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Juniper Care

Let’s start with the idea that you are going to plant some Juniper plants. We can discuss existing plantings later. You have done your research, checked out what Nature Hills offers in Junipers, and you have the perfect spot to plant some. First, what is the perfect spot to plant Junipers in? The beautiful thing about Junipers is that they are so very easy to grow, and require very little care once they are established.

- Site selection is simple…well drained soil, and full sun. Junipers tolerate poor and rocky soils and are very adaptable to most soils if they are well drained.

- Juniper selection is next. It is best to look at the mature size of Junipers that we offer. You will notice that there are many different sizes in height and spread. Pay close attention to that when making your selection. Upright forms should be planted close enough together to make a screen or windbreak if that is what you want them to do. Spreading forms vary in height and by spread. Be sure to select ones that will fit into the space or be sure the spacing of the number of plants you need to cover the area is correct.

- Plant your new Junipers no deeper than they were growing in the pot. Water the plants in well, and use the finger test to see if the plants need water. If the soil feels dry, water. If moist, skip watering that day. Junipers grow well with a shredded mulch around the base, or they can do well with a stone mulch taking the heat from the stone better than most plants.

- The first season your newly planted Junipers will not make a lot of new growth, but they will be concentrating on making new roots in the ground. The second season you will notice some nice feathery new growth on your plants. The third growing season you may find it necessary to trim back the new growth with a hand pruner. Grab the tip of the branch you want to reduce the size of, and cut it back by a foot or so. This “heading back method of pruning works great without affecting the overall natural form of the plants. It is not recommended to shear your junipers into round shapes, but continue to head back the strongest, fastest growing stems allowing the side shoots to take over. Pruning this way will allow for the most natural form.

- Fertilizer is good at the start to help to re-establish the plants in their new home. We sell the Root Booster packets that are a tremendous help to get them going: Do not use lawn fertilizer on your shrubs, trees, or vegetables. It has too much nitrogen in the formulation. A good balanced fertilizer on an as needed basis can be done in early spring for best results.

- Additional water during the first growing season is required until the plants have rooted in nicely and can find water on their own. During extreme drought periods, it is a good idea to water the roots (not the foliage) as needed by soaking the root zone. Overhead irrigation in not the best method for watering Junipers. Each fall (especially if it has been dry) it is always a great idea to give all of you evergreens a good soaking before the ground freezes to get as much moisture into the plants before the ground freezes up. In exposed and harsh climates, Junipers and other evergreens can be subject to winter burn as evergreens do transpire water all winter long. A nice deep watering in late fall can prevent some winter burn and is a good habit to get into.

Junipers are easy to grow, fast growing, and a welcome addition to your landscape.

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    Nature Hills offers many different Juniper selections, and the forms vary greatly. If you have a hot, dry, sunny area – we have a Juniper for you. Once established, Junipers require very little additional water in most areas, and care is quite simple. Look at the different Junipers that our nurseries grow and see where you can work them into your landscape. Continue reading

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9910 N. 48th Street, Suite 200 Omaha, NE 68152