Juniper bonsai

Features and species of juniper bonsai

The juniper tree is one of the three most used for creating bonsai. In fact, most of the great Japanese masters present their artistic creations with specimens of this plant, as it allows to obtain spectacular and always original structures. The aesthetic results of the juniper bonsaithey are difficult to obtain with other essences. Furthermore, the tree is very resistant to dry heat and freezing cold, as well as to the various operations required by cultivation. The species traditionally used for this type of bonsai is the Chinese juniper, Juniperus chinensins, but there are also others such as J. communis, J. squamata, J. rigida, J. sargentii and J. sabina. The young juniper plant has needle-like leaves while in the adult plant they are large. Their color is variable and can be green, light green, metallic blue and sometimes there can be golden or silver undertones.

Juniper should not be placed indoors but outdoors, as with all other conifers, including fir, pine and cedar. In this way, during the night, the dew can wet the crown of the tree, which needs moisture. However, if the plant is indoors, it is necessary to spray it with water. It is also very important that the bonsai has enough light and ventilation. In spring, when the new leaves appear, the tree must be kept in full sun, to obtain strong branches, small leaves and a compact appearance. In summer it must be placed in a semi-shady place or in the sun but with the pot covered, so as not to overheat the roots, which could suffer a block of functions and rot. In autumn the bonsai is still exposed to the sun. In winter it will stay at open because it does not fear the cold. However, in the northern regions, it will be good to protect the pot from frosts.

Irrigation, pruning and pinching of the juniper bonsai

The juniper irrigation is carried out when the substrate appears dry, with a watering can with thin holes, repeating the action 2-3 times after a few minutes, to ensure that the soil is totally moistened. As an alternative to spraying, a saucer with wet gravel can be used. Pruning is carried out in winter, during the vegetative stasis phase, using the concave cutter. Excessive cuts should be avoided because they weaken the plant and cause unsightly needle-like leaves to grow. It is necessary to eliminate all vertical, crossed and inside branches. After pruning it is necessary to dress with healing paste. The stapling operation is used to maintain the style of the bonsai and is done with the hands, because the cuts produce aesthetically unsightly brown wounds.

Juniper bonsai: Repotting and fertilization of the juniper bonsai

The repotting of the juniper bonsai is done every 3-4 years, being very careful because it has fragile roots. The most suitable period is from November to March. The roots will have to be reduced by about 30%, removing the larger ones and leaving the thin ones, which only need to be shortened. The operation must be carried out in a short time, in the absence of wind and in a cool environment, to prevent the capillary roots from drying out. Only healthy specimens are repotted, to be taken care of well, protecting the vase in case of very cold winters and nebulizing water and B vitamins, every week for a month. Fertilization must be regular between March and June and between mid-August and mid-October. It is good to use gradual release products. To obtain the desired bonsai structure, specific aluminum or copper wire is used,

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