'Juniper? Cutting Propagation' Picture

syphaxSeptember 18, 2006

This is the photo of the two bonsai that I have plus the one plant in question. The one on the right is the cutting I took from the shrub at school. The one on the right is a "Ficus Bonsai" I bought at Wal-Mart. The bottom one is the three Jack Pines I'm growing from the kit (it's hard to tell, but there are three there).

The pines are kept in their original pot with the peat that came with the kit but I put in the container and added rocks and water to add some humidity to the air. I bought a bag of Green Moss and used some to cover the top of the soil to help retain moisture.

There were only two Ficus Bonsai left at Wal-mart, and they were marked 50% off, so I bought one. I did do alittle research on-line before buying, and everything I read said Ficus Bonsai can be kept indoors as long as water and light requirements were met. When I got it back to my apartment I removed the layer of glued gravel and added some of my own, plus two figures my father gave me. I plan on buying a new pot, a humidity tray and actual Bonsai soil in the near future.

Everything I'm doing is probably amatuer at best, but like I mentioned in my first post I'm new to Bonsai. So all of you with experience, go easy on me.

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rjj1(Norman OK Zone7)


Not going to dog you, just point out the reality of the situation. Your very unlikely to have any success...

1. rooting a juniper in water
2. rooting a cutting of that size

Your not going to develop enough roots quick enough, even using the proper technique:-), to keep something that size alive while those roots are growing.

There is nothing wrong in trying those things. Sometimes you learn more from your failures than you do with your successes.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 8:35PM
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The ficus is a 'ginseng' type, and you didn't ask, but it needs great humidity, tons of sun x 15 hrs/day (as with 40w fluor. hanging 6" above it) and to be allowed to get fairly dry between waterings. The part of the real juniper visible in the pic doesn't allow me to see much, so I guess I'll just assume it's stuck in water... and rjj's right, it's almost 100% unlikely it'll take. The pines ... good luck, but don't hold your breath either. Unfortunately those are not the way to get started in bonsai... finding a local club for hands-on learning is the very best, and second best is bks.. Amazon.com has a great used bonsai bk section - really inexpensive, and they tell you about any damage to bks - like "cover frayed" (who cares about that?), or fly-leaf missing (ditto). Look for more recent ones, in English (Japanese authors may well be writing in Japanese) by people like Colin Lewis, Harry Tomlinson - "The Complete Bk of Bonsai", Herb Gustafson, Deb Koreshoff, Paul Lesniewicz (spec. on 'indoor' trees), Brooklyn Botanical Garden little things, Isabelle & Remy Samson - I like their stuff, but some don't.. and there's a lot of nonsense out there too, so either ask first (I'll check in daily) about certain ones, or just use your instinct. Don't get anything that promises magic in 3 easy steps - that's not bonsai!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 8:48PM
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justeen_bonsai(z7 VA)

Just one suggestion: the ficus from Wal-Mart, you really need to take off those rocks. They're for shipping prposes (so the dirt doesn't spill out) and they can really damage the bonsai, if it grows into them, and it can trap in moisture causing root rot.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 9:07PM
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I will second Lucys advice about starting with books.

I am in my second year of bonsai and am just getting in proping plants. Learn how a tree grows and reacts to conditions before trying to grow a cutting.
Almost all pine/juniper cuttings need to be planted in moist sterial soil/medium in a growing box. Even with that some pines are only a 20% success rate, most junipers are much higher than that.

Becareful, propagating plants is highly addictive!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 10:03PM
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bonsaikc(z5-6 KCMO)

Just to stir the pot...there is nothing wrong with the size of the cutting, I have rooted juniper cuttings much bigger. the problem is the technique. Cut with a very sharp blade, razor blade really, and sharpen it with 4-5 cuts like sharpening a pencil. then dust with hormone powder and plant in free draining soil. 100% of juniper cuttings treated like this should root.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sashi-eda Bonsai

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 4:49PM
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