flourish but want to do it right. Please help!
 

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sorce

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Welcome to Crazy!

How was the growth last year?

The soil seems a bit "wet" in composition, but if it grew ok last year, it should be alright.

Maybe best to just go ahead and Repot.

Sorce
 
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The soil looks terrible but it's a bit late in the year to repot. The tips should never brown like that, they appear to be dead. The tree is getting either too much water or not enough. You could try tipping the pot by putting a piece of wood under one side, this will increase drainage. My guess is too much water, if you water every day it's possibly too much. Let it dry out a bit, not bone dry but also not super wet.

Repotting might work, just don't use garden soil, stick with bonsai soil. The trouble with repotting needle junipers is that you want to see growth on them first, not dying tips. If it were my tree, I wouldn't repot until it recovers.
 

Anjaneenp

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Welcome to Crazy!

How was the growth last year?

The soil seems a bit "wet" in composition, but if it grew ok last year, it should be alright.

Maybe best to just go ahead and Repot.

Sorce
Thanks for the welcome :) Growth was really good actually I was impressed. And it stays outside so we had some crazy rain early this week. Should I shelter it from the natural elements?
 

Anjaneenp

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The soil looks terrible but it's a bit late in the year to repot. The tips should never brown like that, they appear to be dead. The tree is getting either too much water or not enough. You could try tipping the pot by putting a piece of wood under one side, this will increase drainage. My guess is too much water, if you water every day it's possibly too much. Let it dry out a bit, not bone dry but also not super wet.

Repotting might work, just don't use garden soil, stick with bonsai soil. The trouble with repotting needle junipers is that you want to see growth on them first, not dying tips. If it were my tree, I wouldn't repot until it recovers.
It’s been outside since I brought it home. I’ve never changed the soil and when I read it stated to wait till winter or spring, that’s why I was asking on this forum. It’s not dead from what I was able to understand in testing it. So I’m going to continue to give it love and see how it does. Thanks!
 

sorce

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Not necessarily "protect" it from the elements, but do make sure it's not under a gutter spout or a eave.

The white roots seem like weed roots but I don't see anything, normally I'd say pull em out, but they may actually help keep that dry enough, and it seems the Juniper has plenty of room to grow roots.

This could buy you some time so you can Repot when you know it's actively growing and see it's going to grow and not brown. What's your location?

I Repot the first waning moon after the solstice, usually to leftover fireworks haven't killed one yet.

Always Repot them when they are full. I'd say the fullness you have now is ok as a reference point.

Truth is, this is a rather difficult situation, no fault of your own, just a rather wet mix with a tree we tend to end up replacing with better regular nursery junipers, for a bit less $ than those with the inflated "Bonsai" label. 😉

Sorce
 

Lorax7

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You didn't say where you're located (there's a thing on the site to add that info to your profile so people can tell what USDA zone you're in and tailor their advice). Here in Michigan (zone 5b), I wouldn't hesitate to repot it into a good free-draining substrate now (there are plenty of resources on the site that discuss what constitutes a good substrate/soil mix for bonsai culture). Where I'm located, it's still quite chilly outside (weather forecast says it's supposed to dip below freezing tonight). However, if you're in a warmer climate, repotting now could be risky.
 
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It’s been outside since I brought it home. I’ve never changed the soil and when I read it stated to wait till winter or spring, that’s why I was asking on this forum. It’s not dead from what I was able to understand in testing it. So I’m going to continue to give it love and see how it does. Thanks!
Just the very ends are dead. Not the whole tree! You can cut them off.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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@Anjaneenp
Please fill in a general location in your profile so BNutters can give climate appropriate advice, and possibly point you to local resources, such as sources of potting media, and local sources of other supplies.

First, beyond the brown tips, your juniper looks healthy. You've had it nearly a year. So the point is, your horticulture is "pretty okay", make no drastic changes in how you are growing this juniper.

The brown tips can be the results of letting it dry out too much, just once can do it, so just maintain consistent care. The overall health says you are doing okay.

Repotting, don't repot until you have an appropriate media on hand. I recommend any of the commercial bonsai mixes, or a home made mix. I prefer the standard pumice, lava, akadama mix, or any of the alternatives. Pumice and fir bark roughly 2 parts pumice, one part fir bark is a mix I have used with good results.

Avoid "potting soil", pro-mix, Farfaad BX, "cactus mix" and other potting mixes. They really are not that bad, but they are a fine particle, and will require annually repotting. We like to use a coarse mix with mostly mineral particles that will allow going 3 to 5 years between repotting.

Junipers are fairly tolerant of "out of season" work. They are one of the last to be repotted in spring. Much of the USA and Canada it is still safe to repot Junipers. Zone 8 & 9 in southern and southeastern USA it's too late, and the desert southwest including California, it's too late. But the Midwest and north we can still be repotting junipers.

So depending on your location, you could certainly still be repotting your juniper.

There are "second seasons" good for repotting that are not spring time, but they are VERY location dependent. So if you miss repotting season in spring, there are alternatives. Let us know your location and we can help.
 

Anjaneenp

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Not necessarily "protect" it from the elements, but do make sure it's not under a gutter spout or a eave.

The white roots seem like weed roots but I don't see anything, normally I'd say pull em out, but they may actually help keep that dry enough, and it seems the Juniper has plenty of room to grow roots.

This could buy you some time so you can Repot when you know it's actively growing and see it's going to grow and not brown. What's your location?

I Repot the first waning moon after the solstice, usually to leftover fireworks haven't killed one yet.

Always Repot them when they are full. I'd say the fullness you have now is ok as a reference point.

Truth is, this is a rather difficult situation, no fault of your own, just a rather wet mix with a tree we tend to end up replacing with better regular nursery junipers, for a bit less $ than those with the inflated "Bonsai" label. 😉

Sorce
Thanks for the tips.
 

Anjaneenp

Seedling
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@Anjaneenp
Please fill in a general location in your profile so BNutters can give climate appropriate advice, and possibly point you to local resources, such as sources of potting media, and local sources of other supplies.

First, beyond the brown tips, your juniper looks healthy. You've had it nearly a year. So the point is, your horticulture is "pretty okay", make no drastic changes in how you are growing this juniper.

The brown tips can be the results of letting it dry out too much, just once can do it, so just maintain consistent care. The overall health says you are doing okay.

Repotting, don't repot until you have an appropriate media on hand. I recommend any of the commercial bonsai mixes, or a home made mix. I prefer the standard pumice, lava, akadama mix, or any of the alternatives. Pumice and fir bark roughly 2 parts pumice, one part fir bark is a mix I have used with good results.

Avoid "potting soil", pro-mix, Farfaad BX, "cactus mix" and other potting mixes. They really are not that bad, but they are a fine particle, and will require annually repotting. We like to use a coarse mix with mostly mineral particles that will allow going 3 to 5 years between repotting.

Junipers are fairly tolerant of "out of season" work. They are one of the last to be repotted in spring. Much of the USA and Canada it is still safe to repot Junipers. Zone 8 & 9 in southern and southeastern USA it's too late, and the desert southwest including California, it's too late. But the Midwest and north we can still be repotting junipers.

So depending on your location, you could certainly still be repotting your juniper.

There are "second seasons" good for repotting that are not spring time, but they are VERY location dependent. So if you miss repotting season in spring, there are alternatives. Let us know your location and we can help.
Wow that makes me feel happy. I just Received my soil and lava rock. I didnt Want to disturb it until I got The proper materials. Let me know if you think I need Anything else to repot. I live In Georgia so hopefully the zone is good for this too.
 

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Anjaneenp

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You didn't say where you're located (there's a thing on the site to add that info to your profile so people can tell what USDA zone you're in and tailor their advice). Here in Michigan (zone 5b), I wouldn't hesitate to repot it into a good free-draining substrate now (there are plenty of resources on the site that discuss what constitutes a good substrate/soil mix for bonsai culture). Where I'm located, it's still quite chilly outside (weather forecast says it's supposed to dip below freezing tonight). However, if you're in a warmer climate, repotting now could be risky.
Ok let me add that info. Thanks for the helpful information
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Wow that makes me feel happy. I just Received my soil and lava rock. I didnt Want to disturb it until I got The proper materials. Let me know if you think I need Anything else to repot. I live In Georgia so hopefully the zone is good for this too.
Looks like you are basically all set. Re-use the piece of screen that covers the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. So if you are ready, you have what you need to repot.

Read through some of the posts in the "Juniper" sub-forum for some repotting tips.

Also the "Resources" section has some good reads.


 

Anjaneenp

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Thank you kindly for your help and encouragement! :)
 

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