The junipers are all evergreen, with needle-like or scale-like foliage. The color of the foliage will vary from dark to light green, blue to silver, and several yellow and gold colored cultivars are also available. Junipers are deciduous - the male flowers are on one plant while the female (berry-producing) flowers are on another.
Junipers generally enjoy full sun and good drainage. They will grow in a variety of soils but really do not like wet feet (especially Shore Juniper). During 'droughty' periods in our typical N.C. summers, they withstand the heat and dryness much better than most ornamentals.
Junipers do not tolerate severe pruning. This makes it necessary to determine the growth pattern of a particular juniper before planting. The juniper can be 'tip-pruned' and 'thinned' but not cut back to large limbs and expected to rejuvenate itself.
Insect pests would include bagworms, spider mites, leaf miner and aphids, all of which can be controlled with the appropriate pesticide. The following is a partial list of junipers which grow well in North Carolina.
Botanical Name and Common Names Landscape Remarks J. chinensis Grows very large and is hardy throughout CHINESE JUNIPER N.C. Typically, an erect, conical narrow tree form. 'Hetzii' - (15') upright spreading branches at 60 angle. 'Kaizuka' (Torulosa) Hollywood Juniper - very interesting shapes and forms. Upright, twisting habit. Excellent specimen plant. Grows to 20-25' 'Pfitzeriana' - (12') upright spreading at a 45 angle. 'Pfitzeriana compacta' - (15-18") dwarf form. 'San Jose' - (24") creeping type, spreads irregularly. J. communis Grows to 10-12' with 8-12' spread. COMMON JUNIPER This juniper does not grow well in eastern N.C. J. communis has reddish-brown dark and grey-green foliage. Several cultivars available. J. conferta. A favorite ground cover juniper which is SHORE JUNIPER typically overplanted. Should be set on 5-1/2 to 6' centers instead of 3' centers. Grows 12-18" high with a 6-8' spread. 'Blue Pacific' - ocean green foliage 'Emerald Sea' - very salt tolerant J. horizontalis Used mostly as ground cover as it grows to CREEPING JUNIPERS 2' with 6-8' spread. Many landscape uses with different cultivars. 'Bar Harbor' - low spreading. 'Plumosa'- upright, spreading to 3' 'Plumosa compacta') in height, 'P.C. Youngstown' ) in winter. 'Procumbens' - (6") very prostrate form. 'Wiltoni' (Blue Rug) - (4-6") prostrate. J. virginia. Pyramidal tree form (40-50'). Excellent RED CEDAR gray, exfoliating bark, bluish-green foliage, blueberries. Trunks make excellent fence posts, and small trees are Christmas tree favorites. Many cultivars available but easily found in native conditions throughout the state.