Juniper (Latin Juniperus) is an evergreen coniferous shrub (or tree) of the Cypress family (Cupressaceae). Currently, 60 species of junipers are known and they are distributed from the Arctic to the subtropics. Treelike junipers, 10-15 meters high, form forests in Asia, Mexico and North America, shrubs (1.5-3 m) and creeping species grow in the undergrowth of deciduous and coniferous forests, on rocky slopes and rocks.
Juniper is a long-lived shrub, its lifespan can reach 500-600 years. Undemanding to the soil, although it prefers light and fertile soils. The frost resistance of juniper depends on its species, some can grow only in the subtropics, and some species thrive in the Arctic. Photophilous and drought-resistant.
An adult juniper usually has a dense and slender crown. The color of the needles varies from silvery blue to golden yellow. The needles of young plants are acicular, of adults, acicular or scaly.
Like other conifers, juniper secretes phytoncides, special substances that cleanse the air from disease-causing organisms. Where this shrub grows, the air acquires a delicate coniferous aroma, and most importantly, it becomes much cleaner. According to some reports, 1 hectare of juniper per day releases 25-30 kg of phytoncides. This amount is sufficient to cleanse the atmosphere of a large city from harmful microbes.
Juniper is widely used in landscape design. It looks great both in small groups and in single plantings, in rocky and rocky gardens, on alpine slides and in rockeries. The roots of this shrub strengthen the soil, therefore low-growing forms are used to cover and fix slopes and slopes.
Other names for juniper: veres, archa (Turkic)
Types of junipers. There are about 150 decorative forms of junipers. The most popular among them:
Common juniper (Juniperus communis), Veres, coniferous grapes - one of the most popular types of junipers, is an evergreen shrub 1-3 m high with a conical crown. It is winter-hardy, unpretentious in care, strengthens the soil well, lives for 500-1000 years, growth is slow (10-15 cm per year). The leaves are hard, prickly, 1-1.5 cm long and about 0.7 cm wide. Pine berries (juniper fruits) ripen in September-October, contain up to 40% sugar, organic acids, essential oil, and trace elements. It should be remembered that in large quantities, juniper berries are hazardous to health and can cause poisoning. For example, when used in cooking - no more than 5-6 berries per 1 kg of meat.
Popular varieties: Juniperus communis Hiberhika, with needle-like blue-green needles, narrow-columnar crown shape, grows up to 3-5 m.
Juniper virginiana (Juniperus virginiana) or Virginiana is an evergreen tree that reaches a height of 25-30 m, trunk diameter up to 1.5 m. It is also called a "pencil tree", in the United States pencils are made from Virginia juniper wood, and needles are extracted essential oil. The needles are small (about 0.3 cm), scaly, or needle-shaped, dark green. Dark blue globular cones ripen in October and remain on the branches for a long time. Fast-growing, winter-hardy species, resistant to pests and diseases, drought-resistant. It is undemanding to soil, but prefers light clay and loamy limestones and sandy soils.
Coastal juniper (Juniperus conferta) or crowded - a creeping evergreen shrub, at the age of 10 reaches 0.2-0.4 m in height and 1-1.5 m in diameter. It grows slowly. The needles are 1-1.5 cm long, prickly, green or gray-green. Winter-hardy, very light-requiring, salt-resistant, undemanding to the soil. Like most junipers, it does not tolerate transplanting. It is used as a ground cover plant for rocky gardens and rock gardens.
Popular varieties: Juniperus conferta Schlager with green thorny needles.
Juniper horizontal (Juniperus horizontalis) or prostrate - creeping coniferous shrub, in adulthood reaches a height of 0.2-0.4 m and a diameter (width) of 2-4 m. The cones are dark blue, up to 0.6 cm long. At a young age, it grows slowly, then the growth rate increases. The sprawling juniper is winter-hardy, undemanding to the soil, but suffers from dry air. It is used as a ground cover plant on rocky hills.
Juniperus horizontalis Andorra Compacta: reaches 0.3 m in height and 2 m in width. Photophilous, frost-hardy, needles are gray-green in summer, purple in winter.
Juniperus horizontalis Limeglow: reaches 0.4 m in height and 1.2 m in width. The needles are golden-yellow in summer, brown-yellow in winter.
Juniper medium (Juniperus media) is an evergreen shrub, different varieties have different heights: from 0.4 m to 2-3 m. The crown shape in young plants is open, in older plants it is raised. Most varieties are frost-resistant, undemanding to care for, and resistant to urban conditions.
Juniperus media Mint Julep: height - up to 1.5 m, width 2-3 m, green needles, dense form, frost and drought resistant.
Juniperus media Pfitzeriana Aurea: height 1-2 m, width 4-5 m, bright green needles, susceptible to lack of moisture.
Juniperus media Pfitzeriana: height - 1-1.5 m, width 2-3 m Green needles. Unpretentious, winter-hardy, drought-resistant.
Juniperus media Old Gold: slow-growing shrub, at 10 years old, height - 0.5 m, width 1 m. The needles are golden-yellow in summer and brownish-yellow in winter. Frost-resistant, unpretentious to the soil.
Cossack juniper (Juniperus sabina) is a creeping coniferous shrub with a height of 1-1.5 m and a crown diameter of up to 2 m. Growing, it forms dense thickets, strengthens the soil. In young plants, the needles are acicular, erect, in adults, they are scaly.
Important: the shoots and berries of the Cossack juniper are poisonous. Other types of junipers also contain toxic substances.
Juniper Cossack photophilous, resistant to urban conditions, undemanding to soil. It is widely used in group and single plantings, on rocky hills, slopes.
Popular varieties: Juniperus sabina Tamariscifolia is a slow-growing shrub that reaches 1 m in height and 2 m in diameter. At a young age, it spreads, at a more adult, it rises. Photophilous, winter-hardy, drought-resistant, undemanding to the soil.
Chinese juniper (Juniperus chinensis) is a coniferous shrub or tree, reaching a height of up to 20 m. Slow-growing, at the age of 10 it grows up to 1.5 meters. Growth rate increases in mature plants. Relatively frost-resistant (up to -25 -30 ° C), poorly tolerates dry air. Prefers fertile soil.
Popular varieties: Juniperus chinensis Expansa Variegata - height up to 1 m, diameter up to 1.5 m, golden needles.
Purchase of seedlings. It is recommended to look at the condition of the needles when choosing seedlings. But pay special attention to the root system, the seedlings should be either in a container or with a lump of earth.
Location and landing. Most junipers prefer sunny locations. In the shade, some species may partially lose their decorative effect or grow loose. All junipers are undemanding to the quality of the soil, but they grow better on light and fertile soils. The following mixture is recommended for planting: peat, turf soil, sand in a ratio of 2: 1: 1.
When planting, the root collar should be at soil level. With the proximity of groundwater to the bottom of the planting pit, drainage from broken red brick 15-20 cm thick is required. The size of the pit is made 2-3 times larger than the earthen coma. For large bushes - depth 60-80 cm. Distance between seedlings: 0.5-1 m for undersized and 1.5-2 m for tall species. Planting circles are mulched with peat.
Juniper - Spring to Autumn Care
Watering. Only young plantings and species that do not tolerate dry air need watering: common juniper, Chinese and Cossack. Watering frequency: 2-3 times per season. Norm: 10-20 l for a young plant and 20-30 l for an adult plant. In hot summer, young plantings are watered more often.
Loosening, mulching. Immediately after planting, the near-stem circles are mulched, i.e. a 5-centimeter layer of peat, wood chips, pine bark is poured. In the spring, the mulch is raked off the trunk so that the root collar does not rot. Planting young junipers is recommended to shallowly loosen after watering and weeding.
Top dressing. In the period from mid-April to the end of May, nitroammofoska is applied under each plant at the rate of 30-40 g per 1 sq.
Trimming and shaping. Most junipers are slow-growing, so pruning should be done carefully. Mostly only dry branches and side shoots are removed, which go far beyond the formed crown.
Reproduction and grafting. There are several methods of reproduction: seed (seedlings appear a year after sowing), cuttings (cuttings are harvested in early autumn), layering (creeping species), grafting (especially valuable varieties).
Diseases and pests. Rust is the most common fungal disease in junipers, causing the needles to die and fall off. Spores come from pears, hawthorn bushes or mountain ash. Control measures: cut off damaged shoots and process 2-3 times with 0.1% solution of folicur or menar. Of the insects, the greatest threat is the spider mite, juniper moth and juniper scale insect. Control measures: 4-fold treatment with Actellik solution or 0.08% Actara solution.
Plants in winter. Basically, junipers are frost-resistant and do not need to be covered specifically for the winter. However, it is still recommended to cover young plantings for the winter with spruce branches to protect them from frost, and erect forms with burlap to protect the needles from sunburn in February-March.