Scaly Juniper - a plant that is perfect for decorating sites. Due to its good adaptability to any climatic conditions and decorative appearance, it can be used to erect beautiful landscape compositions. But first you need to learn how to grow an exotic shrub.
Juniper scaly "Meyeri" - a groundcover plant belonging to the Cypress family.
The variety has a number of distinctive features.
- The irregular shape of its crown, spanning 3–3.5 m, can be described as cup-shaped. It is formed by side branches, which also make the juniper look like a fountain with flowing jets of water.
- In height, an adult culture reaches no more than 70 cm.
- The bush grows slowly, annually its growth is about 10-12 cm.
- The branches of the plant are flexible, tightly seated with green needles. As they grow older, their color darkens, the size of spiny needles in length is 10 mm.
- The juniper is unusual in that at the end of spring the color of the crown becomes silver-blue due to the active growth of young branches.
- The roots of the plant are well developed, located in the upper soil layer, as in most conifers.
- The fruits of the bush are single-seeded cones of dark gray color with a bluish-whitish hue.
This variety became the ancestor of other types of juniper, such as the Blue Carpet and the Blue Star.
Also, it is a favorite view of many gardeners of the Meyer Compact - a half-meter-high winter-hardy plant with soft blue needles.
Juniper is not in vain has a short, sprawling form: it is not very susceptible to arid climate and windy weather. It can be grown everywhere due to its unpretentiousness in content. The plant is resistant to frost, and in the south it can be left without shelter for the winter, however, in the northern regions and the Middle Strip, Meyeri needs protection from too low subzero temperatures.
If there is no juniper on the site, its seedlings can be purchased at a garden center or a specialized farm.
When buying, it is important to inspect the plant:
- a healthy seedling has a uniform bark color, there is no damage on it;
- twigs should be green, without the presence of yellowness, spots, especially fungus and insects;
- high-quality shoot has a straight trunk;
- it is important that the roots are branched, with a lump of earth placed in a container or packed in burlap;
- suitable seedling age is 2–4 years.
Scaly juniper should be planted in open sunny areas , as the shadow makes the crown lose the beautiful color of the needles. Moreover, in dark places (with a lack of lighting), the aboveground part is able to thin out, and the bark can become tuberous.
Despite the unpretentiousness of the composition of the earth, the plant is best rooted and grows on fertile slightly acidic soils, loose, with good drainage, eliminating stagnation of water. Two weeks before planting, the selected area is weeded away from weeds, peat, coarse sand and coniferous litter are added to clay soil.
After that, you need to dig the soil and level its surface.
For a successful landing, it is important to fulfill the basic requirements associated with this process.
- The depth of the landing hole is greater than the size of the earthen coma (approximately 60 cm). In width, it should exceed its volume by 2 times.
- The drainage layer is 15 cm deep. Expanded clay, pebbles, broken brick with sand are used as materials.
- The soil mixture is poured over the drainage to half a ditch.
- Before planting juniper, its root system is placed in a solution of a growth stimulant.
- In the middle of the pit, the seedling is lowered with an earthen lump, spreading its roots. They sprinkle the earth in layers, carefully compacting each of them.
- The root neck is placed in line with the surface of the soil.
- When planting a group of plants between the pits, a distance of 1.5–2 m is left.
- Then you need to generously water the seedling: at least 5 liters of water are poured under one bush.
- Mulching with pine bark, peat and wood sawdust is carried out in order to prevent drying of the earth, and, consequently, of the roots.
- It is important to protect young unrooted bushes from the destructive sun, so they are obscured at first.
Landing in open ground is recommended in April or early May with steady warm weather (with a plus temperature not lower than +10 degrees), when the earth has time to warm up.
Juniper "Meyeri" is not too whimsical, and it is not difficult to take care of it, however, all necessary procedures must be carried out in a timely manner.
Watering a plant
The first irrigation after planting is carried out after the drying of the land of the near-stem circle, it is important to moisten the soil 5-6 m in depth. Subsequently, moderate watering is required depending on weather conditions. In the summer, once a week, you need to irrigate the crown of juniper 2 times a day, this is done in the early morning and after sunset. To irrigate adult plants, you will need a bucket of warm water that has been left for 2–3 days.
After each moistening, weeds are removed, the surface layer is loosened and the area near the trunk is mulched with wood chips, sawdust or peat in a layer of 5–6 cm.
Young plants do not need to be fed for a year. You can apply fertilizer next spring - before the swelling of the kidneys. Adult shrubs fertilize 2 times in 12 months: in spring and autumn. In spring, use liquid nitrogen compounds or urea (at the rate of 20 grams per bucket of water). This procedure helps the juniper to actively grow and increase the crown.
In autumn, phosphorus-potassium preparations are required (nitrate and Superphosphate), which contribute to strengthening the immunity of plants before the coming winter. Water the soil under each bush no later than 30 days before the frost.
In the formation of the crown of the plant is not necessary, but if desired, it is still allowed to do. But the branches can be shortened only by 1/3 of their length. Mostly in spring days they are engaged in sanitary cutting, removing diseased, dead and frost-bitten branches in winter.
Sections without fail are coated with “Bordeaux liquid” or “Copper sulfate”, and then the bush is treated with an antifungal drug.
Adult junipers in a warm region do not need shelter, but they have quite flexible branches that can bend under a snow mass. To prevent this from happening, they are tied together.
The necessary protection against cold and sunlight is for young plants. For 3 years after planting, they need to be covered:
- agrofloor, leaving small gaps for air;
- pine lapnik protecting branches from strong gusts of wind;
- specially constructed structure, on top of which snow is placed.
There is another option if the climatic conditions differ, especially in harsh winters: the culture can be dug up, moved to a spacious container and kept indoors with cool air until spring.
Diseases and Pests
The plant is highly resistant to various ailments, but can become ill if care requirements are not met.
Rust is one of such troubles, it is caused by the pathogenic fungal microorganism Gymnosporangium and is manifested by outgrowths of brown and dirty red color. If such symptoms occur, immediately remove the affected parts of the shrub and spray it and the soil with special agents or copper sulphate.
Most fungal diseases can be triggered by waterlogging, lack of lighting and too close planting of several plants. As a rule, the juniper needles turn yellow.
But sometimes the cause of this is the aphid, which feeds on the juices of the plant. It is possible to eliminate the parasite by spraying the Spark pest compound, and with a large number of insects you will have to use Karbofos.
Infection with scabies can slow down the development of the bush, and its growth will stop. If the crown is not treated with insecticides in time (Aktara, Calypso, Confidor Extra), the juniper may die.
Also, the bush is susceptible to damage by a spider mite and a sawfly, the vital activity of parasites leads to the drying out of young branches, the needles to fall off. The means of "Aktara", "Fufanon", "Actellik" will help in the fight against these pests .
For planting, you can use your own planting material. Seeds are least suitable for this , since processing and growing seedlings takes a long time, despite the fact that in most cases the percentage of obtaining a quality plant with all varietal characteristics is too small.
You can plant a bush, but basically this method of breeding is associated with the breeding of the most valuable varieties. A more suitable technique is cuttings, when young branches with a “heel” are taken for planting. But the easiest option is to use layering. To do this, the lower branches are fixed and dug into the ground, and after rooting, they are separated from the mother bush.
The Meyeri variety was bred for landscaping gardens and parks, and to this day it is in demand in creating spectacular ensembles in combination with spruce, pine, and other types of junipers.
Scope of use:
- culture can be planted in places that need to be masked due to unsightly;
- often the plant is used for park alleys;
- it is placed in groups with high evergreen breeds;
- juniper can emphasize the beauty of bright large flowers, including peonies, roses and dahlias;
- with the help of culture, you can create multi-level gardens and flower beds;
- Meyeri organically looks with cereals, mosses planted nearby, the same ground cover varieties, and also with flowers, herbs and stones;
- squamous juniper fits into the ensemble of small undersized conifers and flowers.
In other words, a decorative shrub looks equally impressive in different garden design options. In addition, it is known that Meyeri can be used both as a container plant and for creating bonsai.
About how to plant Juniper "Meyeri", see further.