Shimpaku Juniper Bonsai

The art of bonsai is an interest privy to those who actually enjoy caring for a miniature tree. As simple as that may sound, there are various factors that could definitely affect the outcome of a tree’s growth. Temperature, soil, positioning and pruning are some of the decisive elements to the success of a bonsai tree.

In that regard, many enthusiasts have noted how the Japanese Shimpaku complements the sculptural techniques that further improve the tree’s looks. Its hard, resinous wood looks well with the hard, bluish fruit that it produces. Taking absolute care of your Shimpaku can be an arduous task, though it can also be very rewarding.

General care

Though a solid experience with other bonsai species is not exactly a requirement when dealing with Shimpaku or other sargent Juniper variants, it would be significantly easier to maintain a healthy Juniper. This tree is an outdoor plant, and would really appreciate plenty of natural sunlight. The only time that the Juniper should avoid sunlight is during hot summer days, in which it should be placed somewhere with shade.

Shimpaku Juniper also dries out easily, so it is important to always check the moisture of the soil. The warmer your climate is, the more frequent the tree needs to be watered. Thoroughly wet the soil with each watering, though make sure to let the soil dry out between sessions. You can also provide your bonsai with extra water through misting, which also creates humidity for the tree. Fertilize the plant every two weeks during the growing season. Water thoroughly after feeding.

Re-potting and pruning

The best time to change the pot of your tree is once every two years, done during spring, specifically right before the growing season. You can remove up to 1/3 of the root ball to make room for new roots to grow. Do not feed the tree within one month after repotting. Once you have begun its feeding cycle, remember to water the tree more frequently to ensure maximum absorption of nutrients.

In order to trim the Shimpaku juniper bonsai, many owners agree that it is best to pinch instead of cutting, as cut needles usually turn brown. Make sure to be careful with your pinches, as harming new shoots can also jeopardize the tree’s growth of new foliage. To be safe, never leave a branch completely empty of new shoots. Pinch longer needles that outgrow the intended size, and observe the tree’s growth. The learning curve with this bonsai may be stressing at first, but it does not mean that it is impossible to master.