Gifted a bonsai, now what?

yst222

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So I mentioned to my partner how I like bonsais, few days later she bought me one...

It seems to be a Chinese juniper, about 3-4 years old according to the seller. My issues/questions are:

  1. What is this shape? When it came, the end of the long main branch was curved up vertically which looked weird, so I've bent it out more into a semi-cascade. It's still quite flexible at the end so it could go down more. Should it?
  2. The main wire looks way too thick to me. It's almost the same size as the trunk. I'm guessing I should replace this?
  3. Similar to the first point, any ideas on styling? The curvature of the main branch looks very weird to me. Would I be better off cutting he main truck and styling it from about half way, abandoning the excessive curvature of the main branch towards what is now the end?
This would not have been my choice of tree, but it was a very nice thought and I'd like to see what can be done with this little fella. I've fine with cutting it way back to be honest. The photos are actually of the rear, which honestly I prefer to what the seller had as the front. And don't get me started on the pot or the ornaments...But I don't think February is the time to re-pot right? There are some bonsai sellers I know of, not sure how professional they are, so I could take it there for re-potting, styling and wiring. But I'd like to know where to even start before taking it.

Any and all advice welcome guys! I'll take more photos if needed.
 

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Eckhoffw

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Actually, I think this ipretty interesting.
I also think it needs to get real healthy-more foliage.
Personally, I wouldn’t tinker with it at all right now.
In spring I would evaluate the soil and decide if it needs to be re-potted.
If so I’d re-pot in the same container with good soil lots of sun & plenty of nutrients.

BTW, cool tree.
 

Deep Sea Diver

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Welcome Aboard @yst222 !

1. This is actually a wise choice for a rookie and an ok way to wire a whip for first styling. The Juniper has to grow more, but a good start.

2. The wire is fine leave it alone. Better to overwire a bit then under wire. It’s a bit sloppy, but seems to be doing the job. Next time you can do better.

3. The initial styling is good for now. Let this puppy grow.

You aren’t screwed. However you are at a deficit if there is no access to outdoors. You will need a good window position, rotate weekly and be very careful not to overwater.

Do you have a balcony? If so you are in like Flint! Junipers are the perfect balcony bonsai!

Please double click your icon and enter your location and growing zone. That way it will always be evident on your icon to anyone trying to help you.

cheers
DSD sends
 

yst222

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Welcome Aboard @yst222 !

1. This is actually a wise choice for a rookie and an ok way to wire a whip for first styling. The Juniper has to grow more, but a good start.

2. The wire is fine leave it alone. Better to overwire a bit then under wire. It’s a bit sloppy, but seems to be doing the job. Next time you can do better.

3. The initial styling is good for now. Let this puppy grow.

You aren’t screwed. However you are at a deficit if there is no access to outdoors. You will need a good window position, rotate weekly and be very careful not to overwater.

Do you have a balcony? If so you are in like Flint! Junipers are the perfect balcony bonsai!

Please double click your icon and enter your location and growing zone. That way it will always be evident on your icon to anyone trying to help you.

cheers
DSD sends

Updated my info, thanks for that.

We don't have an external balcony unfortunately. We have a communal hallway which is open to the elements on our floor, and we're at the end, so it could go there just outside our door, but I don't think the light is great. If it needs direct sunlight I'm struggling to think where it could go actually. :( We have very large windows in the living room and a large windowsill where it could get direct sunlight most of the day. It's not the ideal place in terms of how we've got the apartment organized, but things could be moved around. Is it just a case of needing direct sunlight?
 

yst222

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Actually, I think this ipretty interesting.
I also think it needs to get real healthy-more foliage.
Personally, I wouldn’t tinker with it at all right now.
In spring I would evaluate the soil and decide if it needs to be re-potted.
If so I’d re-pot in the same container with good soil lots of sun & plenty of nutrients.

BTW, cool tree.
Thanks! I wasn't sure what to think of this styling. It wouldn't have been my choice, but it's unusual I'll give it that 😄
 

Katie0317

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Shenzhen, China. USDA 11a.

Indoors is the only option really...we all live in apartments here. Am I screwed if it's indoors?
I've spent time in Shenzhen when I lived in China! What a place. What do you do there?

Do you have a balcony in your apartment? Put it there and you don't need to cut it at all. Just enjoy it. It's a cute tree.

Yes, it needs as much sunlight as possible. Do you best you can with that.
 

Deep Sea Diver

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Outside would be best…. Maybe you could hang it in the sun in the passageway, otherwise stick it in a window where it will get good sun at least 2/3 of the day… or whatever is possible.

If inside watch carefully for the first month and carefully water to ensure it’s not overwatered or sunburned (rare). Sometimes could mist rather then water to ensure the foliage stays in good shape.

The next issue that might arise more often inside is bugs. So good over the foliage closely every couple weeks to check. A good soap spray can do well on most critters if done early.

Best
DSD sends
 

yst222

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I've spent time in Shenzhen when I lived in China! What a place. What do you do there?

Do you have a balcony in your apartment? Put it there and you don't need to cut it at all. Just enjoy it. It's a cute tree.

Yes, it needs as much sunlight as possible. Do you best you can with that.
Yeah I just moved here from Shanghai actually. Much warmer down here...
I don't have a balcony, but there's decent sized windows and a large windowsill where it would get sunlight most of the day. Thanks for the advice.
 

yst222

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Outside would be best…. Maybe you could hang it in the sun in the passageway, otherwise stick it in a window where it will get good sun at least 2/3 of the day… or whatever is possible.

If inside watch carefully for the first month and carefully water to ensure it’s not overwatered or sunburned (rare). Sometimes could mist rather then water to ensure the foliage stays in good shape.

The next issue that might arise more often inside is bugs. So good over the foliage closely every couple weeks to check. A good soap spray can do well on most critters if done early.

Best
DSD sends
I'll check the passageway, but I think it's quite shaded. It's going to have to be the windowsill I think...

How often should I be watering it? And do you submerege them in water? It came with some kind of anti-bug treatment from the seller, but I'll do some more research and see what I can get.

Thanks again!
 

Deep Sea Diver

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Yeah, plunging in water is not a great idea. Stick with watering from the surface. Use your sink if necessary.

It all depends on what media (soil) the tree is potted in. Check it out using a chopstick. That’s what I use.

Speaking generally…. if it’s in bonsai soil….For me, I let Junipers get pretty dry, not damp, but if a chopstick is inserted in the media it comes out just moist before I water…. and then water well ensuring the excess water flushes out.

You can enhance draining in your sink or whatever by ”chocking up“ the pot with a wedge under one side of the bottom of the pot. Then wait until the pot drains before putting back on the shelf.

Mist the foliage sparingly rather then water in between… do this in the morning so the foliage will dry completely before nightfall otherwise the tree may get fungus. Use a fan on low if you are concerned.

Good luck with your new present!

DSD sends
 

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