Juniperus conferta 'Blue Pacific'
Common Name: shore juniper
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Cupressaceae
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 6.00 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

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.

‘Blue Pacific’ is a trailing, lower growing cultivar that typically grows to at most 12” tall. In comparison to the species, ‘Blue Pacific’ is noted for having (1) better blue foliage color, (2) better ground cover form, (3) denser foliage along the branches and (4) better resistance to winter injury. Aromatic, awl-shaped, spiny-pointed, blue-green needles (to 5/8” long) appear in groups of three. Fleshy, blackish, berry-like seed cones acquire a silvery bloom at maturity.

Problems

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.

Garden Uses

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.