Juniper Newbie Here.. Any Advice Welcome!!

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Location
Tulsa, OK
USDA Zone
7a
#1
Hello all,

Disclaimer: This is my first post here, so I apologize for any stupid questions contained herein.

Anyways, I picked up a couple really good looking 3 year old Junipers from a guy who had set up a corner stand here in Tulsa, OK. Older, Asian fellow who really seemed like he knew what he was talking about and even had a couple beautiful 30 year old Junipers there. These were my first Juniper bonsais, but I have a Ginseng Ficus as well, so I have the basic supplies. I have what I think is a good bonsai potting mix that drains excellent and my Ficus loves it. The soil that came with these Junipers, however, is an almost garden soil like consistency. At least much more so than what I have here. See pictures taken.

The soil doesn't seem to be draining at all, and has stayed very moist since I got them a week ago and the trees have started to brown slightly. See picture. My question is, should I replace this soil even though it's the winter? Or do you think what they are in is good for them? Is it the soil making them turn brown or is it something I'm doing to them?

Also, do you think it's messing with these guys that it's getting below freezing at night and up to 70 in the daytime here? I have them in the garage, but that can get pretty hot when it's 70 out. I'm new to the process of overwintering for sure.

I hate to question the guy I got them from because they all looked amazing, but it just doesn't seem right to me. Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about though! Very possible! Thanks for any help, advice, or insight that you all can give me! I love all knowledge!

IMG_3987.jpg IMG_4050.JPG IMG_4049.JPG IMG_4048.JPG IMG_4047.JPG
 
Last edited:

Dav4

Imperial Masterpiece
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North Georgia/lived in MA until 2009
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#2
Ok, let's see. First your juniper, Juniperus procumbens, looks healthy...that little bit of brown is fine. Yes, that is heavy, excessively moist soil that will need to be replaced...next spring. In the meantime, you will need to water only when the juniper needs it, which at this time of year, isn't much. Only water when the soil has begun to dry. Finally, this, and every other tree on the planet, is an outdoor tree...even the ficus. The ficus is sensitive to cold so it should be inside during the winter, but the juniper should be outside year round...even if it's below freezing. The garage should be reserved for when the temps are falling well below freezing. Do a bit of research on overwintering here for info on what to do. Good luck.
 
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Location
Korea
USDA Zone
7a
#3
What Dav4 said is good advice. Basically going inside especially in winter screws up their cycles and they get confused as to whether or not to hibernate or even wake up during their hibernation which is a basic death sentence. Keep them in a sheltered spot but not in the house.
 
Messages
22
Likes
2
Location
Tulsa, OK
USDA Zone
7a
#4
Thanks for the advice! I got them moved outside in the backyard flower bed. I plan on getting some mulch to keep the roots warm in case it does get really cold at some point this winter. I'll wait til the spring to give them some better draining soil too! Thanks again for your help. I was worried with the browning on that branch that I was killing them.
 
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669
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737
Location
Korea
USDA Zone
7a
#5
Junipers often change colour a bit during winter. Mine usually go a bluish colour and then brown off on the old needles (they're native needle Junipers here in Korea). They are pretty tough trees depending on the cultivar, your trees are still young so they will probably handle some abuse and inexperience. I usually let mine dry out between waterings but I use a clay, organic mix. Their current soil is not good for them but don't bare root them when you change them to new soil in spring. (in my experience junipers hate bare rooting more than anything else) All the best! Hope it works out well for you
 

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