Treasuring a good bonsai tree is a growing trend among people nowadays, especially among horticultural enthusiasts. Diligent care and observation may sound like a steep price, but the rewarding experience of watching the plant grow into a majestic tree borders on art, which is probably why so many people have spent time and money on this hobby.
Though it can be quite easy at times to adhere to the needs of the trees, sometimes circumstances may not allow for the best. This refers to growing outdoor plants indoors, and the special needs that the adjusting tree would demand. Though some trees may not accept this, there are also trees that can thrive in artificial environments, like the Juniper.
Despite of their miniature sizes and appearance, bonsai trees are essentially outdoor plants. They need natural sunlight and do not tolerate low temperatures. This means additional care instructions must be taken, especially during the winter months. You should also be prepared to properly set up a location within the walls of your house in which the tree can have access to sunlight or other artificial warmth as well as staying within the right temperature.
Before you attempt to do this however, it would be wise to know your stuff. For instance, coniferous and deciduous trees have a dormancy period that can only be triggered through lower temperature. If a tree does not go dormant during winter, it may enter a forced state of dormancy which can be fatal to the tree. Among the key factors of getting the temperature right for indoor-growing are light levels, and humidity. The lack of natural air circulation can cause the tree to suffer from abnormal growth or none at all.
Junipers are originally sunlight-loving plants, and the only time they are not supposed to be under direct sunlight is during hot summer days. Your Juniper needs to be placed at a sunny window sill, supported by an overhead fluorescent lamp. That should be enough even for the tropical variants of bonsai. Be careful to not place the tree between the curtain and the window, as the temperature tends to be colder at night in that particular region.
Make sure your fluorescent or aquarium lamp are on 12 to 16 hours a day. Place it at least six meters above the branches. One of the biggest signs that a bonsai plant is not getting enough natural sunlight is the growing of large, over-sized leaves. This occurs because the tree is trying to catch up to its growth despite the lack of light. Improve your lighting conditions significantly if this happens.
Air circulation and humidity are often nulled by the home’s central heating as well as cooling systems. To your trees, it might as well be a desert in there. For your Juniper to overcome this environment, you need to create higher humidity around the tree by misting the branches. You don’t have to do it everyday, just once every two to three days. This also helps clean the leaves from dust or dirt. Do not overdo it though; there are also complications if it is too wet.
To improve that condition even more, some owners have resorted to humidity tray or gravel tray beneath the tree. It is basically a flat tray that can hold water. Throw in some small pebbles in there and place the pot on them, making sure that the pot does not actually touch the water. As the water evaporates, the direct area surrounding the tree will become sufficiently humid for the Juniper to revel in.
With this, you have a higher chance of succeeding, even on your first try. Just keep the fundamentals covered while observing the growth of the tree. Good luck and have fun.