Care for Junipers

Overview

Junipers are dense evergreens that comprise a wide range of plant types, including groundcovers, shrubs and trees. Junipers' needle-like leaves and bark are fragrant, the female plants producing flowers and berry-like fruits. Most junipers require little care, but some tree and shrub varieties can require extensive pruning. Junipers are also the most popular of bonsai plants, due to their feathery foliage and easily-shaped growth forms. Junipers are also rather hardy and can withstand freezing temperatures during wintertime.

Step 1

Water your junipers deeply once or twice each week during the growing season for weeks in which you receive less than ½-inch of rainfall.

Step 2

Grow your junipers in full to partial sunlight. Avoid planting your junipers in dense shade, as this will cause them to become spindly and the branches to grow too thin.

Step 3

Prune your junipers in early spring, right before the buds swell. Cut back all damaged, diseased or broken branches.

Step 4

Thin out the juniper's crown by selectively cutting back branches to the "Y" branch junction. Avoid removing more than one-third of the juniper in a single year.

Step 5

Treat your junipers for Phomopsis blight, which is a fungal disease that can turn the growth on the end of the limbs brown. Spray the junipers during the spring and summer with an appropriate fungicide, according to the directions on the label.

Tips and Warnings

  • Watch out for bagworms infesting your junipers. Spray the junipers with an appropriate insecticide, such as Sevin, when you first see bagworms; follow the directions on the label. You may also see spider mites infesting your junipers during the hot summer months; these can be treated with a miticide spray.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Pruning tools
  • Fungicide (optional)
  • Insecticide and miticide (optional)

References

  • TreeHelp.com: Junipers

Who Can Help

  • Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories: Pruning Junipers
  • Sleepy Hollow Bonsai: Growing Your Juniper Bonsai
Keywords: juniper care, grow junipers, planting junipers

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.