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Juniper 101: Discover the Basics of Juniper Shrubs

Mini Arcade Juniper Mini Arcade Juniper

 

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.

Blue Point Juniper Blue Point Juniper

The larger, upright growing forms are excellent for screening, windbreaks, and make great backdrops for shrub and perennial borders. Many selections produce small berries that the birds cherish and become an important source of food for birds. The midrange spreading varieties are great for snow fencing, and even in the background of a perennial border. The low spreading types are outstanding evergreen ground covers that never need pruning, and need very little care.

The trend is to use Junipers that will allow the specific selection to grow naturally without having to trim or shear it back to fit into a spot. Many people used to shear them into round or square plants, but this is not as common any more. The natural form is feathery and soft looking and often much more desirable.

The foliage color offers many greens, yellow and blues, and when some go dormant they can change color to purplish hues. Don’t let the winter color turn you off as they can be very striking.

We have three different upright growing varieties, sometimes referred to as juniper trees – Blue Point, Blue Arrow, and Eastern Redcedar (red cedar is a Juniper). All three of these are excellent for screening, windbreaks or shelterbelts, or a great backdrop to a shrub or perennial border. They prefer well drained sites that are in full sun. Once established, you will need to do very little with them.

Kallay's Compact Juniper Kallay's Compact Juniper

The midrange Juniper types include Kallay’s Compact, Sea Green, and Grey Owl which are in that 3-4’ height range and spreading to 5’ or more. Excellent plant for larger landscapes where they can be used in mass plantings. Good barrier plants in the back edge of a property making an outstanding backdrop to a perennial border. Sometimes use as foundation for larger homes or buildings.

The shorter groundcover type Junipers are excellent xeriscape plants to be used with rock mulch or in landscapes where grass in not needed. Some of these varieties are excellent plants spilling over walls or larger boulders. These include Blue Rug, Blueberry Delight, Mini Arcade, Bar Harbor, Blue Pacific, or Wisconsin Juniper selections. These selections create solid masses of evergreen foliage where it is hot and dry. Buffalo Juniper grows a bit taller, but it is typically used as a ground cover. Blue Star Juniper likes to stay in a 2’ chunk of blueish foliage making them great for foundation plantings and individual plants mixed in the border for some winter substance.

Blue Rug Juniper Blue Rug Juniper

When selecting the right Juniper for your home, be sure to pay attention to the size and select the right plant for the right spot. Minimal pruning by heading back excessive new growth can be done in spring before they start to grow or anytime during the growing season. Use a hand-held pruner and only selectively head back the longest stems and allow the branches close by to remain.

It is always a good idea to water all evergreens well before winter comes, as evergreens do transpire water all winter long even if the soil is frozen. Junipers offer food from the small berries produced, and cover to small birds and animals.

Check out our Junipers!

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

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