Blue rug juniper questions

lilsproutJune 2, 2014

I have a hill that is to steep to mow. I planted 31 of these all across it in hopes to eventually cover it all. Sooo tired of weed whacking it! They all survived (planted last year). Just finished edging and mulching them all. What a job!

They get afternoon sun and not the best soil.

I've found mixed info on growth rate and was wondering if anyone has any experience with these.

If so how fast did the grow for you, any problems, any tips etc.?

Thank you!

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hey lils ... you have popped onto the GW scene.. welcome ...

you have to start learning the latin ... if you want to take the quantum leap ...

first.. it leaves no question as to what plant we are all talking about..

but more importantly ... its a KEYWORD ... for searching info in search engines.... when you use the common name... ALL JUNIPER INFO gets melted in ... so you end up overwhelmed by bad info ...

third .. you are looking for ANNUAL GROWTH ...

see link where i combined all.. and it is rated for 12 to 18 inches ...

do not be confused by tags.. or statements about its eventual size ... most ESTIMATES .... are at ten years ... and for 20 years.. simply presume.. that as trees... conifers will be twice as big ... as they never really stop growing...

finally ... this is a growth rate for an established plant .... and your arent ... when they finally achieve this growth rate.. they can be considered fully established.. and watering can be only in drought ...

you biggest challenge.. is how to water properly.. on a hill ... insure proper water thru this whole summer.. the mulch is fantastic ... and will help greatly ...


ps: also note.. in z5.. you have a limited growth season [winter and all that] .. as compared to warmer zones ... and that is why the answer is between 12 and 18 inches... no one can tell you what to expect in your micro climate .... beyond a general range ...

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 7:43AM
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Thank you so much Ken. Awfully neighborly of you ;) ( I'm about 75 miles north of you)

I really appreciate your help.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 9:56AM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

Blue Rug Juniper is known as Juniper horizontalis, 'Wiltonii'.
Since it grows so flat you will have to maintain a thick blanket of mulch to keep the weeds down until it grows thick enough to do the job with only an occasional topdressing. I have planted it on small mounds to facilitate the process. It's not usually used to cover large areas.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 10:37AM
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" It's not usually used to cover large areas"

I know, and truthfully I don't even like the looks of it. I am just tired of doing the balancing act on the hill while weed whacking it. I just want it covered! I will be extending the mulch as needed for sure. I do have creeping phlox in a few areas along the top of the hill. Any other suggestions/additions to keep it from looking like one big ugly juniper blob?


    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 11:51AM
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Have you considered some perennial groundcovers to mix in with the juniper? If you like blue, maybe Veronica Georgia Blue would be good. I used it as a groundcover between a rock wall and the road once because it reportedly tolerates sand and some salt.

I bought small plants online (I can give you the website if that's permitted) and then got busy with other stuff. After I went back and pulled up knee high grass and revealed my "secret garden" I was really impressed, those things fought weeds and held their ground. It took a couple years but they filled in nicely. So, if you can tolerate a mixed hillside for awhile, maybe try some of those and then reuse them elsewhere as the junipers start to encroach on them.

They are short, so they won't shade your junipers and they have really pretty blue flowers in the spring. But they aren't evergreen.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 1:02PM
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I'm not familiar with those but will look them up....thank you!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 4:41PM
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In my own experience if I plant it somewhere that I would like it to cover it grows very slowly and stays small.
If I plant it somewhere that I would like it to remain small and tidy it grows gangbusters and covers two feet a year.

But that's just me :)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 7:07PM
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My blue rug has grown down my bank, and is now several feet out on my asphalt parking lot. Can I cut this off and transplant it to other areas of the bank ? It looks like it has some roots on it.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 9:08AM
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lizo(SE WI zone 5)

I just saw an entire hillside (like 400 x 600 feet) covered in junipers along the Rock River in Rockford IL.

The homeowner had the same idea, didn't want to deal with the steep slope.

They were gorgeous on that scale- it looked like a mix of green and blue varieties.

I have never seen a planting on that scale but I really liked it- I wish I had my camera. I will try to get a picture of it for you the next time I canoe there!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 5:03PM
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lils, wow , 31 ?
how close on center did you plant ?
wiltonii take a few years to get going but with a lot of water, they fill in nicely.
they will put down roots where touching soil and expand themselves
photo shows them planted top right...this is after I rebuilt walls and cut and dug out loads,,triple the size you see.
they grew all the way to lowest wall,,,from just 5 plants
something like Preen will help with weeds in early years

This post was edited by on Sat, Jul 12, 14 at 21:06

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 8:53PM
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