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Juniper Culture

Outstanding Features

  • Very durable landscape plants.
  • Growth habits vary from low growing to upright or spreading shrub to small tree.
  • Wide range of shapes and sizes.
  • Needle color varies from blue to dark green.

Landscape Use

  • Due to the many sizes, growth habits and forms of junipers, they offer many uses in the landscape from ground covers to specimen trees.
  • Useful in landscapes in urban settings due to high tolerance to heat, and poor, dry soils.
  • May be used as hedge, screens, windbreaks, foundation plants, specimen plants and incorporated into rock gardens, shrubs borders and other diverse landscape designs.
  • Avoid planting juniper near apples and crabapples which are alternate hosts for cedar apple rust.


  • Plant in sunny locations in light, well drained soils.
  • Junipers tolerate wide range of soil pH values.
  • Prune by thinning out, i.e. cutting branch at its point of origin or back to a side branch.
  • Junipers used as hedges or for other formal appearance should be sheared in early spring and again in early summer.

Caution: New growth will not sprout from branches left with no needles.

Key Pests


  • Juniper Tip Blight
  • Cedar Apple Rust


  • Spider Mites

Cultural Problems

  • Sparse foliage and thin, leggy plants result when junipers are grown in shade.

Selected Species and Cultivars

Junipers can be conveniently divided into three categories based on growth habit: ground cover, spreading and upright. There are many cultivars with resistance to Juniper Tip Blight caused by Kabatina or Phomopsis. These should be given preference in landscape plantings.

Ground Cover Types:

Juniperus chinensis var. sargentii

Spreading Types:

  • J. chinensis
  • 'Iowa'
  • 'Pfitzeriana Aurea'
  • 'Shoosmith'
  • J. chinensis var. sargentii 'Glauca'
  • J. sabina
  • 'Arcadia'
  • 'Broadmoor'
  • 'Skandia'
  • J. squamata 'Prostrata'
  • J. virginiana 'Tripartita'

Upright Types:

  • J. chinensis
  • 'Keteleeri'
  • 'Robusta'

Written by: Ron Kujawski
Revised: 08/2011