Landscape Plants of the Upper Midwest

Creeping Juniper

{Picture of Creeping Juniper}

Plant Information

  • Plant Type: Low Evergreen
  • Scientific Name: Juniperus horizontalis Play audio of plant name
  • Family: Juniper
  • Related Cultivars:

    Juniperus horizontalis 'Blue Chip'
    Juniperus horizontalis 'Hughes'
    Juniperus horizontalis 'Plumosa' ('Andorra')
    Juniperus horizontalis 'Wiltoni'

  • Zone: 3
  • Plant Size: dependent on cultivar
  • Habit: Low-spreading
  • Culture:

    Adaptable. Tolerates very hot, poor, dry soils. Full sun.

  • Notes:

    A low growing evergreen that should be planted in anticipation of a 6"-8" spread although it will grow much larger if allowed. The species and most cultivars turn a purple-plum color in winter. In the humid Midwest it is very susceptible to juniper blight (Phomopsis), a fungus that begins at the tips and can spread killing entire branches or plants. Despite widespread use, the presence of superior low-growing junipers leaves little place in todayƀs landscape for this species outside of the most dry, sterile sites. Dioecious.

  • Maintaining juniper height:

    Although low growing junipers will maintain a consistent height they will continue to spread throughout their life, requiring periodic maintenance to contain them within a desired area. They should be planted in anticipation of a 6-8' spread and will grow considerably larger if allowed.

  • Pruning:Pruning animation

    Regular pruning on spreading type junipers is very important to maintain the desired size and to avoid makor reconstructive pruning.

    Cut back the most vigorous shoots inside the body of the plant where they meet another branch. This will reduce the size of the plant while maintaining a natural appearance.

    This type of pruning may be done prior to new growth in spring or in mid-July.

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Landscape Plants of the Upper Midwest

Bill Hoch, Associate Professor
Montana State University

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