juniper bonsai trees are brittle

Why do juniper bonsai trees are brittle? (shocking truth)

Have you ever wondered why do juniper bonsai trees are brittle? Since many people asked me about that, I decided to share my knowledge and experience with you.

Why do juniper bonsai trees are brittle? Juniper bonsai trees can be brittle mainly due to dehydration. Excess moisture, lack of moisture and fertilizer, unbalanced sunlight, damaged roots, age of the tree are other reasons. Providing all the needs in a proper manner would be always the solution.

But did you know what is the proper manner to provide all these needs of a juniper tree to keep it healthy?. It will not be hard if you follow my way of treating.

What causes juniper bonsai trees to brittle down?

As we discussed in the above paragraph, the main reason for brittle juniper bonsai trees is under-watering. But it is not the only reason. Over-watering also can cause brittle juniper trees. So let’s go through all those reasons.

As well as damaged roots are another reason that leads your juniper bonsai to get brittle. also, Also the age of the tree is considerable. Let’s discuss one after one.

  • Lack of water
  • Overwatering
  • Damaged roots
  • Age of the tree
  • Unbalanced sunlight

Lack of water

Lack of water causes everything to dry. So if you under-water your juniper bonsai tree it also starts to dry and it makes your bonsai tree brittle and crispy. So you have to be very careful when watering your tree.

Bonsai soil is very organized soil and it is a soil mixture that has good drainage. Bonsai soil did not store moisture like garden soil. So, if you are unable to water your tree frequently it will start to dry.

Check your juniper bonsai pot every day to make sure if the moisture in the soil is sufficient to your plant. I have a pro tip for you.

 Pro tip: here is how expert gardeners check the moisture of the soil. 

Immerse your finger into the bonsai soil up to an inch and a half. If you feel any moisture up to the bottom of your sunken finger, you do not need to water the plant. But if your finger does not feel the moisture, it is a sign of dry soil. So you need to water your juniper bonsai plant.


Brittle juniper bonsai trees can be a result of over watering. As you know brittle bonsai is a result of drying. But how an over watered tree can be dried up and brittle.

An over watered tree with brittle leaves. “Don’t laugh” IT CAN BE HAPPENED.

There are such bad effects of overwatering a plant. If a plant is overwatered, the humidity of soil rises  and it causes bad results. 

  1. Some destructive bacterias are getting active
  2. The ventilation is lost

Roots want good ventilation to absorb oxygen for their purposes, but water in soil doesn’t allow air to go through the soil so roots begin to get sick.

 As well as destructive bacterias starts to attack the roots of the plant. Because of all those things roots begin to rot.

Without A healthy root system your bonsai tree can’t absorb water. So plants start to dry and it causes brittle needles and brittle leaves.

This may have happened to your brittle juniper bonsai tree as well.

So do not overwater plants. Always keep a routine to water your plants. Always check the dampness  of the soil and water it.

Don’t estimate the wetness of soil by only looking at the upper layer of soil.

Damaged roots.

Damaged roots is a vast reason for brittle junipers. As you know a healthy root system is the main fact of every healthy tree.

If your juniper tree’s root system is damaged, your plant can’t absorb enough water. Because of that juniper tree starts to dry and it makes your juniper a brittle juniper. 

 How your roots can be damaged.

When you re-potting your juniper bonsai tree, it’s roots can be damaged. When you remove soil surrounding the roots by various materials, damages can happen. 
So I recommend you to use wood sticks to remove soil. And always be gentle with the root system. If some roots are damaged, use some root growing hormones.

Unbalanced sunlight

Sunlight is the main reason for the dehydration of all living things. as well as sunlight is the main resource of power. but when we consider these brittle juniper trees, sunlight is a double-edged sword.

Unbalanced sunlight is one main reason for brittle leaves. Mainly excess sunlight is very dangerous for juniper trees. when a juniper tree exposed to hard sunlight, the leaves of the tree begin to lose its water and therefore the leaves begin to dry out.

So your juniper bonsai tree is beginning to brittle down because of excess sunlight. always keep Attention on your juniper bonsai tree.

Age of the tree

Age of the tree is also considerable when we are talking about brittle juniper trees. Actually How long do juniper bonsai trees live?

These juniper trees can live more than 100 years if you take good care of it. According to our topic age is a problem for brittle juniper trees.

With the age the old root system rots and some pests begin to grow. Because of that the entire root system gets damaged and reduces the amount of water and minerals absorbed to the tree. So the tree is dried. So the result is brittle leaves of your juniper bonsai tree.

What you can do,
Use good pesticides and make a routine to water your plants

How do I know my juniper bonsai tree is going to brittle down?

If you are a juniper bonsai owner, now you must have that question. Not only you. All bonsai Gardners have that question. But after this chapter. It will not be a question for you. 

Observe your plant until you see some symptoms I’m going to mention below. If you capture, your tree has started to brittle.

  •  Pale foliage.
  • The leaves have dams at the ends.
  • The bark on the trunk and branches is very dry and starts to peel off.

Pale foliage.

As we considered in the above paragraph, many things lead your tree into a brittle condition.  And this is a way to identify it.

When your tree cannot absorb the necessary amount of water to its purposes, tree leaves can not produce enough chlorophyll. Because of that, your juniper plant leaves start to pale its color.

Here is one method to identify if your juniper bonsai tree is on the way to drying and brittle. So observe your tree daily.

Leaves with dams at the ends.

As you know, the dams on the leaves indicate that the juniper trees are beginning to become brittle. This happens when the juniper leaves do not have enough water and the tree gets too much sunlight.

Observe your tree daily as you catch a few brown needles on your juniper tree. If you get caught, you should treat your plant.

The bark on the trunk and branches is very dry and starts to peel off.

If you observe your tree closely you will be able to see some differences of it when comparing to other healthy trees. These juniper trees start to peel off their bark when it has not enough water.

That is a way to understand that your tree is going to be brittle down.

check if your tree is still alive

scratch some places on the bark of tree using a small knife. If you are able to see the green color through scratches, your tree is alive. It the scratches are brown your tree is dead.

How to get rid of this drying out and fragile problem?

A big issue among juniper bonsai gardeners is how to protect their juniper bonsai trees from drying out. Of course, these fragile bonsai trees also a result of drying out.

So let’s discuss how to protect your juniper bonsai tree from drying out. It’s not as difficult as you think. Follow these guidelines, this is how you can revive a brittle down bonsai tree. But if your tree is dead, you cannot revive it.

As you may have read before, there are several factors that can cause bonsai trees to wither and break down. So let us go through one by one.

What to do if the lack of water is the reason?

Lack of water is a significant problem when talking about drying bonsai trees. So now let us discuss how to revive a dried bonsai tree because of insufficient water.

1.Observe whether your plant’s soil has enough moist.

Check the soil as I told earlier and if you feel the soil is dry, you have to follow the next steps. If the soil is dry, The root system Should be dry and it will take a while to revive. As well as you have to give a new position to your juniper tree.

2.Replace your plant

Keep it in a place where you can see it often. As well as the new place must be able to give shade to the tree. But shade is not enough, you have to keep your plant where it can receive morning sunlight directly.

3.Water your plant

Watering is important in bonsai gardening. Excess water and insufficient water can determine the lifespan of your bonsai tree. So be very careful and if you want you can follow, Gardner’s water tips below.

4.Make a secondary climate to your plant.

In fact, this unstable bonsai is caused by a loss of moisture around the plant. A low humidity environment causes plants to evaporate large amounts of water, causing your plants to dry out and become unstable.

So making a secondary climate is practical and most suitable for this dry out and brittle bonsai trees.

You can do it with various materials.

  • With polythene:
    • First water your plant and then take the polythene cover and sprinkle some water into it. Then cover your plant from the bag and tie the other end of the polythene bag.
  • With glass tank:
    • It is same as above, let us go through some images,

You can use anything you can easily find. The only requirement is to be able to close it completely.

If the reason is excessive watering

You know that too much water can damage the root system. So if this is the cause of the root rot of your bonsai tree, you can do something to revitalize your juniper bonsai tree.

Check if the roots of your tree are rotten.

There are several ways to test it, and one easy way is to smell the drainage holes in your bonsai pot. If the roots are rotten, they release a muddy smell. if you feel something like that you have to follow the next step.

Remove your plant from the pot and re-pot it.

If the roots are rotten, all rotten roots of the juniper bonsai tree should be removed. That is the first thing you need to do. Then take another bonsai pot and make more drainage holes in the bottom of the new pot.

Then put your plant back in there. Also, be careful to use the most suitable soil. You should use soil with more air pockets and the soil should be suitable for super drainage.

Suitable soil.

Use a well-drained soil with rocks like Akadama and Lava rock.

Then place your plant in a place where it can receive direct sunlight for half a day, and provide shade for the next half. read more here with bonsaiempirer

If the problem is damaged roots.

Once you know that the problem has damaged the roots, you can replant your bonsai tree. But when you replant, you must be very careful to protect the remaining healthy roots.

You can use homemade bonsai soil for your plant and use root growth hormone when replanting your tree.

Do this if the problem is unbalanced sunlight.

Mainly unstable juniper trees are the result of excess sunlight. When a juniper tree is exposed to direct sunlight every day, its water evaporates unusually.

But your juniper bonsai tree can be prevented from drying out and becoming unstable.Your tree should be kept in a greenhouse or in a place where there is a good shade.

Will a dried juniper Bonsai Tree die?

Death or life depends on how you treat your tree. You determine the lifespan of your juniper bonsai tree. So you have to be very careful when dealing with juniper trees.

So now we move on to our topic, Will a Dry Juniper Bonsai Tree Die? Yes, of course, it will die if you do not take care of it, but it will not die if you take care of it.

If you have a dry juniper bonsai tree, first, you need to change the location of the tree. Place your tree in the shade and water your plant well.

If you do, your dried juniper bonsai tree will not die. But if you do not, you will not be able to save the life of your bonsai tree.