Juniperus chinensis var. sargentii
Common Name: juniper 
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Cupressaceae
Native Range: Russia, China, Japan
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 8.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover
Leaf: Evergreen
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil, Air Pollution


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerant of a wide variety of soils. Grows very well in sandy loams. Intolerant of wet soils. Tolerant of some drought once established. Also tolerant of many city air pollutants. Plants are dioecious.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Juniperus chinensis, commonly called Chinese juniper, is a dioecious evergreen conifer that is native to China, Japan, Mongolia and the Himalayas. It is often seen in the wild as a conical tree to 50’ tall and 20’ wide, but also appears in much shorter shrubby or spreading forms. Foliage is dark green. Brown bark on mature stems peels in strips. Although species plants are rarely sold in commerce, a large number of cultivated varieties ranging in size from large trees to large/small shrubs to low-growing groundcovers have become popular ornamental landscape plants. Chinese juniper leaves come in two types: scale-like (adult) and awl/needle-like (juvenile). Cones (pollen and seed-bearing) appear on different plants. Male plants produce catkin-like pollen cones. Female plants produce fleshy, berry-like, whitish-blue seed cones that usually acquire violet-brown tones as they mature over two years.

Var. sargentii, commonly called Sargent juniper, is native to the Kurile Islands, Northern Japan and northeastern China. It is a creeping shrub that typically grows to 1-2’ tall and spreads to 8-10’ wide. Erect stems grow from prostrate branches. Aromatic, scale-like (adult), blue-green leaves and needle-like (juvenile) young leaves in whorls of three. Pollinated female plants produce fleshy seed cones (bluish-black berries). Synonymous with Juniperus sargentii.

Genus name comes from the Latin name for the juniper.

Specific epithet means of China.


No serious insect or disease problems. Junipers are generally susceptible to tip and needle blights. Cedar-apple rust and related rust diseases spend part of their life cycle on junipers. Root rot may occur, particularly in wet, poorly drained soils. Canker may attack bark or main stems. Occasional insect pests include aphids, bagworms, webworms and scale. Var. sargentii reportedly has good resistance to juniper blight.


Ground cover for level ground, slopes or banks. Rock gardens. Foundations. Bonsai plant. A good selection for areas with poor soils.