What Causes My Juniper Bonsai to Turn Brown?

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    Over or Under Watering

    • Bonsai trees tend to dry out quickly, which will lead to brittle, broken roots. The roots will be unable to deliver nutrients to the needles, which is what causes them to turn brown. However, overwatering may drown the roots. Bonsai trees need daily watering until the soil is moist, but the water should not spill over the side of the pot.


    • Juniper bonsai trees are exclusively meant to be outdoors. They need a period of dormancy in the winter when temperatures drop to properly function. The plants may get sick and turn brown or yellow if they are kept indoors year-round. They also need lots of natural sunlight, which they will not receive if kept inside.

    Bad Soil

    • Bonsai trees use up a lot of nutrients yet are kept in very small pots with a very small amount of soil. The nutrients in the soil will inevitably get used up quickly, sometimes in as little as one growing season. As such, the juniper bonsai ia replanted every year so that the soil nutrients are replenished. The needles will turn brown and die from lack of nutrients if you do not.

    Saving Your Tree

    • Unfortunately, chances are that you will not be able to save your bonsai tree if you notice most of the needles have turned brown. The needles will not change color until after the tree has been dead for some time. You may be able to save it if the discoloration is isolated on one branch by pruning the dead branch immediately.

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