Are you tempted to start a bonsai collection? If so, the Shimpaku (Juniperus Chinesis) bonsai tree is a great tree to start with. The Shimpaku bonsai tree (Chinese Juniper) is both an evergreen and deciduous tree, meaning that it won’t go bare during the winter, especially if you happen to live under mild climates. In fact, the Shimpaku Bonsai tree is often referred to as a semi-evergreen.
The Shimpaku Bonsai tree tolerates all kinds of soils, so if you are looking to start learning about the art of growing miniature trees, the Shimpaku is one of the easiest to learn from, making it a perfect choice for beginners. There are about five hundred different species of Chinese Juniper trees available to grow as bonsai trees, so choosing one shouldn’t be much of a problem for beginners.
Shimpaku bonsai trees grow a very distinct and natural irregular shape. They usually grow upright but some like to train them into different shapes and it isn’t unusual to see Shimpaku bonsai trees grow horizontally.
They grow deep year round foliage with green needles that develop into nice-looking mounds. During the spring season, Chinese Junipers bloom and produce beautiful white clusters of flowers.
Buying and caring for a Shimpaku bonsai.
When looking to buy a Shimpaku bonsai tree, make sure you purchase it from a reputable place. Buying online is fine, but make sure you check the age, origins and full name of the tree you are buying.
Young trees aren’t necessarily pricey but you want to ask the dealer for a bonsai certificate (commonly available) stating the origins and all the useful characteristics concerning the tree. However, if you are new to the art of bonsai cultivation, we suggest that you purchase a well-established tree so that you don’t have to transplant it into another container right away. Also, bear in mind that young trees are usually a lot more fragile than mature ones.
Proper care for your Shimpaku is necessary if you want it to last and grow into a strong mature bonsai- and fortunately, with this kind of tree, it is relatively easy. As explained above, the Juniperus Chinesis bonsai tree is highly tolerant and can grow in various soils. This said, during the summer season, your bonsai tree will need a combination of sun and shade.
No matter where you decide to grow your tree—whether it is indoor or outdoor–the most important thing to remember is to make sure there is plenty of lighting and fresh air. Keep the soil slightly moist especially if the summer is hot and dry where you live. Misting the foliage 3 to 4 times a week is also essential to keep the tree as green as possible and make sure that dust doesn’t settle on the leaves, which could prevent your bonsai tree from growing correctly.
During the winter months, it is preferable to keep the Shimpaku bonsai trees indoor for several reasons. First of all, if you happen to live under temperate or continental climates, the rain could soak the soil of the tree, which would lead to root rot, thus preventing normal development.
Secondly, the Shimpaku bonsai tree normally goes into dormancy during the winter, so your bonsai should be kept inside, preferably in a cool room especially if you happen to live in regions where winters are mild.
Fertilizing is very important too and should be done once every two weeks. You should pick a nitrogen-free fertilizer if you can. The fertilization period is optimal from spring until the end of the summer.
Finally, repotting your tree should be done at least once every 2 years if the bonsai is young (under 7 years). After that, once every four to five years is sufficient. Always repot your Shimpaku bonsai tree either during spring or at the beginning of the cold season. For optimum growth following the repotting, make sure that the soil remains slightly damp and keep it out of the sun for 4 to 6 weeks.