juniper bonsai turn yellow

Why do juniper bonsai turn yellow? (#5 Reasons)

After getting a lot of questions from bonsai gardeners, I decided to do some research to find out why juniper bonsai trees turn yellow. I found an amazing reason.

Why do juniper bonsai turn yellow?. Juniper bonsai trees can turn yellow mainly due to lack of water and excess water. Imbalanced sunlight as well as nutrient deficiency should be considered. Rotten roots, fungi, and pests are other major causes. Perhaps the age of the tree is also a factor.

But did you know how to protect your juniper bonsai tree from turning in to yellow?. It is not hard if you do like I did with my friend.

What causes juniper bonsai trees to turn yellow?

Juniper Bonsai Trees Bonsai is a good choice for beginners and juniper bonsai trees are easy to maintain. Also, you can bend and shape your bonsai tree as you wish.

But the yellowing of juniper trees is a common problem among juniper bonsai gardeners. I also had this problem.

Once my friend received a juniper bonsai tree, and it was his first bonsai tree. But he had no idea about how to take care of bonsai trees. 

With time some leaves of his juniper bonsai tree turned yellow. He asked me about that because I have been a bonsai Gardner for a while. 

But this yellowing bonsai tree took me into trouble because I had not any experience with juniper bonsai trees. 

But with my bonsai gardening experiences, I figured out what the problem was. Let’s discuss, and I am going to give a great tip at the end for juniper bonsai trees.

Following are the main reasons for yellow juniper bonsai trees.

  1. Lack of sunlight turns your juniper tree into yellow.
  2. Faults of watering turn juniper leaves into yellow. 
  3. Lack of nutrition may cause your juniper tree to turn yellow.
  4. After pruning roots of the bonsai tree, leaves can turn into yellow.
  5. Insects pests and worms can turn your juniper bonsai on to yellow.

Lack of sunlight turns your juniper tree into yellow. #1

As we know, sunlight is the primary source of energy for living beings. It is common for humans, animals, and plants. There is a scientific explanation about this. And I’m going to discuss it separately for people who want to know about that.

In brief, that process is called photosynthesis. To photosynthesize, plants want to absorb sunlight. In all green plant leaves, there is a green pigment called chlorophyll, and it makes the green colour of leaves as well as chlorophyll absorb the energy from sunlight.

So let’s dive into the problem again, as we discussed earlier any tree wants sunlight to make their foods. And there are specific things in plant cells to absorb energy from sunlight.

This is common to the juniper bonsai trees, and if it didn’t get proper sunlight, the tree didn’t produce chlorophyll pigment in leaves.

So the leaves turn yellow. this is common to juniper leaves. so juniper bonsai leaves also can be turned in to yellow.

After getting to know about all those things I went to my friend and asked him where the tree was. He showed me the yellowing tree in the living room.

There was not any sunlight to the tree. I thought that my decision was correct and we took the plant outside and placed it where it can receive good sunlight.


  • There are about 30 species of juniper trees, and all juniper trees need 6 to 8 hours sunlight throughout the day. 
  • Juniper bonsai trees also need sunlight like parent trees.
  • If your plant is indoor, place the plant where it can receive direct sunlight.
  • If your plant is outdoor, place the plant where it can receive bright sunlight and be aware of the wind.

Faults of watering turn juniper leaves into yellow. #2

Every bonsai tree needs frequent watering. You have to water it every day and don’t let the soil dry. But too much water can kill your plant, so be careful when you water the bonsai plant. You can observe the moisture of soil and water it frequently. Also, you can make a pattern to water it every day.

My friend and I did the same to his bonsai tree. Because even though it was in sunlight, all the yellow leaves of his tree did not turn green again.


Over-watering can harm any tree, and It didn’t depend on the size and age. If you over-watered any tree, the tree roots start to spoil. When roots are spoiled, plants can’t absorb water or minerals from the soil. So the leaves didn’t produce green pigment in leaves; for this reason, the leaves turn yellow. 


As we know, all lives are based on water. Plants also can’t grow without water. So always keep an eye on the soil moisture of your bonsai plants, don’t let it dry.

If the plant-soil gets dried up, your juniper bonsai tree can’t absorb water because there is no water in the soil.

And it can’t absorb minerals without water. Any plant did not produce food without water and minerals. For this reason, the leaves do not produce chlorophyll, and leaves turn yellow.

How can you water the juniper bonsai tree properly? 

Test the soil every day by poking your finger into the soil and check the moisture of the soil. If it feels dry, water it. If it is wet, you didn’t want to water the plant.

Anyway, you have to water your plant every 1-3 days.

Easy way 

There’s an easy way to water the plant, take a tub and place your bonsai plant in it and fill the tub with water until the water comes near to the brim of the plant container.

Then let it soak and get the plant container out when the soil feels wet.

Lack of nutrition may cause your juniper tree to turn yellow.#3

Plants want nutritions to grow up and to produce its cells. When a plant can’t absorb the required minerals from the soil, it can’t produce its cells.

The green pigment chlorophyll is also a cell, and plants need nutritions to make cells. For this reason, your plant leaves turn yellow.

So fertilize the plant frequently and use nursery accepted fertilizers always to your juniper bonsai tree.

At last, my friend and I went out of the big deal with his juniper bonsai tree. The leaves of his bonsai turn into green, and most of the yellow leaves fall, and new green twigs get placed. My friend never asked me again, “Why is my juniper bonsai turning yellow ?”

After pruning roots of the bonsai tree, leaves can turn into yellow.#4

When you prune the roots of your juniper bonsai tree, it reduces the ability of the plant to absorb water and minerals for a while.

In this period, the amount of water and minerals absorbed by the roots is not enough for all the leaves, and some leaves turn yellow and fall.

After pruning roots of your juniper bonsai tree, use a vitamin to the plant roots.

Insects pests and worms .#5

Insects can harm your bonsai plant roots and stem. If the roots and stem get damaged, the bonsai tree can’t exchange foods and minerals throughout the tree.

So your plant leaves turn yellow. As well as when pests harm the leaves of your bonsai tree. As we know, when pests attack a plant, the plants work to death. So spray a pesticide on your plant.

Also, worms harm the root system of your plant. Now you know plants can’t do anything without roots, and it affects the yellow color of leaves. Always keep an eye on your bonsai plant.

At the end of the lifespan.

This is a heartbreaking thing, and you didn’t want to get known that your bonsai plant is at the end of its lifespan.

If you want to know your bonsai tree’s lifespan, read my article about “What’s the lifespan of a bonsai tree? “

When a tree is starting to die, the tree doesn’t absorb minerals and water from the soil. So its leaves turn yellow and start to fall. But keep in mind, any tree can live more than hundreds of years.

This is also common for juniper trees. So if your juniper bonsai tree is more than 100 years old and it turns yellow, leave your tree. It ends its lifespan.