Maximizing Juniper growth

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#1
I'm growing a lot of juniper seedlings, or, to be honest.. They do the growing, I just watch.

At this time, after the first year of growth, I'm looking for ways to get them as healthy and big as possible. The faster they are giants, the faster I can start taking cuttings and start spreading hard to obtain junipers.

I have a few larger hybrids that I want to grow like crazy coming spring. They have pinky thick trunks that I want to fatten up in as little time as possible.

Do you have any advice to achieve this goal?

Growing them in the ground is an option but not preferred (can only be done close to apple trees), pots are oversized, nutrients are plenty and well balanced, organics and inorganics are used in the soil.. They get full sun.
The basics are there, but I'm wondering if there's more to be done. I'm reading in nursery descriptions that a foot of growth a year is possible.
There must be a trick I'm not aware of and I'm hoping someone will share their secrets.

Thanks for the help!
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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#2
I think of they're gonna catch rust they're gonna catch rust.

But I don't think the ground is Best.

Small containers concentrate water and nutrition.
By Fall at the nursery you can see the 2-3 ft extensions in 1gl pots...and thats 3-4 extensions!

Sorce
 

Kudo

Seedling
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#3
Usually for maximum growth its recommended to grow without pruning in the ground or in a large oversized grow box with very coarse and aerated substrate. The very coarse substrate may need frequent watering depending on where you live and the season.
 
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#4
I found from experience, if I change what I do trying to force growth, like watering more than once a day, or other more demanding on my time things. I eventually forget, and the plant, or seedlings or whatever it was that had gotten to the point it needed the twice a day water, suddenly doesn't get the consistent care, and dies.

If you are not a full time nursery grower, just accept that your growth rates will not match or exceed the theoretical rates in the books.

Besides rapid coarse growth makes for trees that are pretty much guaranteed to be inferior for bonsai.
 

Dav4

Imperial Masterpiece
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#5
Unfortunately, junipers, as a rule, are slow growers and there's no way to get past their genetics. Full sun, good soil, food, and water. In my experience, ground growing will be the best way to get foot long extensions- I've never had a potted juniper put on that kind of growth and I've only seen junipers ground planted and established for several years come close to this growth rate.
 
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#6
They're not going to get rusty unless I plant them in the ground. That patch is a few miles away from the backyard they're in right now.
But then again, I have seen rust on junipers at beaches on islands where apples have never grown. If it happens, it happens.
That's why I didn't just get 1, but 10 varieties.

Small containers do mean they dry out faster. Now I have all the materials a nursery would have, and with my new job I have time in both mornings as well as evenings to do watering and care.

I'm not looking for rapid growth per se, but consistent qualitative growth with no hickups. If possible, with keeping as much foliage as possible. Maximized.

Do people have experience with foliar feeding of junipers? What do they use and how much?

Findings thus far, from experience:
I found they do a bit better in pre-manured bonsai soils compared to non-/later manured.
Seedlings in seedling trays with plastic cover outgrow plants without cover.
Akadama: never, ever, ever again. 25 seedlings are still at the point of where they germinated.
Peat & perlite, peat & perlite, peat & perlite.
 
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#7
Consider a raised bed and maybe some pumice once your perlite blows away? I also use agriform fertilizer tabs when I want to pump up the growth. Since you have a bunch of seedlings you can make it into an experiment as to which grow the fastest and have the benefit of not putting all your eggs in one basket.
 
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#8
Foliar feeding, works, but do drench soil with the foliar solution too. Roots are more efficient at fertilizer uptake than leaves, so use both modes. Foliar feed in morning so foliage is dry within 4 hours. Foliage wet longer than 4 hours, especially with a solution with organics that feed microbes, can be mode for pathogens to enter leaves. Water mold spores need 4 hours to germinate and enter stomata.
 
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#10
I have tried these exact hormones on pines and I'm planning on using them on junipers. Brassinolide has a wonderful effect sometimes; red pines have earlier onset of adult foliage but growth doesn't alter much.
In other plants, it causes an explosion of suckers.

Thanks for all the good advice guys! I'll cook up a plan this winter and see what can be achieved.
 

Bonsai Nut

Administrator
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#11
When you want the benefits of planting them in the ground - without the hassle of having them becoming too strongly attached - consider using an Anderson flat and placing them on a layer of mulch over groundscaping/weed cloth. Roots will run out of the bottom of the flat, but they don't go far and it is easy to lift the tree and prune the roots if necessary.
 
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#13
When you want the benefits of planting them in the ground - without the hassle of having them becoming too strongly attached - consider using an Anderson flat and placing them on a layer of mulch over groundscaping/weed cloth. Roots will run out of the bottom of the flat, but they don't go far and it is easy to lift the tree and prune the roots if necessary.
I keep reading junipers don't like flats and prefer closed wall containers for good growth. But those can be placed on a mulch bed as well. I'll whip up an experiment with woven pots vs. plastic this spring to clear that up.
 
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#15
When you want the benefits of planting them in the ground - without the hassle of having them becoming too strongly attached - consider using an Anderson flat and placing them on a layer of mulch over groundscaping/weed cloth. Roots will run out of the bottom of the flat, but they don't go far and it is easy to lift the tree and prune the roots if necessary.
Either this or do the Root Control Bags in group like Telperion does.
 

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