Dwarf junipers can be successfully grown in containers. They can be combined with annuals or perennials or planted alone as an accent or focal point in your garden. They’ll look great when placed in pairs on either side of an entranceway. One of the most popular plants to grow into a bonsai is a juniper as well, which are typically grown in a container.
Planting Juniper in Pots
Be sure that any container used has a drainage hole. Junipers don’t like wet roots and will rot if left to grow in standing water. You can leave your juniper outdoors year-round if the container can withstand freezing and thawing conditions. Move junipers planted in clay or concrete containers indoors to prevent the container from cracking when moisture seeps in and freezes.
Junipers grown in containers placed in sunny locations need watering more frequently. Plant the juniper in a container that is slightly larger than the root ball.
Best Soil For Juniper in Pots
Use good quality potting mix for your container-grown junipers. To help with drainage, add 10 to 20 percent Perlite to the potting soil. Add a few stones or broken pieces of clay pottery to the bottom of the container to prevent the drainage hole from clogging. Junipers need to be grown in containers with good drainage.
Caring For Juniper in Planters
Junipers need little care or maintenance besides watering. Repot if you notice roots growing out of the drainage hole or the soil becomes hard. If your potted juniper doesn’t produce new growth in the spring, check to see if it has become root-bound. If yes, it’s time to re-pot. If not, your plant may not need fertilization.
Watering Juniper in Pots
Water your juniper when the top few inches of soil dry out. Containers placed in sunny locations will need to be checked every day or two during the summer months.
Fertilizing Juniper in Pots
Fertilize container-grown junipers with an all-purpose slow-release granular fertilizer in early spring. Spread the fertilizer evenly across the top of the soil and add water. Follow the instructions on the package to prevent over-fertilizing.
Winter Care For Juniper in Pots
Junipers grown in containers should be a zone more cold tolerant than species grown in the ground. The container will be subject to wind and temperature fluctuations. Junipers grown in large containers do better in the winter because the soil in the root zone will go through the freezing and thawing process less frequently.
Be sure to use a container that won’t absorb moisture and crack when the water freezes and expands. Some gardeners wrap their containers in burlap to provide insulation from cold winter winds.
Can Juniper Be Grown Indoors
Junipers are not easy to grow indoors. Most need a period of dormancy and cool temperatures. Keep them away from heating units and outside doors. They need some water, but it’s best to mist them instead of watering the soil. They need plenty of sun to mimic the outdoors.