Junipers are coniferous shrubs in the genus Juniperus of the cypress family Cupressaceae. Roughly 50 to 70 species of junipers exist all over the world. Junipers range from tall trees to low growing ground cover shrubs. Juniper are winter hardy to growing zones 3 to 9. The shrubs we offer can grow from 6 inches to 12 feet tall depending on the plant. Planted in locations that get full sun, Juniper plants are fantastic as ground covers, in garden planters, mass plantings, privacy hedges, borders and ornamental plants.
Planting Juniper Bushes
Juniper bushes can thrive in any type of well draining soil, but do best when planted in a location that gets full sun. The best time to plant this bush is in the spring or fall, when temperatures are mild. Depending on the variety of Juniper that you choose, or how you will use it, will determine how far apart to space the plants. Good spacing between plants ensures good air circulation which helps to prevent fungal diseases. Plant in a hole that is 2-3 times wider than the root ball. The top of the root ball should be a bit higher than the ground around it. Fill the hole with loose soil and pat down gently. Water well and again 1-2 times a week until established.
Watering Juniper Bushes
Once established, Juniper bushes require little to no supplemental watering. They are more likely to get diseases from overwatering rather than underwatering. Newly planted bushes will need watering every week or two until the roots have developed. During extremely hot or drought conditions, it is best to keep the soil moist.
Fertilizing Juniper Bushes
Juniper bushes are easy to care for and need little to no supplemental fertilizing. If you wish, during the spring, you can apply an all-purpose slow release fertilizer. Follow the package instructions and spread around the root zone. Water thoroughly to avoid fertilizer burn.
Pruning Juniper Bushes
If you provide enough space for your Juniper to grow to its mature size, then no pruning is needed. Juniper bushes can be pruned to remove damaged branches or to achieve a desired shape. Pruning during the spring is recommended. When pruning, refrain from using hedge trimmers. It is best to trim the bush branch by branch. When pruning any Juniper bush, avoid cutting back to a point of bare wood (beyond green foliage on branches or stems.) Plants can be damaged beyond repair.
Caring For Juniper Bushes in Pots
Your Juniper Bush should be planted in a pot that is 8 inches or more in diameter than the root ball of the plant. This allows for 2-3 years of growth. Use a good quality potting soil or potting mix to help with drainage. Junipers like moist yet well-drained soil. Be sure that your container has drainage holes in the bottom. Soggy soil can cause root rot or other diseases.
Winter Care for Juniper Bushes
Juniper shrubs and trees are winter hardy and drought resistant. Many Junipers can easily withstand extremely cold winters and do not require extra care. Some Junipers can be subject to winter burn. If you notice the tips of a tree’s branches begin to brown and then progressively brown toward the center of the plant, this could be winter burn. To avoid winter burn, give your shrub extra watering during the fall so the plant can store moisture for the winter. Add extra mulch to help store water in the soil. You can also wrap the shrub in burlap to help protect it from the harsh winds and snow.