Almost every gardener could use a skyrocket juniper in his or her landscape because they are easy to grow and care for. These trees are compact (making them great choices for small, tight spaces), salt tolerant (ideal for the coastal gardener), fast growing (for the impatient), and nearly maintenance-free (for the already-too-busy). Add to this their tolerance for drought and a wide variety of soil conditions, and you’ll surely want to find a place for one. Plant them as a specimen, in containers, or group them together for a screen.
Skyrocket junipers are narrow and columnar in form, reaching a mature height of fifteen feet and a mature width of a mere two feet. This makes them an excellent choice for privacy hedges in narrow lots. They are evergreen, with silver-blue, small-needled foliage that holds its color well through all seasons. They produce small, bluish berries that are attractive both to humans (to look at) and to birds (to eat). Skyrocket junipers are hardy between zones 3 and 8.
Choose a site that gets full or part sun, the more the better. The more shade a skyrocket juniper gets, the less vigorous it will be. Skyrocket junipers will tolerate nearly any soil texture or pH so long as the soil is not boggy, particularly during the winter months. Dig a hole twice as large as the root ball, amending soil with compost or other organic matter. Plant the tree so that the ground is even with the top of the root ball, tamp down to remove any air pockets, then water well. Add a good layer of mulch to maintain soil moisture and temperature. If planting a screen, space trees twenty-four inches apart.
Skyrocket junipers hold their shape incredibly well, so pruning is not necessary beyond removing any dead or discolored wood. Fertilize in early spring and then again in the middle of fall with a fertilizer suitable for evergreens.