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Why Is My Juniper Bonsai Turning Brown, Yellow, White & Black

You may not see Juniper Bonsai getting old due to its short stature, but you may notice it turning brown, yellow, white and black as there may be some underlying problems at hand!

Generally, the main reason behind Bonsai turning brown, yellow, white, and black is overwatering. Other possible reasons include inappropriate temperature, incorrect sunlight, nutrition issues, pests, and diseases.

If you are uncertain about the problems, seek a Bonsai expert or trained horticulturist before it’s too late to cure your Bonsai.

But you can also go through this entire article before seeking anyone to know the actual reasons behind Bonsai’s problems and save your time.

5 Reasons Behind Juniper Bonsai Turning Brown, Yellow, White, And Black

Sometimes, compact soil and no drainage can turn your Juniper Bonsai Brown, yellow, white, or black due to poor air circulation.

So always use well-draining soil and plant your Bonsai in a terracotta pot with enough draining holes.

Juniper Bonsai turning brown and yellow
Juniper Bonsai can turn brown and white with stunted growth due to several reasons.

1. Improper Watering

Improper watering is the major reason behind juniper Bonsai Problems like leaves turning Brown, Yellow, white and black.

Too much watering may cause soggy soil that results in Bonsai turning brown or black. Moreover, Too low water causes dehydration resulting in yellow leaves with brown and crispy tips.

Furthermore, your plant may suffer from several pathogenic diseases, stunted growth and many more.

Additionally, bad water quality due to tap water is also a serious problem turning your Bonsai black, white, or brown.

Juniper Bonsai needs watering every 4-5 days during summer and every 10-12 days during winter.

Treatments And Preventive Measures

  • Water your Bonsai only when the top 2 inches of the soil feel dry.
  • Use a moisture meter to water your Bonsai properly.
  • Always use distilled or filtered water to water your Bonsai.
  • Mulching around the base of your Bonsai helps to retain moisture.
  • Use the bottom watering method if the soil is extremely dry.

2. Inappropriate Temperature

Excessive temperature rise or freezing temperature may cause your Juniper Bonsai to suffer from discoloration.

High temperatures may cause the leaves to turn yellow, brown, or white. Meanwhile, chilling temperatures may cause leaf damage turning them black with nasty white spots.

Furthermore, the plant cannot perform photosynthetic activities due to cell damage. This results in wilting and slow growth.

Juniper Bonsai prefers temperatures ranging from 60°F and 75°F for the best looks and healthy growth.

Treatments And Preventive Measures

  • Shift your Bonsai indoors during chilling temperatures.
  • During the hottest days, mist the Bonsai once daily to keep it cool.
  • Mulch around the plant’s base to maintain proper temperature.
  • Use frost blankets to prevent your Bonsai from freezing cold.
  • Never place your Bonsai near heating vents or cold drafts.

3. Incorrect Sunlight

Light is an essential element for every type of plant, as they cannot prepare food without light.

However, excessive light is also harmful to your Bonsai. High sunlight equals high temperature, which may damage the leaf cells.

Too high sunlight may be the reason behind Bonsai turning yellow, white, and gradually brown. But no light causes the leaves to turn black or dark green.

Juniper Bonsai needs 6-8 hours of full sunlight daily for proper growth. 

old Juniper bonsai
Too low light or excessive light may cause irregular growth, making it ugly.

Treatment And Preventive Measures

  • Place your Bonsai to the East facing window if it’s getting no light.
  • Shift the plant to the shaded area if exposed to an area that gets excessive light.
  • Use sheer curtains to provide dappled light if you want to avoid excessive light.
  • Provide your Bonsai with 14-16 hours of artificial light if the living space gets no light.
  • If your Bonsai is too dense, prune the upper parts so that the lower branches get enough light.

4. Nutrition Issues

Your Bonsai may face nutrition issues if you feed them with inappropriate fertilizer or provide them with excessive or no fertilizer.

Too much fertilizer causes your Bonsai leaves to burn turning them brown or black. Meanwhile, inadequate fertilizer may turn your Bonsai leaves yellow or white.

When you apply liquid fertilizer from the top of the plant, white or brown spots may occur.

Bonsai is already a slow grower, forcing them to grow faster by applying too much fertilizer may also cause these problems.

Treatments And Preventive Measures

  • Feed your Bonsai with a balanced fertilizer once a month during the growing season.
  • Amend the soil with organic compost for chemical-free growth.
  • Hydrate the Bonsai before feeding it with any fertilizers.
  • Pour the liquid fertilizer on the plant’s base to avoid fertilizer spots.
  • Prune the damaged leaves, as they won’t recover.

5. Pests And Diseases

It’s obvious for your Bonsai to face pests or diseases as they are part of the plant’s life cycle.

However, if you leave the plant as it is, the diseases may spread to your entire garden, making you lose your valuable plants.

Pests like mealybugs, spider mites, aphids, etc., leave nasty spots on your Bonsai. Also, they invite pathogens causing fungal and bacterial infection.

The pathogens can cause leaf spots, powdery mildew, etc., turning your Juniper Bonsai yellow, brown, black, and white.

Furthermore, when you overwater your Bonsai, soggy soil may also invite pathogens that may cause root rot.

Firstly, a few spots occur on leaves that increase in number as the pathogens spread to the whole plant.

Treatments And Preventive Measures

  • Isolate your infected Bonsai as soon as you notice any pathogenic infections.
  • Prune the infected parts to prevent the pathogenic spread.
  • Apply pesticides, fungicides, or neem oil to prevent your Bonsai from further infection.
  • Use biological control methods to kill pests by chemical-free methods.
  • Stop overwatering to prevent any root problems on your Bonsai.

From Editorial Team

Important Tips!

Juniper Bonsai turning brown, yellow, white, or black cannot recover if the problem is due to physical damage, diseases, or fertilizer damage.

However, you can still recover them if the yellowing or browning is due to inadequate fertilizer.

Thus, it’s better to prune the damaged or discolored parts if they are from problems that cannot recover.