Rocky Juniper Moonglow is very popular in gardening. This is an ornamental plant of the cypress family with a bright blue crown of a pyramidal shape. The culture is widely used in private and urban landscape design, the most common juniper of this variety is in the USA, in the south-west of Canada and in Northern Mexico.
"Munglow" is a rocky juniper, which, according to the description, is capable of reaching 18 m in height and 2 m in diameter. However, the plant reaches such impressive dimensions only in its natural habitat, and in urban plantings its size is much more modest - juniper is lower and thinner, but this does not reduce the decorative variety. The cone-type crown begins almost from the ground, but as it grows, it begins to gradually round. The shoots of this year have a deep bluish-green or light blue color. The needles reach 12 mm in length and 2 mm in width, after the juniper blossoms, fruits are formed - their appearance resembles balls of a dark blue color, reddish-brown seeds form up to 5 mm inside the pine cone. The annual growth of Munglow is approximately 15–20 cm.
How to plant?
Rock juniper is usually planted in open ground with the onset of spring, it is best to take seedlings 3-4 years old for this. The plant should be strong: without signs of rot, damage by garden pests and other defects. Immediately before planting, you should remove all the affected areas of the root system, and then place the roots in a container of water, you can add “Kornevin” or any other growth stimulator to it. When choosing a seedling, be sure to pay attention to the container in which juniper is grown.
Experienced gardeners note that the best survival rates are those plants that grew in a container of 5 or more liters.
The juniper area should be well lit, but it is desirable that the light be scattered - direct ultraviolet rays often cause yellowing of the needles and its decay. An important role is played by the level of groundwater occurrence - they must not pass high, otherwise the substrate will be constantly waterlogged and the root system of the juniper will simply rot. High varieties must be planted in fertile land, in all other cases, it is better to give preference to dwarf varieties of "Munglow".
Moonglow juniper requires nutritious, drained and loose soil with high aeration ability , so the soil needs to be prepared a few weeks before planting - to loosen, root out all weeds, equip drainage grooves and prepare a landing pit 1 meter deep, the width should be 2-3 times exceed the diameter of the earthen coma. Expanded clay, coarse pebbles or broken brick in half with sand should be poured to the bottom - a drainage layer is necessary so as not to create moisture stagnation, which has the most harmful effect on the plant. A 2/3 pit is filled with nutritious soil consisting of turf land, river sand, as well as peat and humus. After the site is prepared - you can directly engage in the planting of the conifer.
Important! If you plan to plant several plants at once, then the distance between large varieties should be about 2 m, between dwarf ones - at least 0.5 m.
After planting, the earth around the young bush should be abundantly watered and covered with a layer of mulch - most often sawdust, crushed bark of coniferous plants or peat are used for this. We draw attention to the fact that if a seedling is sold with a closed root system, planting can be done at any time during the entire growing season .
How to care?
Caring for "Munglow" is completely uncomplicated - this plant is perfectly adapted to the urban air with its high gas content. Munglow requires standard care, which includes several actions.
- Watering. Juniper should be watered infrequently, it tolerates drought quite steadily, but excessive moisture should be avoided, as abundant moisture causes rapid death of plants. In general, two waterings per season will be quite enough. If the summer is hot and dry, the amount of irrigation can be increased. A young plant is watered in the evening with necessarily heated water, an adult tolerates cold moisture well, taken from a water tap, a well, a column and the nearest body of water.
- Feeding. If the plant was planted in nutrient soil, then in the first year after planting, it will not need additional fertilizing, and fertilizers can be applied starting from the next season. In late April or early May, you can feed Moonglow with nitroammophos or kemira, in the summer the plant responds well to potash and phosphorus fertilizers - you need to apply them after watering, while the earth is well moistened. Organic fertilizers are not recommended for junipers - they reduce the frost resistance of the plant, an adult conifer does not need additional nutrition.
- Loosening and mulching. To keep moisture in the ground, to protect it from weeds, which take away food from a young plant and slow its growth, it is necessary to mulch, as well as loosening - it allows oxygen to be delivered to the roots.
- Sanitary pruning and molding. The rocky juniper has a beautiful crown shape by nature, so it does not need decorative pruning, but the sanitary need to be done regularly. For the first time, damaged branches are removed in early spring before the sap flow begins. All work is best done in cloudy or rainy weather - all dried, infected with fungus and insect-damaged branches are cut with garden shears. And it will also be useful to get rid of incorrectly growing shoots in order to give juniper an aesthetic appearance. Sterilized instruments are used for cutting, which eliminates the risk of infection of the culture. After treatment, the place is immediately coated with garden varnish, and the crown is sprayed with a copper-containing solution, for example, copper sulfate.
If you still want to transform the crown of your juniper - try to make the pruning easier, the cuts should be no more than 2 cm, otherwise the juniper will experience extreme stress and wither.
- Protection for the winter. Despite the fact that junipers are plants resistant to cold, nevertheless, they need preparation for winter, and more precisely - from a sunburn. The fact is that in winter or early spring, when the soil is frozen, from bright sunlight, the needles begin to burn. To avoid the loss of its decorativeness by the plant, it must be covered with spruce spruce branches or burlap cloth in late autumn, while the branches are tightly tied with jute so that they do not break under the weight of the snow. Shelter is removed only after complete thawing of the earth.
Propagate Moonglow in several ways.
To propagate the bush by layering, you should choose a healthy branch, free from needles and fix the layering on the ground with the help of hairpins. Six months later, root formation will begin, which lasts about a year - after strong roots are formed, the shoot can be cut off from the parent bush and transplanted to a permanent place.
When using cuttings, it is better to harvest material for rooting with a vein. It is advisable to use the shoots of the current year, they should be semi-lignified and a small piece of wood and plant bark. Rooting is best done in the ground - the fact is that when you stay in water for more than 3 hours, the juniper bark begins to exfoliate, and the plant rots. Usually, roots appear after 2.5 months, and after 3-4 seedlings are ready to move into the open ground.
If you harvested the cuttings later, planting material is planted in a permanent place only in the next season.
Diseases and Pests
Unfortunately, many juniper varieties are prone to fungal diseases, in addition, they are of interest to garden pests. Munglow was no exception. Most often, junipers face several problems.
- Alternariosis is a fungal infection that manifests itself in the appearance of a whitish coating on the needles. If you do not start resuscitation of the plant in a timely manner, the needles will quickly dry out. The most common cause of this pathology is untimely sanitary pruning - this leads to the fact that the branches begin to grow too densely. For the treatment of juniper, it is necessary to spray with Bordeaux liquid, it can also be used for preventive treatment in early spring.
- Rust is a fungal disease that begins with the appearance of rather large growths of rust on the branches. This infection poses a great danger to all inhabitants of the garden, since fungal spores are very quickly carried by the wind and other shrubs and trees can become infected in a relatively short period of time. Unfortunately, no effective drugs have been created to get rid of rust, so the only thing that can be done is to cut off the damaged branches and spray the remaining ones with fungicidal solutions.
- Brown shute. The first sign of a juniper lesion is significant yellowing and shedding of needles. The peak of fungus development occurs in June, and towards the end of the summer, the needles begin to become covered with black dots. In the absence of quick measures to get rid of the scourge, the disease quickly passes to neighboring plants, so you need to remove all damaged areas as soon as possible, collect and burn the fallen needles, and then spray branches and ground in the near-stem circle with preparations such as Strobi, Skor or "Ridomil Gold."
Juniper is often attacked by pests such as:
- gall midges are small insects no larger than 2 mm in size; they actively lay eggs in the bark of the conifer, which leads to its deformation;
- spider mite - can entangle juniper branches with a web so that it significantly limits the access of light to the needles; insects parasitize on the plant, sucking out all the juices from it, which can cause the death of the bush in a short time.
Use in landscape design
Juniper Moonglow has a very spectacular appearance, so it is often used in landscape design.
- They are surrounded by alleys and gardens.
- "Munglow" is in demand in rockeries, rock gardens and alpine slides.
- It is ideal for creating a Japanese, Scandinavian or English garden on a personal plot.
- The group plantings of this conifer in urban gardens and park areas look very impressive.
- "Munglow" harmoniously looks in tandem with stunted conifers and ground cover plants.
- This plant is used in flower arrangements, where it becomes a central element in the frame of roses, hydrangeas and oak trees.
For the care of the rocky juniper “Munglow”, see the next video.