Plant of the Week - July 26, 2012 Creeping Junipers

Creeping Junipers

Creeping juniper is a versatile ground cover plant that’s fast growing in locations exposed to direct sunlight.  This bluish-green evergreen features textured, plume like foliage.  Depending on the variety of Bylands junipers (listed below,) a single creeping juniper can have a wide-spreading radius of approximately 5 to 10 feet when mature and grows to 12 to 60 inches high.

The creeping juniper grows vigorously in most well drained soil types.  Once established these junipers are considered to be drought tolerant; only needing water on during hot, dry spells.  This hardy ground cover requires very little care or pruning.

A lot of the unhealthy or uglier looking junipers out there are because of improper pruning, usually because they were sheared.  Shearing is almost never the right method when dealing with a juniper.  Tip pruning, taking selective cuts by cutting back enough of the branch to shorten it while leaving a natural shape or taper to the plant., is the most recommended method to prune back a juniper if necessary.  If you have sheared your juniper too far there is really nothing you can do to repair the plant but rather to replace it.  So be careful not to cut the branches too far back and exposing the woody brown undergrowth.

Lots of people think they don’t really like junipers but the truth is they are great shrubs that can be kept naturally looking virtually forever so consider using some of these beauties in your landscape plan.   Be sure to consult your local garden centre professional for their expert opinion on which creeping juniper will suit your region best.

Below is a list of some of the creeping juniper varieties Bylands grows.  Click on the plant name to find out even more information one that variety.

Limeglow™ Juniper
A dwarf, creeping evergreen with feathery foliage that forms a vase shape. The new growth is a chartreuse-yellow. Withstands hot, dry conditions and holds its color in hot summer climates. Foliage turns shade of copper in winter.  0-12" height 48-60" spread

Calgary Carpet® Juniper
Very popular Juniper variety with low spreading habit and attractive soft green foliage. A compact version of Arcadia that has proved hardy enough to withstand the harsh Calgary winters. Great groundcover for small areas. Wonderful addition to any landscape.  0-12" height 48-60" spread

Effusa Juniper
Hardy, low growing evergreen with wide spreading branches. Deep green, silvery banded foliage is held on reddish stems. Tolerates heat and poor soils. Excellent groundcover or in Mass Planting. Often used in native plantings as a compact Common Juniper.  0-12" height 48-60" spread

Gold Coast® Juniper
Moderate growing compact evergreen with graceful branching. Lacy golden foliage with green inside all year round, colour deepens in winter. Wonderful accent to the landscape border or in Mass Planting. One of the showiest of all spreaders.  24-36" height 48-60" spread

Buffalo Juniper
Attractive feathery soft green foliage with good year round colour. Low spreading habit makes excellent groundcover. Long arching branches are good for cascading over walls or rocks, in the rock garden or in Mass Planting to stabilize slopes.  0-12" height 5-10' spread

Icee Blue® Juniper
Low growing, spreading evergreen with intense silvery blue foliage forming a spectacular dense carpeted crown of colour. This new introduction has superior winter colour. Ground hugging stems are great for cascading over walls or rocks.  0-12" height 5-10' spread

Hughes Juniper
Low evergreen groundcover with attractive feathery silver blue foliage in summer turning plum-blue in fall and winter. Spreading graceful branches hug the ground and are great for trailing over walls or rocks. Colourful display in the border or mass plantings.  0-12" height 5-10' spread

Blue Chip Juniper
Low spreading evergreen groundcover with superb silver blue foliage all year long. Ground hugging branches are quite handsome trailing over walls or rocks. One of the best blues. Adds distinctive colour to any landscape border or mass planting.  0-12" height 5-10' spread

Blue Danube Juniper
Vase-shaped spreading evergreen with attractive feathery bluish green foliage year round. Good accent or as a background in the border. Commonly used in Mass Planting. Does well in most soil conditions.  12-24" height 5-10' spread

Holger Juniper
A low spreading evergreen with dense branches clothed in blue-green foliage. Yellow-tipped new growth creates an attractive two-tone appearance. Ideal for the rock garden as an accent in the border.  12-24" height 5-10' spread

New Blue Tamarix Juniper
Excellent landscape addition with low spreading mounding form. Foliage is deeper blue-green than regular Tam Juniper. Thrives in sun and heat. Ideal for a background in the border or in Mass Planting to cover slopes or banks.  12-24" height 5-10' spread

Savin Juniper
Upright spreading vase-shaped evergreen. Wide spreading with soft dark green foliage. Very popular variety for prairies or plains. Great background in the border or in Mass Planting. Withstands city conditions and is very hardy. 36"-48" height 5'-10' spread