I've inherited a sick juniper and best I can tell the nursery bark mulch type soil is the culprit (apparently it was outside and watered properly). I know it's not generally recommended to repot a less-than-healthy tree, but I'd like to get it into something healthier where it can recover for a couple years. My plan is to remove most but not all existing soil around the roots, leave any healthy roots in place, and pot it in a larger pot.
Would you recommend bonsai soil (1/3rd Akadama, 1/3rd Pumice, and 1/3rd Lava) for this, or something more organic?
Thanks, I appreciate the input, Nicholas!
Personally, I would repot(slip pot) into a slightly larger wooden box and not mess with it's roots too much. Keep it on the ground on top of mulch and see how it does this year. You can do a water test to see if water is actually percolating through the root ball or not.
If not, can poke some tiny holes throughout with a chopstick and fill those with something inorganic like regular 1/1/1 mix. Then if you get some revival of the tree this year, you can repot next.
That said, your solution may be better if you have circling roots that are choking themselves, just scary (for me) to remove many roots on a tree that is struggling.
Hope your juniper makes it.
Thanks Mike. I’ve had it in a cold frame this winter, so my plan is to bring it out in the next couple weeks and repot as soon as soon as I start to see some greening at the tips, maybe a few weeks from now.
Please post of photo of the juniper and tell us when you plan on doing your work? Repotting junipers is not done in the winter unless you a green house.