In household plots and cottages, you can often see a plant with dense needles of saturated color that spreads along the ground, forming a dense beautiful carpet. This is horizontal juniper, which has recently become very popular in landscape design.
This fragrant evergreen coniferous plant is a representative of the genus Junipers from the Cypress family. His homeland is North America.
Juniper horizontal (open) is a dioecious creeping shrub with long, slightly bent up shoots growing horizontally, on which there are a lot of short lateral processes. With a small height (from 10 to 50 cm), the diameter of its crown is large in size - from 1 to 2.5 m.
The needles can be in the form of needles, the value of which is about 3-5 mm, and leaf-flakes of oblong shape of a very small size - 1.5-2 mm. The color of the needles can be saturated green, gray-green, and in some varieties with a bluish, white or silver-yellow hue. In winter, the needles often become brown or purple.
Flowering occurs in May, and the fruits form in June or July. Its fruits are cone berries of a dense dark blue, almost black color with a rounded shape and a size of about 6 mm. Their ripening lasts 2 years.
Juniper is characterized by very slow growth: in a year it gives an increase of not more than 1 cm. It adapts well to any conditions.
Browse Popular Varieties
There are more than 100 species of open juniper, including hybrids. Many of its varieties are popular with gardeners and designers. Here is a description of some of them.
The bush of this variety has a neat crown, shaped like a pillow. The height is within 10 cm, the diameter of the thick crown is up to 1 m. The branches growing at a certain angle from the middle of the bush are covered with scaly needles of light green color with a gray tint, which acquires a purple hue by winter. This is a warm and photophilous plant, but it tolerates winter well.
Juniper dwarf variety. The height of an adult bush does not exceed 20-30 cm, and a lush crown in width can exceed its height by 5 times and reach 150 cm in diameter.
The needles are painted in blue tones with a silver tint, which by the end of autumn becomes brown, sometimes with a lilac tint. Needles needles are very short (up to 0.5 mm). The creeping crown is slightly elevated in the middle.
On rare skeletal branches there are short lateral processes growing almost vertically.
The dwarf bush usually has a height of only 15 cm and a width of almost 2 m. The crown has such a high density that the bush seems thicker and longer. The scaly needles are colored green with a blue tint, and by winter they acquire a violet-blue tone.
A compact bush is distinguished by dense short branches with vertical lateral processes that grow densely together. The thick needles in the form of needles have a rich blue color. It differs from other varieties by a higher growth - up to 40 cm with a small bush width - only about 50 cm.
Prince of Wales
The variety, which in 1 year gives an increase in width of only 6-7 cm. The thick needles in the form of scales tightly adhere to the branches and are painted in a bluish-green color, acquiring a golden brown tint in winter. The height of the bush reaches 15-20 cm, and the width of the crown can be about 2.5 m. The plant is unpretentious and grows even on rocky soil, but loves moisture.
The maximum height of an adult bush is approximately 30 cm, the width of the crown is up to 1.5 m. The main branches are tight to the ground and are able to quickly take root. Needles in the form of needles on top are painted in bright yellow color, and the lower surface has a greenish tone. Needles turn brown by winter.
Low creeping juniper, in which long skeletal branches are slightly raised at a slight angle. The crown has a lush green, with a bluish tint, slightly sticking out needles, which can be either needle-shaped or scaly. The color of the needles in winter changes to red.
The young bush has the shape of a pillow, and then, growing, covers the ground with a carpet.
By the age of 10, it can grow up to 20 cm in height and 1 m in width, and the maximum size of the bush is 40 cm and 2 m, respectively.
A short, lying species, reaching a height of 20 to 30 cm. The width of the crown is quite large - about 1.5 m, over the year the plant can increase in width by 15 cm.
The ends of short but hard branches are slightly raised up. Shoots grow very densely. The needle-shaped soft and small needles are painted in gray-blue color with a wax coating.
This variety is also notable for its small size: by the age of 10, the bush reaches 20 cm in height and 50 cm in width. The maximum size of an adult bush can be 40 cm and 2 m, respectively. The needles in the form of scales are closely adjacent to the branches and have a bluish-green color all year round.
A variety of this variety is Glauka Cossack. It can be attributed to the fast-growing species of juniper, which begins to grow rapidly from the age of 2-3 years. Its maximum height can reach 1 m and a width of 5 m.
This shrub differs from other varieties by unusually beautiful needles of the most saturated blue color. In summer, the needles have a brighter blue color, which in winter becomes brown.
The dwarf bush grows up to 10 cm in height and 1.5 m in width. The lower branches are in the form of a roller. The crown is dense and magnificent.
The variety, whose height in an adult plant is about 30 cm, the diameter of the crown is about 2 m. At 10 years of age, its size reaches 20 cm x 1.5 m, respectively.
The needles in the form of scales in the spring are painted in a gray-blue hue, which in the summer turns into greenish, and in winter - in brown. In the first years of growth, a crown with long and thick branches looks like a pillow. The ends of the branches and lateral processes are slightly elevated.
"Pancake" is one of the most flat horizontal junipers, which is reflected in its name (in translation "pancake"). Over 10 years of growth, it reaches a height of about 4 cm, and the crown width is 40-50 cm. The maximum sizes can be as follows: height - 10 cm, width - 1.5 m.
The needles in the form of very small scales are painted in gray-green color with a bluish-whitish tint. In winter, they acquire a golden brown hue. Crohn with long branches strongly pressed to the soil.
High-quality seedlings for planting should be bought in specialized stores or in nurseries. You need to choose only seedlings without damage and signs of disease. Roots must be developed. In a healthy seedling, they are white, dull and have a pleasant smell.
It is recommended to choose a bush with a lump of soil on the roots, so that the plant takes root more quickly. The best age of a seedling for planting is about 3-4 years.
It is also important to choose the right landing site. This type of juniper prefers spacious, well-blown and lighted areas with light and low-nutrient soil. Places with close groundwater should be avoided.
You can plant seedlings in spring (April - May) and in autumn (late August - early September). It is important to plant a seedling correctly. It is done like this.
To prevent possible diseases, you must first hold the roots of the bush in a solution of potassium permanganate for about 2 hours.
Prepare a sedimentary hole. Its depth should be in the range of 70-80 cm, and the width should be approximately 2-2.5 times greater than the soil lump on the roots. A drainage layer (10 cm) is laid at the bottom - pebbles, crushed stone, large expanded clay, then sand with a layer of 10-20 cm.
Pour the soil substrate, consisting of turf land (1 part), peat (2 parts) and sand (1 part). Water the hole well.
Place the seedling so that its basal neck is flush with the soil and does not deepen.
Cover with soil mixture. Then water the ground under the bush again.
Place mulch (peat, humus, sawdust) on top near the trunk with a layer of about 8 cm.
When planting several bushes, the distance between them should be approximately 1-2.5 m, given the variety and their further growth. Close landing is carried out to design a solid green carpet.
How to care?
Juniper horizontal is considered an unpretentious plant. Caring for it includes the usual agricultural activities.
The plant has good resistance to drought and does not require heavy watering. In spring and autumn, it is necessary to carry out plentiful accumulative irrigation.
In the summer it is enough to water it once every 30 days, 1.5-2.5 buckets under a bush.
Juniper does not tolerate dry air, so in dry weather it is required to carry out water spraying of the crown 1 or 2 times in 7 days. In rainy weather they are reduced to 1 time in 18-20 days.
- Mulching. It is necessary in order to prevent weed growth, maintain soil moisture, and protect the roots from frost in winter. In addition, the need for loosening the soil under the bushes disappears. Mulch needs to be replaced from time to time with a new one.
- Top dressing. Fertilizing is recommended every spring. For top dressing, you can use complex mineral fertilizers designed for conifers, or nitroammofosku. When feeding a bush, you need to strictly adhere to the norm, since the plant does not tolerate excess fertilizers.
- Sanitary haircut and crown formation. After a thorough examination in the spring, it is necessary to trim and remove all dry, damaged and with signs of illness twigs.
To give the juniper a certain shape, you should cut it, removing healthy excess shoots. However, it is permissible to cut no more than 7 cm, so as not to cause a disease in the bush.
In order to protect the needles from sunburn, in the spring it is necessary to cover the bushes with a protective net, which is opened every day, gradually increasing the lighting time by 15-20 minutes until the plant is fully adapted to ultraviolet light.
At the end of autumn, it is recommended to bandage the branches with a rope in order to shake off snow from them in winter, otherwise the branches will break off under its weight.
Young (1-2-year-old) bushes must be covered with some kind of cover or canopy.
It should be noted that the juniper does not tolerate the transplant, so doing it is undesirable. However, if it is nevertheless necessary, then the selected bush is carefully dug up, trying not to damage the roots, and then it is planted in the same way as an ordinary seedling.
Juniper can be propagated by seeds and by the method of cuttings.
Seeds are pre-stratified. To do this, they are sown in containers with peat. Then they take it out to the street, where the containers are held until mid-spring. You can sow seeds in May. First, they are first placed in a solution of potassium permanganate for half an hour, and then for 2 hours in a solution of liquid fertilizer, and only after that they are planted in previously prepared beds. Planting pattern - 50 cm between holes and 80 cm between rows.
- Propagation by cuttings should be carried out in early spring. Cuttings are cut from an adult bush. Their length is about 12 cm, and they need to be cut with a small section of the trunk (2-3 cm). All needles should be removed from the cuttings, and then held for 24 hours in a solution of fertilizers that stimulate root growth. After they are planted in containers with a substrate consisting of turf soil, peat and sand taken equally, deepening the cuttings by 3 cm. Then the soil is watered and covered with a film. Containers are kept in a room with a temperature of + 22-28 degrees in a bright place, constantly maintaining moist soil, but not over-moistening it. The film must be removed to ventilate the cuttings with a frequency of 5 hours.
After about 1.5 months, the cuttings will take root, but they can be transplanted into other containers only after another 2 months. In open ground, seedlings are planted in 2-3 years.
Diseases and Pests
Open juniper is resistant to diseases and pests, but it can also hurt. The most common diseases are the following.
A dangerous disease in which orange growths form on the trunk and branches, and the needles turn brown and dry. Sick parts of the plant should be trimmed, and the bush should be treated with immune-stimulating drugs and liquid micronutrients. For prevention, it is necessary to exclude the neighborhood with hawthorn, mountain ash, pear - sources of rust infection.
The first signs of the disease appear on last year’s needles at the very beginning of summer: it becomes dirty yellow or brown in color, but does not crumble for a long time. In late summer, black spots form on it - spores of the fungus. Affected needles should be removed in a timely manner, and in case of extensive infection, spray with the Hom drug. For prevention in the spring and autumn, the bushes are treated with Bordeaux liquid (1%).
Fusarium infection or root rot
The cause of the disease is excess moisture. The needles turn yellow and then die off. All diseased bushes must be removed with the root. To prevent the disease, seedlings are disinfected with Maxim and Vitaros preparations before planting, and the soil is treated with Funazol.
Fungal infections can also cause drying out of branches on which black or brown spots first appear. Then the needles turn yellow, the branches dry.
Sick branches are cut off. For further treatment, fungicides are used, and for prevention - spraying in spring with preparations containing copper and sulfur.
The plant is most often affected by such pests.
Aphid. It affects mainly young bushes. To destroy its colonies use the insecticides "Fufanon", "Decis", "Actar". It is also necessary to conduct a timely fight against ants that contribute to the spread of aphids.
Shield. The insect infects the needles, on which small brown swellings appear, which leads to the death of the cortex and the curvature of young shoots. The scabbard can be collected manually or with the help of hunting belts, and then treat the bushes with insecticides ("Fitoverm", "Actellin").
Spider mite. A sign of its appearance is the formation of a thin web on the crown. Mites can be controlled by spraying with cold water, which the insects cannot tolerate. The use of acaricides - Vermitek, Fufanon is also effective.
Use in landscape design
It should be noted that the use of only one horizontal juniper for landscape design gives a monotonous and little interesting landscape. However, the picturesque islets of the plant with needles of different colors will perfectly hide the ugly voids of the site.
Professional designers use it in compositions with other plants, especially often in combination with perennial flowers. It well complements the group plantings of stunted trees and other ornamental shrubs. Heather and dwarf barberry look great next to the juniper, especially in stone-covered areas.
This conifer is also often used in the design of alpine slides and gardens, rockeries. The decorative compositions of horizontal juniper with its vertical views, dwarf spruces and other conifers also look picturesque.
How to use horizontal juniper in garden design, see below.