Help With Struggling Juniper

Hi All,

I am pretty new to the bonsai world and looking for some help with a struggling tree. I have a Shimpaku Juniper that belonged to someone’s estate. I bought it in February and it was doing well at first, but over the last month or so it has started turning yellow and some of the branches are dying (see photos below). I am not sure when it was last reported but the soil feels pretty firm and compacted. I have been fertilizing it with Osmocoat and liquid miracle grow fertilizers, like all my other bonsais. I also water it once or twice a day, depending on the weather in Concord, which can get pretty warm at times.

Does anyone have any idea what might be causing the yellowing/browning of the branches and how I might be able to help this tree out?


Thanks for your help,

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The tree looks pretty good Frank - junipers naturally lose interior foliage when the weather heats up.

The tips of the foliage look to be a healthy green color. There appears to be some spider mite damage from about a year ago, so you might want to test for that to make sure the problem doesn’t return.

As for the watering, as long as you’re checking the soil about 1/4" down before watering, you can determine if 1-2x a day is too much or two little. If the tree is healthy and there are lots of roots, 2x/day sounds OK when it’s above 85. Otherwise, I’d guess 1x/day is OK for temps below 80. That said, checking the soil is far more important than following a schedule.

Hope this helps!

Thanks for the response, Jonas! I’m glad the tree is not doing too bad.

Should I test for spider mites by using a piece of white paper?

Do you think the tree would benefit from repotting sometimes soon (this fall)?


Yes, I’d look to repot the tree in December or January.

Yes about the white paper too - here’s some info about spider mites:

Thanks again, Jonas. This is very helpful!

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