Juniperus communis 'Effusa'
Common Name: common juniper
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Cupressaceae
Zone: 2 to 7
Height: 0.75 to 1.50 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: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil, Air Pollution


Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Adaptable to a wide range of soils. Prefers moist soils. Less tolerant of hot, dry conditions than many other junipers, and is not a good selection for the deep South. To cover a large area, plant 3-4' apart.

Noteworthy Characteristics

This common juniper cultivar is a low-growing, evergreen shrub which spreads horizontally by prostrate, woody stems. Grown primarily as a ground cover, this cultivar typically rises only to 9-12" (less frequently to 18") tall, but spreads 4-6' wide. Features dark green, needle-like foliage which persists throughout the year. Reddish-brown stems usually are visible through the somewhat thin foliage. Fleshy, berry-like seed cones ripen to a bluish-black in the 2nd or 3rd year. Fruits of the species are used as a flavoring for gin (the alcoholic beverage).


Juniper blight can be a serious problem. Lesser disease problems include cedar apple rust and wilt. Insect problems include mites, borers, scale, midges and bagworms.

Garden Uses

An excellent ground cover which is relatively low-maintenance once established. Also a good rock garden plant. Effective in mass plantings around homes, foundations and shrubs.