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Do-It-Yourself Bonsai Instruction Guide
Planting and Caring for your Japanese Juniper

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Instructions for Planting Your Bonsai

  • Remove components from the box.
  • Place the drainage hole cover over the holes in the bottom of the container.
  • Place a thin layer of pebbles on the bottom of the container to allow for good drainage. Save the remaining pebbles to decorate the top soil of your Bonsai after planting.
  • Remove your tree from the grow pot. Loosen the soil and roots with your fingers, try not to disturb the soil at the center of the root mass. Place your tree in the container and spread the roots loosely keeping them within the container.
  • Fill the container with the bonsai soil to cover all the roots. Pack firmly with your fingers keeping the soil level and slightly below the top of the container.
  • Watering bonsai is very important. Use a misting attachment on a hose or sink to slowly water through the foliage until water drips through the hole in the bottom of the container.
  • Decorate your Bonsai with the decorative stones and figurine.

About Bonsai

The origin of the term bonsai, pronounced bone-sigh, is derived from the Japanese term bon meaning tray and sai meaning tree. Thus, its literal translation means tree in a tray. It appears in Japanese writings in the year 1310, even though the practice of growing such trees originated before the eleventh century in China, when it was called penjing. Today when we use the term bonsai we mean the ancient art of dwarfed, potted trees.

Bonsai represents the artistic use of gardening techniques to develop a tree into a miniaturized version of its counterpart in nature.

Bonsai is not a specific type of tree; rather many types of trees go through the gardening process of bonsai.

Bonsai Care

Bonsai Trees thrive for years with proper care. Most important is bright lighting and moist watering conditions.

The Japanese Juniper Bonsai prefer the outdoors with fresh air, light, and water and do best on a covered patio with filtered sunlight or outside under a shade tree. There is a distinct balance between the amount of light a bonsai requires and the amount of water it requires. The more light a bonsai gets, the more water it needs. The less light, the less water. Depending on the amount of light and temperature of your environment, this may mean watering your tree to saturation daily. NEVER allow the soil to dry out. You will also want to spray or mist the foliage as often as possible.

When using a tray under your bonsai, make sure the tree does not sit in water by using pebbles on the tray to keep the pot above the water.

Most bonsai can withstand temperatures below freezing; however, we recommend that they be brought inside during severely cold weather and kept in a room near a window with good light.


Use a good bonsai fertilizer designed for Bonsai. Eve’s Garden has designed Bonsai Master Fertilizer, a mild 7-8-6 formula with everything you need to make your bonsai thrive. Fertilize March to October and be careful not to over fertilize. Always follow the directions on the label of the fertilizer you are using!

Repotting Bonsai

Bonsai should be transplanted when the roots begin growing out the sides of the container. For most bonsai, this occurs about every two to three years. It is best to repot in the Spring.

  1. Remove the tree from the container without disrupting the soil around the roots.
  2. Carefully untangle the roots from the root-ball. Remove about one-third of the soil from around the root-ball. Do not disrupt the soil around the trunk of the tree.
  3. Trim the roots with a pair of sharp scissors, leaving one-inch of the roots still extending beyond the root-ball.
  4. Place a layer of pebbles in the bottom of the container to act as a drainage bed.
  5. Place the tree back into the pot and fill the container with a good grade potting soil mixture designed for Bonsai and pack firmly to ensure that there are no air pockets around the roots.
  6. Water the soil to saturation. Always water after packing the soil, not before.
  7. Keep the tree in a bright location and continue to water as you did before repotting.
  8. A vitamin mixture or a stronger dose of fertilizer is recommended when repotting.

Pruning and Trimming

Pruning and trimming can be performed on your tree throughout the year. In the case of deciduous trees, such as maples and elms, pruning and trimming is best performed during the growing season. Juniper, pines, and cypress are finger-nipped throughout the growing season to keep the tree shaped. Trimming the under and inner growth is needed monthly.

Wiring & Training

The use of Bonsai wiring techniques permits us to train trees along almost any lines. The thinnest wire that will hold a branch in the desired position, is the right diameter of wire to use. The wire should be started at the soil level and wrapped around the trunk of the tree to the tip of the limb. Always wind the wire in the direction the branch is bent. Do not put the wire on too tightly, because it will cause injury to the branch.

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