Common Name: creeping juniper
Type: Needled evergreen
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Spread: 8.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Suggested Use: Ground Cover
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil, Air Pollution
Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Adapts to a wide range of soils, but prefers a dryish, sandy soil. Tolerates hot, relatively dry growing conditions, somewhat poor soils and many city air pollutants. Intolerant of wet soils.
Creeping juniper is a procumbent evergreen shrub that is native to Canada and the northern U. S. where it typically occurs in sandy and gravelly soils, sand dunes, rock outcroppings, slopes, prairies and stream banks. It forms a low ground cover that generally rises to 6-18” tall but spreads by long trailing branches with abundant short branchlets to form an often-dense, 4-10’ wide mat. Foliage is primarily scale-like (adult) with some awl-like (juvenile) needles appearing usually in opposite pairs. Foliage is typically green to blue-green during the growing season, but often acquires purple tones in winter. Fleshy seed cones (dark blue berries) generally mature in two years, but are often absent on cultivated plants. ‘Blue Chip’ is a prostrate cultivar that features steel-blue foliage throughout the year with purplish tips in winter. It typically grows up to 8-10” tall but spreads to 10’ wide.
No serious insect or disease problems. Junipers are generally susceptible to blights (dieback of stem tips), particularly in unusually rainy/wet springs. Cedar-apple and related rust diseases spend part of their life cycle on junipers. Root rot may occur, particularly in wet, poorly drained soils. Occasional insect pests include aphids, bagworms, webworm, and scale. Watch for spider mites. Foliage on mature plants will sometimes die back in the center.
A versatile, sprawling ground cover. Rock gardens. Foundations. Slopes. Mass plantings.