Common Name: Japanese garden juniper
Type: Needled evergreen
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 5.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: 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, dry growing conditions, somewhat poor soils and many city air pollutants. Intolerant of wet soils.
Juniperus procumbens, commonly called Japanese garden juniper, is a dwarf, procumbent, shrubby ground cover that grows 8-18” (sometimes to 24”) tall and spreads over time by long trailing branches to form a dense mat 10-15’ wide. It is native to Japan. Branches spread parallel to and slightly above the ground. Growth is somewhat slow, typically taking 10 years to spread 10 feet. Spiny-pointed blue-green to gray-green needles (to 1/3” long) are primarily linear and appear in whorls of three. Fleshy seed cones (blackish berries at maturity) are often absent on cultivated plants. Synonymous with J. chinensis var. procumbens.
Genus name comes from the Latin name for the juniper.
Specific epithet means prostrate.
‘Nana’ is a dwarf, less vigorous form that features spiny-pointed blue-green needles (to 1/3” long). It typically grows 8-12” tall and spreads to 6’ wide over time. Foliage may turn purplish in winter.
No serious insect or disease problems. Junipers are generally susceptible to blights (dieback of stem tips), particularly in unusually rainy/wet springs. Phomopsis twig blight is of particular concern. 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, twig borers, webworms and scale. Watch for spider mites. Foliage on mature plants will sometimes die back in the center.
A versatile, sprawling ground cover that tolerates hot, dry locations in full sun. Rock gardens. Foundations. Slopes. Mass plantings. Cascade over retaining walls.
May be grafted to a standard.