I just received this beautiful Bonsai. But it didn't come with instructions on watering, or how much sunlight. I'm in New York and its freezing. I want to put it by the window because I get a lot of sunlight, but its cold by the window. Also the tree is very thorny and if you touch it. needles easily fall off. What should I be doing for this beauty?




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    I commented below J. Musser, but realized it might not send you notification. This isn't a bonsai. This is a juniper that just grows in this fashion. A bonsai is any plant that has been worked and maintained to look like a really old tree and/or one that has gone through a great struggle to stay alive. You should search bonsai and you'll see the difference. You get a lot of stores that mislabel plants as bonsai to make a dollar. You can still keep it as a house plant if you like it. Nothing is wrong with it, just not a bonsai. You could turn this into a bonsai, though. – Dalton Jan 25 '17 at 19:13

Before anything else, if you really want to keep a bonsai alive, I highly, highly recommend you invest in a good book on bonsai care. Something you can reference any time to help you get a feel for the plant's needs.

It's a Juniper. These can be kept as bonsai for 100's of years. It's winter, and the plant is dormant. It needs cool temperatures (45 Fahrenheit would be great). Water only when the top of the soil is dry, and only enough to dampen it again. Don't fertilize until the tree breaks dormancy. Light is good, especially filtered sunlight. As an evergreen, these need light even while dormant.

I'm concerned about how you mentioned the needles easily falling off. This can mean the tree is dead (even if it's not brown). Hopefully it was only older needles that were falling off, which is normal and happens yearly.

Again, please consider getting yourself a good guide.

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    Good info, but I don't think this is a bonsai. I think it's one of those pots where they chuck a curvy plant in pot and call it a bonsai. I see no training of this plant in any way to make it into a bonsai. Some junipers just look like that. – Dalton Jan 25 '17 at 19:09
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    @Dalton you're right, but if you read my answer, I was trying to be encouraging and tell the OP how they can move forward with this project. – J. Musser Jan 25 '17 at 19:11
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    I agree, I think you had some good suggestions. I just wanted to let them know that it wasn't a bonsai, but could be turned into one. It wasn't a criticism of you or the OP, just a correction of terminology. I think this particular plant would require a little work, but could be turned into a cascade. – Dalton Jan 25 '17 at 19:18

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