Varieties of Juniper Shrubs

The genus Juniperus consists of evergreen and coniferous shrubs that hail from the Northern Hemisphere. Grown in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colors, juniper shrubs are known for their dramatic foliage that retains its color year-round. Junipers are also tolerant of a wide variety of soils and sites, and look striking planted in masses or used as a ground cover in rock gardens and slopes.

Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor juniper (Juniperus horizontalis 'Bar Harbor') is an evergreen juniper shrub variety with a rapid growth rate. It grows up to 1 foot wide and has a spread of 6 to 8 feet wide. Bar Harbor junipers have a dense, compact form with thin, flexible and spreading stems. The scale-shaped, gray-green, small, awl-shaped foliage on Bar Harbor juniper has a mauve tinge in winter. Bar Harbor junipers are an ideal ground cover for their low-growing nature and fine texture. They grow best in full sun and well-drained soil. Plant Bar Harbor junipers in USDA Hardiness Zones 4b to 9.

Blue Horizon

Blue horizon juniper (Juniperus horizontalis 'Blue Horizon') is an evergreen juniper that grows 4 to 6 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide. It has a low-growing, open habit with a mounding center. The blue green foliage on blue horizon juniper casts a bronze to green tinge in winter. Blue horizon juniper grows best in full sun to light shade and tolerates a wide range of soil varieties. Versatile, blue horizon junipers are both heat- and drought-tolerant. Plant blue horizon in USDA zones 4 to 9.

Douglas Juniper

Douglas juniper (Juniperus horizontalis 'Douglasii') is a variety of juniper with a rapid growth rate and mat-like growth habit. Low-growing, it grows 1 to 1 ½ feet tall and has a spread of 6 to 10 feet wide. The steel blue, scale- to needle-like foliage on Douglas juniper turns gray to purple in winter for a showy garden display. Each branch tip on Douglas juniper has a long, straight form. Douglas juniper grows best in full sun to part shade but tolerates a wide range of soil types. It is heat- and drought-tolerant, making for a hardy juniper shrub variety. Plant Douglas juniper in USDA zones 4 to 9.

Mother Lode

Mother lode juniper (Juniperus horizontalis 'Mother Lode' ) is an evergreen juniper shrub with a creeping, low-growing habit. It grows up to 6 inches tall and has a spread of 8 to 10 feet wide. The soft, scale-like, feathery foliage on mother lode junipers is brilliant gold to cast a bronze in winter. As an evergreen, mother lode juniper retains its foliage color throughout the year to add warmth to the winter garden. Once established, mother lode juniper is low-maintenance and easy to maintain. Planted along banks and hillsides, mother lode helps to prevent erosion. It grows best in full sun and well-drained soil but prefers sandy, dry soil. Mother lode is tolerant of hot, dry climates. It is suitable in USDA zones 3 to 9.

Keywords: juniper shrub varieties, Bar Harbor juniper, blue horizon juniper, Douglas juniper, mother lode juniper

About this Author

Callie Barber has been writing professionally since 2002. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate indoor and outdoor living environments. Her articles have appeared on and Barber holds a Bachelors of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina.