Last summer I picked up this little juniper for a couple bucks from the section of the garden center where they put the plants that don’t look so good. In fact, this particular garden center calls it the TLC area.
At the time, it had several dead branches that extended from that hook at the top. It had a couple of healthy branches though so I thought I’d bring it home and give it a shot as a bonsai. I removed the dead branches and just let these remaining branches grow for the remainder of the season. Today, I gave it a little of that TLC it’s been needing.
The first priority was to get it out of the nursery pot. As I expected from having mostly dead branches last year, the pot was largely filled with dead roots that just fell away as I loosened the root ball. I was happy to see many white growing tips as well. That’s my sign that there are healthy roots, and they have started growing already for the spring push.
For this potting, I didn’t cut any roots. I just removed the dead roots and most of the nursery soil.
I prepared a small round training pot, and strapped it in at a bit of an angle with my growing mix.
It’s not super clear in this photo, but it has a nice little flair of roots that should develop nicely over time.
The branches are a bit haphazard still, but I definitely don’t want to remove any. This is all just to set up this tree for continued recovery. However, since I am giving a little TLC, I could do just one piece of wire, right? I want it to feel pretty.