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How do you tell when a Juniper NEEDS watered?

Posted by spaceman13 6b (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 21, 14 at 13:18

After having great success over the last 3 years (THANKS AL!!!) with my container annuals and three Japanese Maples in 1&2 gallon pots of gritty mix, I decided to dive into the deep end and do my first bonsai, a Juniper Chinensis 'Parsonii' I got for $6 at the Home Despot.

I put it in a round 8"ish x 2.5"ish pot of gritty mix. It's far from pretty, but it's raison d'etre is to see if I can keep it alive. If so, I'll deal with "UGLY" later.

Before undertaking this task I read Herb Gustafsons "The Bonsai Workshop", lurked on this site and re-read Al's "Container Soils - Water Retention and Soil Movement", then re-read the Bonsai Workshop book.
In the watering section of Gustafsons he stated to water only when needed.

How does one TELL when a juniper NEEDS watering? Its easy with my annual plants, and even my JM's to some extent, they start to look a little wilted, from that I can figure how long I can go between waterings in any conditions. I'm assuming junipers don't wilt. Do you just go by the soil "dipstick" method?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How do you tell when a Juniper NEEDS watered?

You keep it in the right fast draining mix outdoors and let nature decide. If you get a particularly heavy deluge, protect it somehow either under an overhang temporarily or indoors.

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