The juniper tree is available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors. In fact, if you go to your local garden center, you will find juniper varieties ranging in size from four-inch-high groundcovers to shrubs to huge trees, in colors ranging from shades of green to silvery blue to yellow. One thing they all have in common is that they are quite hardy and very easy to grow. No matter where in the world you live, you will be able to find a juniper variety that will thrive in your climate. This evergreen will bring beauty and interest to your landscape all year long. Here are some tips for planting and growing juniper in your yard.
Planting Juniper Trees
When considering where you'd like to place your new juniper tree, choose a spot that gets a good amount of sun. Most varieties prefer full sun, although there are some that will tolerate shade. Junipers do require well-draining soil.
Dig a hole at least two times wider than the root ball and as deep. If your soil is on the heavy side, dig a little more, and work gravel into the soil, to help with drainage. Loosen the roots gently as you place your tree in the hole, back fill the hole and water deeply. Once planted, do not over water. Most juniper trees only need supplemental water under the driest of conditions.
Juniper shrubs planted in a row make an attractive hedge or windbreak. They are also lovely planted singly as specimen plants. The guidelines for planting juniper trees also apply to shrubs. The other thing to consider when planting junipers for a hedge is spacing. Find out about the mature spread of the tree from your nursery, and space your plants accordingly, to avoid overcrowding. Resist the temptation to pack them close together to get an immediate hedge, as this can slow the growth of all the shrubs.
If you are seeking a hardy, low-maintenance groundcover that will grow well even in poor soil, then juniper may be a good choice for you. There are many different varieties of low-growing juniper; visit your local garden center to find out which ones grow well in your area.
Juniper is perfect for perking up a sunny slope, or for rock gardens. The important thing to remember when planting juniper as a groundcover is to be sure to space the plants far enough apart. Some varieties of juniper can spread eight feet or more, so if you plant them to close together, overcrowding will be a problem.
General Care Tips
Once planted, junipers require very little care. They tolerate hot, dry conditions quite well, and they often thrive in poor soil. They are also resistant to most pests and diseases.
Junipers can occasionally be affected by fungal diseases, but these can be prevented by planting in well-draining soil, and taking care not to space your junipers too close together. Overcrowding leads to poor air circulation for inside branches, creating the perfect environment for funguses to grow.
Most varieties of juniper require very little pruning, making them perfect for those who don't have a lot of time to spend on landscaping. For big impact with little care, juniper never disappoints.
Cryptomeria is a great evergreen choice for hedges that's fairly easy to grow, although you'll need to spend some time pruning and give it plenty of water.
Need a privacy hedge or screen now? Consider fast-growing, low-maintenance Thuja Green Giant.