Juniperus conferta
Common Name: shore juniper 
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Cupressaceae
Native Range: Japan, Sakhalin
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 8.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover
Leaf: Fragrant, Evergreen
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Erosion, 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. May not be reliably winter hardy throughout the St. Louis area.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Juniperus conferta, commonly called shore juniper, is a decumbent evergreen shrub that is native to certain sandy coastal areas of Japan and Sakhalin Island (Russia). It is a dense, low-spreading plant that grows 10-18” tall and spreads by creeping, branched stems over time to 6-8’ wide. It is noted for its attractive, aromatic, awl-shaped, blue-green foliage featuring spiny-pointed blue-green needles (to 5/8” long) in groups of three. Fleshy, blackish, berry-like seed cones acquire a silvery bloom at maturity.

Genus name comes from the Latin name for the juniper.

Specific epithet conferta comes from the Latin word for crowded in reference to the foliage.


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. Susceptible to winter injury when temperatures dip below minus 10 degrees F.


A versatile, sprawling ground cover that tolerates hot, dry locations in full sun. Rock gardens. Foundations. Slopes. Mass plantings. Cascade over retaining walls. Particularly effective in sandy locations along coasts or dunes.