Need some help with juniper

jordystokes

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Looking for some help with my juniper.

Personal Info:
I have been practicing bonsai for only a season, but I got bit by the bug pretty hard. I have several trees, some bonsai, but mostly pre-bonsai. I have masters degree in biomolecular science, so I understand the basic biological processes the tress undergo, photosynthesis, water movement, purpose for the different tree parts etc.

Information and Problem with the juniper:
This is a blue rug juniper I have had for about a month. I bought for about $6 at a big box store. I'm new so I like to buy cheap and work on the tree. I know what I did to this tree was out of season but, I'm still trying to figure out what I can and cannot get away with. I repotted it right after I got it into a large growing pot (cut maybe an inch of the massive root ball). I used a new soil mix (aquarium gravel, Oil-dry, pine bark, and perlite) that I wanted to try out. Recently, the juniper has been getting brown tips and losing some foliage. My question I what is going on here? Over/under watering? Fungus? Pest?

Conditions:
Watered when slightly dry (chop stick method)
Outside on a south facing patio.
Sun from sunrise until about 4pm-5pm and then it is in slight shade
 

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Cypress187

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No permissions to see those pictures :(
 

jordystokes

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Should be corrected. Sorry about that
 
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GrimLore

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Conditions:
Watered when slightly dry (chop stick method)
Outside on a south facing patio.
Sun from sunrise until about 4pm-5pm and then it is in slight shade
The only thing I would caution you on is watering. I keep all my junipers including the rug types in what I call my Nursery mix. It consists of 1/3 each Farfard premium topsoil, Coarse Sand, and Horticultural Perlite. The reason is I never let them dry out, keeping them damp not wet and that mix allows it retaining just enough moisture and drainage. What I do find is if I get any brown tipping at all it is because I need to rake the surface and make sure the surface roots are covered. It happened a few times in the past until I discovered what to do but it works for me.
Your slight tipping does not seem to suggest insects but perhaps a water problem. It seems you have plenty of sun which they like a lot but perhaps you may try rotating the plant every few days insuring the whole plant gets full light. If your interior and weak foliage is trimmed back you should stop seeing those tips with proper water.
I am not certain what you do with fertilizer but I find all of my junipers so far do just fine and grow good with a normal weekly dose of Jack's Professional 20-20-20 with micronutrients. I skip fertilizer when the plants hit what I call Summer dormancy during extreme heat periods as that causes brown tips as well.
That's what I do with good results and feel your plant will be fine with very slightly different care ;)

Grimmy
 

jordystokes

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perhaps you may try rotating the plant every few days insuring the whole plant gets full light.
Sounds like a good idea

If your interior and weak foliage is trimmed back you should stop seeing those tips with proper water.
Will also do this

plants hit what I call Summer dormancy during extreme heat periods as that causes brown tips as well.
This might be the culprit. I fertilized for the first time on this plant last week. (I use a 20-20-20 about every 7-10 days)

Welcome to Crazy!
Ain't that the truth
 

sorce

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Oh yeah!

Guess I should've mentioned....

I got about 8 blue rugs this year...

I water the Hell out of them, and they are the first Junipers I've gotten to do well.

Your mix, unless inundated with perlite fines, sounds good to water once a day...with no worry of more.

..I've found these to be tough as Hell.

Sorce
 

sorce

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I sieved the perlite so hopefully that won't be a problem.
While thinking of it is an under watering problem...
I thought it may be simply too complex a mix.
With so many differences in floatiness....
They could very well be in 4 separate complete layers by the end of the year, or forming pockets of one, pockets of another, which could cause issues.

I tore the Hell out of one, well 3, but one lived, and it is in straight Napa #8822 floor dry. If that is what you have...
IMO...using it alone, sifted, is king!

Sorce
 

GrimLore

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This might be the culprit. I fertilized for the first time on this plant last week. (I use a 20-20-20 about every 7-10 days)
On fertilizer - As I mentioned I never let my Junipers "dry". Even though I do that I Water first, wait 15 - 20 minutes and then fertilize. It could be your roots were to dry and the fertilizer caused a little harmless burn...

For giggles I put this Shore Juniper "Blue Pacific in the hanging basket this past Spring on 6/11. It has been cared for as I outlined and cut back at least three times. Even so the longest branches are at least 6 inches longer and the plant remains quite "full" regardless of chopping out the interior a lot -

IMG_0624.JPG

Grimmy
 
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GrimLore

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I water the Hell out of them, and they are the first Junipers I've gotten to do well.
Good to hear! Other types will grow for you too, I treat all types the same! Except the hanging basket :p

Grimmy
 

GrimLore

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With so many differences in floatiness....
I found that when I make my mix if I don't even rinse the Perlite but I let it be in a container of water for a good 30 minutes. I dampen the topsoil as well misting it as I mix it all together. I don't have that "floaty" problem unless I blast the surface rather then gently water it.
For the record I switched over to the mix this year along with a few other experiments as I had no idea if anything would ever grow again since the problems in Spring 2015. All plants are doing good with it so far...
On the con side I think I will be repotting but still reusing the mix yearly as it "might" compact" but I won't know until Spring. Either way repotting is ok by me...

Grimmy
 
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jordystokes

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simply too complex a mix.
I considered the differences in density, size, shape, etc but decided to shoot first and ask questions later.

Napa #8822 floor dry.
Will be picking this up, thank you.

fertilizer caused a little harmless burn...
Again, good call. My roots were "dry." Water then fertilize is what I will be doing from now on.
 

GrimLore

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Again, good call. My roots were "dry." Water then fertilize is what I will be doing from now on.
No problem and feel free to PM me or even call with questions concerning Junipers. I might add using that practice with fertilizer on all plants works equally good. Potted culture is different in many ways but some steps such as that one remain consistent.
I also like your insight as to learning on less expensive plants... It is in my humble opinion the best way to learn and continues to be my practice today as I expand my knowledge base on different types of plants!

Welcome, and happy growing!

Grimmy
 

M. Frary

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.using it alone, sifted, is king!
I used to think so too dude. Until I met lava and composted pine bark. I still use the 8822 as the main ingredient but the drainage! My God! I'll be adding pumice into the mix next year too. I know you don't like the bark so forget that ingredient.
 

Eric Group

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The only thing I would caution you on is watering. I keep all my junipers including the rug types in what I call my Nursery mix. It consists of 1/3 each Farfard premium topsoil, Coarse Sand, and Horticultural Perlite. The reason is I never let them dry out, keeping them damp not wet and that mix allows it retaining just enough moisture and drainage. What I do find is if I get any brown tipping at all it is because I need to rake the surface and make sure the surface roots are covered. It happened a few times in the past until I discovered what to do but it works for me.
Your slight tipping does not seem to suggest insects but perhaps a water problem. It seems you have plenty of sun which they like a lot but perhaps you may try rotating the plant every few days insuring the whole plant gets full light. If your interior and weak foliage is trimmed back you should stop seeing those tips with proper water.
I am not certain what you do with fertilizer but I find all of my junipers so far do just fine and grow good with a normal weekly dose of Jack's Professional 20-20-20 with micronutrients. I skip fertilizer when the plants hit what I call Summer dormancy during extreme heat periods as that causes brown tips as well.
That's what I do with good results and feel your plant will be fine with very slightly different care ;)

Grimmy
I don't mess with a blue rugs... But wanted to chime in- I am totally in the same page with watering- error img on the side of too much water is ALWAYS better than not enough, especially for beginners on beginner material! A wet tree is going to grow a dry tree is DEAD. Period.

I think all this talk of inorganic soils and "root rot" sometimes scare new folks into not watering their trees enough, and more trees die from that than most anything else. In the summer, in a well draining pot and well draining soil, it is almost impossible to OVER water in my area from my experience.

Aside from that, this Juniper looks pretty healthy! You should be ok, just watch it close.. Unless you see large swaths turning a lighter color/ yellow color, don't freak out.
 

M. Frary

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I think all this talk of inorganic soils and "root rot" sometimes scare new folks into not watering their trees enough,
And thinking they need repotted as soon as they get them.
Hence a lot of deaths due to out of season repotting.
 
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