A discussion about the bonsai tree is almost incomplete without the memories of the bonsai tree collection of Mr. Miyagi in 'The Karate Kid'. Well, it is the same tree that we are talking about, the juniper bonsai tree! Evergreen bonsai trees from Japan are hugely popular in the United States. Many of the trees are cultured as bonsai but for a layman, the juniper tree is a starter.
Where do juniper trees grow? These trees are widely distributed throughout the northern Hemisphere. Juniper trees are found in various shapes and sizes, ranging from ground coverings and shrubs to huge trees. The size of the juniper tree ranges from 4" ground covers to big trees. The colors of the leaves vary from yellow, silvery blue and natural green.
Juniper Bonsai Tree
These trees are popular choices among bonsai lovers because of their superb adaptability to almost any temperature, and their spreading habitat. Many bonsai shops feature sparkling rock encrusted bonsai trays that enhance the beauty of the juniper evergreen tree. They are available in various sizes, their heights ranging from 1 inch to 40 inches. The most famous types of juniper bonsai trees are:
- Dwarf Garden Juniper: This juniper tree is also known as juniperus procumbens nana. It requires a lot of water, sunlight and humidity, but it is not very difficult to take care of.
- Shimpaku Juniper: The scientific name being juniperus chinensis sargentii, it is a highly adaptive plant and has tender year-round foliage and a subtle bark that peels off when the plant has fully grown.
- Rigid Needles Juniper: Its scientific name is juniperus rigida. This plant is the most tender amongst them all and needs a lot of care when grown indoors. The foliage of the tree is bluish green and needle-like.
- Green Mound Chinese Juniper: This type of juniper tree can grow well in cold temperatures as well because the original habitat of this juniper plant is the mountainous region; to be precise, 3,000 feet above sea level. Green mound Chinese juniper is a famous bonsai tree all over the world.
There are at least 50 juniper tree species present today, all with their own specialties. Juniper trees are evergreen, long-lived, and can adapt to any soil type. They are dioecious (having separate male and female plants) as well. Juniper is a multipurpose tree, which is why prehistoric people lived near juniper forest, which became a prime source for their food and shelter. Juniper berries are used to make spices, medicines, as well as liquor products like gin.
One can also make a hedge with juniper trees as they create a great outdoor ambiance. Junipers prefer plenty of sunlight, so those of you who live in a snowy region may opt for indoor juniper trees. The juniper bonsai is a symbol of fertility, strength and athleticism and they are very popular plants for indoor gardening.
- Light Requirements of Juniper Tree: Juniper tree requires bright sunlight in order to develop fully. One must provide their juniper bonsai trees with at least 4 hours of direct sunlight every day.
- Watering a Juniper Tree: As stated earlier, this tree grows well in soil that is always moist. So, one must always maintain appropriate moisture level in the water. During summers, it is a must to spray water on the tree foliage.
- Fertilizer Requirements of a Juniper Tree: Fertilizers with balanced pH level are required for the healthy growth of the tree. The juniper is a coniferous tree that requires several feedings containing acidic fertilizers. The tree must get lesser feeding during the summer season and after it has been repotted.
- Pruning a Juniper Tree: The best time to prune it is in summer and spring. Wires and wire cutters are used to give juniper trees the desired shape. You may also need knob cutters, soil sieves, trunk benders, and root hooks for the proper pruning of these trees. Pruning should be done when the tree has a substantial amount of foliage.
Bonsai tree care is easy. However, do not pamper the juniper bonsai too much, as it can work in an extremely negative way for the plant. Don't add excess fertilizer or water to the juniper bonsai. This tree can give a rich feel to any interior space and can function as a beautiful style statement. Place your juniper bonsai tree near a window, as a centerpiece or at any place you like, and allow it to work its charm on the interior space!