Caring for Blue Rug Juniper

By Joseph Boyle , last updated April 12, 2011

Blue Rug Juniper, latin name juniperis horizontalis, is a silver-blue juniper that grows low to the ground. In general it grows no more than four to six inches tall, covering about six to eight feet of the ground in a very flat pattern. Blue Rug Juniper makes an excellent spreading ground cover and is often used to control erosion and keep soil from being washed away. Blue Rug Juniper is generally used in landscaping because it requires very little maintenance.

Growth Requirements

Blue Rug Juniper does best in sandy clay with a pH of 4.5 to 8.5. It grows in zones 3 to 9. In order to attain full growth potential, Blue Rug Juniper requires full sunlight (around 6 hours or more of sunlight per day), though it can do fine with a little less sunlight. When planting Blue Rug Juniper, measure the root ball and dig a hole twice the size. Be sure to plant in the ground at the same level the plant was at in the container. You may also elect to add compost or nutrient-rich soil upon planting, if you feel that the soil is lacking in nutrients. If roots are bare, remove from container and loosen roots before placing the plant in the ground. If root ball is bound in burlap, cut slats in the burlap so that roots have room to grow, and be sure to entirely bury the burlap. Once planted, mulch around the base of the shrub and water heavily. The mulch will help the soil retain moisture.

In general, when watering Blue Rug Juniper, the soil surrounding the plant should be kept consistently and evenly moist. Depending on the season, you may have to water more or less. Simply check regularly to make sure the soil is most. The first few years after planting are critical. The general rule is about an inch of water per week. But be careful not to overwater. It is better to water deeply once a week than to water less more often. In doing this you will risk overwatering.

Cultivation Tips

Once established in the ground and in good general health, your Blue Rug Juniper may benefit from occasional fertilizing. A good well to tell if fertilizing is necessary is to do a simple soil test. Usually, a shrug like Blue Rug Juniper will require fertilizing yearly. If your soil test indicates low nutrient levels, it is best to use specifically targeted fertilizers. For example if you find that nitrogen levels are low, use a fertilizer that will replenish nitrogen, rather than a general all-purpose fertilizer. Also, when you do choose to fertilize, make sure it is early in the growing season, as fertilizing later in the growing season can encourage late growth that will not have time to harden and settle before winter, leading to damaging of the shrub.

Resources and References
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