Caring For Creeping Juniper

The care information provided in this section represents the kind of practical advice is available for all the plants in this web site if you subscribe to the monthly customized newsletter Yardener’s Advisor.
For information on products see the file on Watering Equipment.

Normal rainfall usually provides adequate water for well-established juniper shrubs. However, they do benefit from supplemental watering when they are first planted and in the late fall just before the ground freezes. Although junipers have considerable drought tolerance, they may need watering during prolonged periods of drought. At such times, water junipers deeply and slowly once every week or ten days. Drip irrigation such as a porous hose system is ideal for these low growing shrubs because the water can reach the soil directly. For information on products see the file on Choosing Watering Equipment

Junipers are not heavy feeders. Fertilize them once a year in the fall. Sprinkle a handful of fertilizer on the soil under each shrub out to a foot or so beyond the tips of the branches. Do not allow the fertilizer to touch shrub stems or foliage. For more information see the file for Fertilizer Products

While the young creeping juniper plants are getting established, spread a layer of some organic material such as chopped leaves, wood chips or dried grass clippings on the soil around their stems. This 2 to 3 inch thick mulch will keep the soil moist and discourage weeds. Keep the mulch about 6 inches away from the trunk to avoid stem rot and rodent damage. As these shrubs mature and spread to form a dense carpet, mulch will not be necessary. For more information see the file on Using Mulch

Most junipers respond well to pruning. However, low growing creeping junipers intended to form a groundcover do not need routine pruning. Only when they reach the edge of their area will their spreading branches need to be trimmed. The best time to prune junipers is in late winter or early spring. Pruning Shrubs and Choosing Pruning Tools

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