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areas where trees have grown up reaching for the light in competition with other trees that have since died or been
felled. Characteristically, the trunk line flows or twists through several curves. Some trees grow this way with old age
- many junipers naturally assumes this style in maturity. Most conifers can be recommended for growing as literati, and
rugged deciduous trees such as flowering apricot, japanese maple, and flowering quince.
Japanese Dwarf Garden Juniper - Juniperus procumbens nana
General Information: This is the tree that is most often used for the ubiquitous "mall bonsai". In spite of this bad
press, it does in fact make a fine bonsai if it is properly trained and cared for (unlike the average "mall bonsai").
This juniper has a low, spreading habit that makes it ideal for cascade and semi-cascade styles. Specimens grown in a
nursery or specifically for bonsai can be used for many styles, but probably not for formal upright. In nature it grows
as a small ground-cover shrub. The foliage is bright green.
Lighting: Full sun.
Temperature: Tolerates a wide range of temperatures, including freezing, however, roots must be protcted from excessive
heat or cold.
Watering: Spray the foliage with water daily during the growing season. Water when the soil is moderately dry (to a
depth of 1/2 to 1 inch) but do not let the soil dry out completely.
Feeding: Simon and Schuster's recommends feeding junipers from early spring to autumn ever 20-30 days using a slow-
acting organic fertilizer. If you prefer to use chemical fertilizers, apply a half-strength solution every other week of
a reasonably balanced fertilizer, such as Peter's 20-20-20. You may wish to alternate with an acidic fertilizer such as
Miracid. You should not fertilize during the hottest part of the summer (July-mid August in the northern hemisphere), or
if the tree is weak or has recently (2-4 weeks) been repotted.
Pruning and wiring: To develop the foliage, pinch out the tender new shoots using your fingers. Do not use scissors, as
the cut needles will turn brown. Pinching must be done continuously during the growing season. Prune undesirable
branches (especially those growing straight down from their parent branch) when repotting ior during the growing season.
Wiring is best done in autumn or early winter, so that the branches can become accustomed to their new position while
the tree is dormant. Wiring done at other times must be watched carefully for signs of wire cutting into the bark, and
must be removed immediately if this happens. If necessary, the tree can be re-wired after removing the old wire.
Propagation: Cuttings rooted under mist, layering.
Repotting Reduce the roots gradually, removing no more than one third of the roots at each repotting. Repot young trees
(up to 10 years) every other year. Repot older trees every 3-4 years. Repotting is best done in spring. Junipers can
also be repotted in autumn if necessary, since they enter a period of renewed root growth at that time. Extensive root
pruning in autumn is probably not a good idea, however.
The best Bonsai soisl to use would be Hollow Creek Farms Main Soil or Hollow Creek Farms Double Screened Bonsai Soil.
The tree should be protected from wind and direct sun for a month or two after repotting.
Pests and diseases: Junipers are a favorite victim of red spider mites. If the tree appears weak, with yellowing
foliage, it may have spider mites. To check for spider mites, hold a sheet of white paper under a branch and gently
shake the foliage. If the paper comes away with many small dots that move, it has spider mites. To combat spider mites,
spray with insecticidal soap or a nicotine solution (which can be made by soaking tobacco in water overnight).