Juniper creeping horizonatalis 2This low growing juniper is a native of North America where it is found growing on coastal cliffs and stony hillsides. It is an evergreen ground-hugging shrub with long trailing branches and silvery blue-green foliage that often turn purple in winter. The leaves are either awl-shaped or scale-like. Male and female cones are usually on separate plants with females cones producing blue berry-like fruits. The reddish brown bark is peeling but usually covered by the foliage. Creeping juniper is a vigorous plant that is easy to transplant and grow. It is salt tolerant and adapts to a variety of soil conditions but is susceptible to juniper blight, some varieties more than others. With medium texture and medium growth rate, creeping juniper is excellent when used as a ground cover, for erosion control, or in planters. Many cultivars are available.

Type: Evergreen shrub; ground cover

Outstanding Features: Low growing habit; evergreen; adaptability

Form: Low, spreading

Growth Rate: Medium

Bloom: Male and female cones are produced on different plants; females produce berry-like fruit

Size: 4-24” H x 3-10’ W depending on the cultivar

Light: Full sun

Soil: Average, well-drained, pH adaptable

Hardiness: Zones 4- 8

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases: Juniper blight, spider mites

Propagation: Cultivars by cuttings

Outstanding Selections:

    ‘Bar Harbor’ (mat forming; 1’ tall x 6’ wide; fast growing)
    ‘Blue Chip’ (8-10” tall x 8-10’ wide; maintains blue-green color in winter; more susceptible to blight)
    ‘Mother Load’ (gold variegated foliage; 3” tall x 3’ wide)

By Karen