Reversion to Juvenile foliage -Juniper

Hey all,

This is less of a “help me!” panic post but rather about trying to understand juniper health better and the signs of stress. I only have cheap material so far knowing it’s going to be a steep learning curve so I’m trying to take my struggles objectively rather than emotionally haha.

I am curious to hear about people experience with juvenile growth in junipers and to hear from those that have dealt with junipers in heavy raining seasons, especially with organic soil present.

Some background, I’ve only been serious about learning bonsai for about a year and a half now. Currently living in north Florida, where we have been getting beat up with heavy rain just about every day for 1.5 to 2 months.

I have two junipers that started as box store nursery material. They were the first 2 trees I picked up to try and learn this crazy art form. They’re grey owl (just because that’s what I could find :man_shrugging:t2:), currently in 70/30 nursery organic soil to aggregate soil after its first repot. They stay in full sun outside and after a vigorous growing season, they are now reverting a lot of foliage to juvenile. They haven’t been pruned or since the initial styling and have just been left to grow since last June.

I have found it difficult to find a good source of info on juvenile growth in junipers besides some touches in live Q&A’s. Random other places say it’s usually a result of heavy pruning or heavy fertilization. Neither of those two I believe to be the case for these two trees. I remember hearing that it is a stress response as well, though I can’t remember where or seem to find that anywhere. I know some junipers are are just more prone to reverting to juvenile than others.

Idk how prone Grey Owl are to reverting, however my assumption is it’s a stress response of potential root issues from overwater with so much organic soil and such a long period of constant heavy rain. They’ve been kept in full sun all summer/growing season with no signs of stress until now. They grew out with mature scale foliage this season.There is one small interior branch that started to show some yellowing today (I’m expecting to start to see more soon) but the juvenile indication was about a week ahead of that. Typical google searches about junipers don’t really mention that so I thought that was interesting. Anyone else see things similar? The trees are also losing their vibrant grey-green color and becoming more of a dark green.

Another theory could have been that they ended up getting root pets, which caused root death which worsened the excessive water, which started this negative spiral that’s beginning to manifest itself.

I’ve moved them under a covered patio, south facing for now to keep it out of rain and have more control over soil moisture. Considering using beneficial nematodes too? We will see :man_shrugging:t2:

Thoughts?Curious if there’s anything else I could be missing or not thinking about. Looking forward to hearing about people’s experiences, thoughts, advice or other threads that I may have missed on similar situations. Thanks!

P.S. ignore my first year styling decisions for now :joy:

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It looks to me like you are getting mature, scale like growth at the tips and previously had juvenile, needlelike growth.

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