New to Bonsai, Shaping Boxwood

Debs

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Hi All,

I received this bonsai as a gift and I honestly don’t know where to start as far as shaping. Help!
 

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Forsoothe!

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Not a good gift, normally. Like giving a pet to someone as a surprise. Forget trimming for now and just master keeping it alive. First order of business is placing it in the correct exposure to sunlight and keeping it watered without over-watering. It is an outdoor plant that could be kept indoors over winter, but the likelihood that a beginner can do it is remote. Growing seasons around the world vary widely and it is difficult to get a perspective on what someone says when we don't know where in the world they are. If you go to the upper right hand corner and click on your Icon, you can add your location and people will be able to customize advice for you, and you might connect with another local. We can help you if you tell us where you are.

<<<<< It will show here.
 

Debs

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Hi I’m in Long Island, NY. I wanted a bonsai and have always loved them. I’m very good with plants and keeping them alive. Gonna give it all I got…lol. The gift was for 3 months of bonsai and so far I got a boxwood and juniper. Any help would be appreciated.
 

Forsoothe!

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You need to do this so people see where you are for every reply.
Growing seasons around the world vary widely and it is difficult to get a perspective on what someone says when we don't know where in the world they are. If you go to the upper right hand corner and click on your Icon, you can add your location and people will be able to customize advice for you, and you might connect with another local.



<<<<< It will show here.
 

Debs

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Thanks for the advice.
 

Forsoothe!

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The Juniper is also not a houseplant. If you want a good, easy to keep alive houseplant to start bonsai indoors, buy a fig that has a "look" you like. See here for examples, post #9.
 

Forsoothe!

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Do you have a place outdoors that you can set the plants over winter?
 

Debs

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I have a shed but it would get too cold. Maybe the basement?
 

Forsoothe!

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It's supposed to get cold. They would both survive in the landscape, and outdoors is where they will survive as bonsai. The shed is unheated? They would need to be watered a little every 3 to 5 weeks in a shed. They don't use a lot of water, but there is some amount of evaporation when the winter humidity is at its normally low levels and the trees should never get bone dry. You can pile snow on the pots and that will both slow evaporation and provide some moisture for the plants' use. You also have to keep a dish of poison mouse tidbits there so they will not eat your trees. In the spring you will need to put the trees out in partial shade on warm days to get them used to direct sunlight, and back in protection overnight when it goes below freezing. No big problem, just part of the procedure.

Hardy trees are snowbird trees. They can be put outdoors in the landscape touching the soil, covered with leaves a couple inches higher than the pot in Oct. (Oak and Beech are best, but any will do). Then go to Florida for the winter and come back and uncover the pots about April 15th and all is well.
 

sorce

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Welcome to Crazy!

It lasts longer than 3 months!

Sorce
 

penumbra

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You have gotten a lot of good information here, so take it and be grateful that Forsoothe took the time to spell it all out for you.
First, keep them alive.
 

Debs

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It's supposed to get cold. They would both survive in the landscape, and outdoors is where they will survive as bonsai. The shed is unheated? They would need to be watered a little every 3 to 5 weeks in a shed. They don't use a lot of water, but there is some amount of evaporation when the winter humidity is at its normally low levels and the trees should never get bone dry. You can pile snow on the pots and that will both slow evaporation and provide some moisture for the plants' use. You also have to keep a dish of poison mouse tidbits there so they will not eat your trees. In the spring you will need to put the trees out in partial shade on warm days to get them used to direct sunlight, and back in protection overnight when it goes below freezing. No big problem, just part of the procedure.

Hardy trees are snowbird trees. They can be put outdoors in the landscape touching the soil, covered with leaves a couple inches higher than the pot in Oct. (Oak and Beech are best, but any will do). Then go to Florida for the winter and come back and uncover the pots about April 15th and all is well.
Wow I am in awe of your Bonsai knowledge and grateful for all the info. But I’m a bit confused. So I should keep the bonsai outside in summer also? It is hot here now, between 80 and 90 degrees. And yes the shed is unheated.
 

Grovic

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Hi All,

I received this bonsai as a gift and I honestly don’t know where to start as far as shaping. Help!
Do you know what kind of boxwood it is? If it is a Buxus Harlandii, putting it outside for the winter would probably kill it. I'd try and call whoever sold it to you or to the person who gave it to you and ask.
 

penumbra

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The boxwood in the picture is not Harlandii.
So I should keep the bonsai outside in summer also?
These are, as already noted, outdoors plants. In side is death.
I know a lot of people here keep plants in sheds and it works for them. I keep all my plants outside except my tropicals.
 

Forsoothe!

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Outside, full sun for the Juniper and half-day sun for the Boxwood. Water with a garden hose every day it doesn't rain. Feed with any commercial liquid like Miracle Grow monthly April thru September.
 

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