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About Growing Junipers

Juniperus Communis

Juniper is a member of the Cypress family, and native to Europe, Middle East, Asia, India, North America, and South America. They are diverse members of the Cypress family, with about 170 species. They are a hardy plant,  that can be found in a wide range of temperatures, except for areas of extreme heat or cold. They are generally classified as trees and shrubs.

Junipers are a low maintenance evergreen, ranging in size from 1 1/2 feet to 60 feet. They also come in a wide variety of shapes, from spreading ground covers, to tall trees. Leaves vary, from dark green to a light blue green, and even some yellows.

Did You Know? Dwarf Junipers are used as Bonsai plants.

Varieties of Junipers

There is a wide variety of Junipers, broken down into four groups:

Ground Cover Junipers - They grow up to 1 1/2 feet tall. They are good for ground cover, border edging, rock gardens, and in containers on the balcony or deck. They are often grown on hills, and other where soil erosion is a problem.

Dwarf Juniper - Grows up to 4 '. These varieties are commonly used as foundation plants, around gardens, ponds, and as bonsai plants.

Small Junipers - These grow up to 6 feet. Like small junipers, they are commonly used as foundation plants, around gardens.

Large Junipers-  These trees commonly grow up to 25 feet, but some varieties can grow to 60 feet. They are commonly found in nature in the woods.

Medicinal Value of Juniper

Juniper has medicinal value. Juniper has been used to treat a very wide range of ailments. If a major medicinal use could be identified, it would probably be its use as a tonic to maintain health. Hundreds of years ago, Europeans added Juniper to gin, and made a liqueur called Junivere from the berries. Many gins still have a minute amount of Juniper in it today. So, "Bottoms up" and "Here's to your health!"

Medicinally, Juniper has been used for:

  • Used as a general tonic for health
  • An antibiotic to treat wounds and sores
  • To avoid malaria
  • Kidney health
  • Liver health
  • Used as a diuretic
  • Gynecological health
  • Inflammations
  • Easing childbirth
  • Muscle spasms

 Did You Know? Juniper was an ingredient in voodoo magic in the bayous of Louisiana.

Juniper Propagation

Juniper is grow from seeds. Germination takes a long time. Most homeowners buy small shrubs or trees from their local garden nursery.

Buy Junipers - Live trees, bushes and shrubs, hundreds of varieties

How to Grow Juniper

Juniper is low maintenance and easy to grow. The plants need full sun and a well drained soil. These drought tolerant plants do not like wet soil. They can suffer, if over watered. They will grow in a variety of soils, preferring a slightly acidic soil. They are also salt tolerant, able to grow in areas near the ocean where other plants could not survive.

Planting Juniper - Like any other shrub or tree, dig a hole about twice the size of the root ball. Mix in some rich compost. Remove the rooted plant from the container. Set it into the hole, and carefully loosen and spread the outer roots a little. Then fill in the hole, lightly tamping down the soil. Water thoroughly, 2 -3 times a week for a couple weeks.

Mulch around plants, to help keep weeds down, and to maintain a tidy appearance.

Additional fertilizer is not  necessary, except in the poorest of soils.

These drought tolerant plants should not be watered, except during a severe drought.

Did You Know? If you are looking to attract birds, they eat Juniper berries.

Pruning Juniper:

Aside from use as a Bonsai plant, Juniper requires little pruning.

Pests of Juniper:

Insect problems are infrequent. Insect pests include bagworms, web worms, spider mites, leaf miners and aphids. If insect problems occur, treat with an insecticide.

Diseases Affecting Juniper:

Junipers suffer few plant diseases. Most Juniper problems are associated with wet soil, or too much shade.

Buy Junipers - Live trees, bushes and shrubs, hundreds of varieties

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