Plants - Indoor Plants

DIY bonsai: Styling a young juniper

DK Publishing
Photography by
Will Heap

Flexible and easy to care for, junipers are a popular choice for bonsai since they can be quickly transformed into interesting trees.

There are a number of junipers that suit bonsai cultivation—but many garden species are much less suitable.
Choosing suitable trees
For best results choose one of the compact foliage types, such as the Chinese juniper (Juniperus chinensis), shown here. The trunk and branches can be bent dramatically with ease when young—and using more advanced techniques when old—so it is possible to change the structure.

  • Branches with long, thin extensions and plenty of foliage are a sign of strong, vigorous growth.
  • Foliage should be deep green with light green growing tips. Junipers can suffer from spider mite damage or tip blight so check the internal foliage and branch tips for health.
  • Trunk Look for dramatic movement, and perhaps interesting deadwood.

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