Creeping Juniper Blue Rug: What Is It?
The name “creepy” comes from the fact that these trees are often found near water sources or along streams. They have a tendency to grow very close together so they form small colonies. These colonies may even overlap each other. This makes them look like little creepy crawly things! Creepy crawly thingies are usually greenish-brown with white stripes running down their bodies and limbs. They are not poisonous, but they do cause a rash if touched.
Creeping Juniper Blue Rugs: How To Plant Them
There are several different kinds of creeping juniper. There is the common creeping juniper (Juniperus communis), which looks similar to the blue rugs pictured above. There is also the dwarf creeping juniper (Juniperus deppeana) which grows to only about 6 inches tall.
They are usually smaller than the common variety.
How To Care For Creeping Juniper Blue Rugs:
They need plenty of sunlight and good drainage to thrive. You will want to make sure there are no standing water spots around your house or garden where they could get wet and drown. The swamps and bogs that they are used to growing in have very wet soil so they do not do well if kept in standing water.
They do prefer soil that is rich and loamy, with good drainage, so you might want to mix some sand and compost into your soil before planting. They are used to growing in sandy loam so you don’t want to plant them in a clay-rich soil or they might not be able to get the oxygen they need.
Make sure you keep them watered during the first year after planting, but do not over water. Water until the soil is evenly moist (not soggy) and then wait for that moisture to be absorbed (after it is, then you can water them again). After they are established, they will no longer need as much water since their roots will have reached down deeper into the soil to find what they need.
Creeping junipers do not prefer an excessively hot environment. They do best in the temperate zones with moderate temperatures. If you are having a particularly warm summer, then you might want to make sure they are getting enough water.
Creeping junipers like the ones pictured above tend to grow in swampy, marshy areas near bodies of water so they are accustomed to a certain amount of humidity in the air.
If you have a creeping juniper that is abnormally yellow or brown, this might be due to an excessive amount of dryness. Creeping junipers do not like dryness, or excessive cold.
Types Of Creeping Junipers:
Common Creeping Juniper (Juniperus communis)
The common creeping juniper is native to some parts of North America, Europe and Asia. It can be grown from seed, but it takes longer to germinate and grow. It also tends to take on the characteristics of the climate in which it grows.
If grown in a colder or hotter climate, then it will tend to grow differently.
The common creeping juniper usually grows in a low bush form with multiple branches. It spreads out and tends to cover an area rather than growing tall. It can get as wide as 4 feet across and as high as 3 feet, but these measurements are only for mature plants.
Younger plants will stay lower to the ground.
This type of juniper is ideal for someone who wants a lot of juniper coverage, but does not have a lot of room. It’s also nice because it grows slowly. It can take up to 10 years for it to really start taking on its own unique shape so if you don’t like something about how it is growing, then you can change its growth during these formative years.
When mature, the common creeping juniper has small green leaves that grow in clusters. It also has a pinkish-white bell-shaped flower and a reddish brown berry (which can be eaten by birds or larger mammals). When it is mature, the creeping juniper will produce a nice red-brown color that contrasts nicely against the green foliage.
Its berries will also turn red when ripe.
Common Creeping Junipers can be kept shorter by trimming. They can also be kept lower to the ground by planting them in a depression.
The common creeping juniper is susceptible to scale insects, spider mites and aphids. These can be treated with an insecticide, but junipers in general are fairly resistant to disease and pests provided that they are planted in healthy soil.
Foamflower Juniper (Juniperus virginiana “Blue Pacific”)
The foamflower juniper is native to the eastern part of North America.
Sources & references used in this article:
An ecological study of creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis Moench.) in Montana by JG Miller – 1978 – scholarworks.montana.edu
Dual extraction of essential oil and podophyllotoxin from creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis) by CL Cantrell, VD Zheljazkov, CR Carvalho, T Astatkie… – Plos One, 2014 – journals.plos.org
Landscape plant lists for salt tolerance assessment by S Miyamoto, I Martinez, M Padilla… – USDI Bureau of …, 2004 – plantanswers.com
Influence of canopy characteristics of one-seed juniper on understory grasses. by MR Schott, RD Pieper – Rangeland Ecology & …, 1985 – journals.uair.arizona.edu
Effects of exotic plants on native ungulate use of habitat by MA Trammell, JL Butler – The Journal of wildlife management, 1995 – JSTOR
Selecting landscape plants: ground covers by D Relf, BL Appleton – 1997 – vtechworks.lib.vt.edu