How to Care for Blue Junipers

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Blue junipers come in a variety of forms and play many roles in landscaping.
Blue junipers come in a variety of forms and play many roles in landscaping. (Image: Utah Juniper image by Carol Hyman from Fotolia.com)

Whether you're looking for a fast-growing screen to keep nosy neighbors from peeking into your back yard, or a low-maintenance ground cover to stabilize an eroding slope, blue juniper fits the bill. That's because this hardworking landscape plant comes in a variety of forms ranging from trees to low-growing shrubs. Blue junipers even make ideal bonsai specimens. Although as a group blue junipers are low maintenance, as with any plant they do best when cared for properly.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Water
  • Fungicide
  • Spider mite destroyers
  • Fertilizer

Plant blue juniper in a sunny location with well-drained soil. Blue junipers do not like wet feet. A soil test is generally not necessary because blue juniper grows in both alkaline and acidic soils.

Space blue junipers 2 to 3 feet apart, depending on the variety and the mature size. Place mulch around newly planted junipers to keep weeds from growing.

Water deeply each week during the plant's first growing season. Afterward, rainfall should be sufficient except during periods of extreme drought. Don't overwater the blue juniper.

Watch for yellow and brown tips on the ends of branches.This can signify the juniper's most common disease, Phomopsis blight. The Alabama Cooperative Extension Service recommends applying a fungicide such as propiconazole according to label directions.

Refrain from using insecticides on blue junipers if spider mites become a problem, because the insecticide also kills the mites' natural enemies and can make outbreaks more severe and frequent. Spider mites usually appear as light-colored flecks and can cause discoloration of the foliage.The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Service recommends combating mites by introducing a type of ladybird beetle called Stethorus, also commonly known as the spider mite destroyer.

Fertilize junipers during the spring with a balanced fertilizer.

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