Juniper is a coniferous plant with needle-shaped green leaves. There are many varieties of juniper from which you can choose, and each one requires its own particular kind of care. However, overall care and basic requirements for all varieties are the same.
Method 1 of 3: Part One: Preparation
Step 1. Choose the best variety
There are many different varieties of juniper plants, varying in size and appearance. Therefore, choose the variety according to your wishes, as well as the area of land you have.
- Small (short) juniper plant varieties can grow to a height of approximately 61 centimeters. Some of them are:
- Sargentii. This variety has green leaves and can grow up to 2.1 meters wide.
- Plumosa Compacta. This variety can grow up to 2.4 meters wide and has a leaf color that changes according to the season. In summer, the leaves are grayish green, while in winter the leaves turn a purplish bronze color.
- Wiltoni (also known as Blue Rug). This variety can grow up to 2.4 meters wide and has bluish silver leaves.
- Shore juniper. This variety can grow up to 2.4 meters wide and has greenish-yellow leaves.
- Medium juniper variety. This variety can grow to a height of 0.6 to 1.5 meters. Some of the most common varieties include:
- SeaGreen. This variety can grow up to 2.4 meters wide and has curved leaves with a dark green color
- Saybrook Gold. This variety can grow wide to reach 1.8 meters, needle-leaved with a bright golden color.
- Holbert. This variety can grow up to 2.7 meters wide and has leaves with a bluish color.
- Large juniper varieties can grow to a height of between 1.5 and 3.7 meters. Some of them are:
- Aureo-Pfitzerana. This variety has yellowish light green leaves and can grow up to about 3 meters wide.
- Pfitzerana. This variety has bright green leaves and can grow up to about 3 meters wide.
- Blue vase. This variety has bluish leaves (steel blue) and can grow up to 1.5 meters wide.
Step 2. Purchase juniper plant seeds
If you want to grow juniper plants in your garden, it's a good idea to buy seeds from an ornamental plant store in your city.
- Juniper plants can be grown (planted) from seed or through stem cuttings, but the process is time-consuming and difficult. Therefore, such cultivation techniques are not recommended for non-expert planters.
- In addition, juniper plant seeds and stem cuttings are more difficult to find on the market than seeds.
Step 3. Find a place where the sun shines
Juniper plants do best in full sun, although they can also thrive in partial sun.
- Avoid areas that are not exposed to sunlight. Juniper plants grown in places that are not exposed to direct sunlight tend to grow in spreads with sparse foliage. In addition, the plant will also be more susceptible to disease and pest attacks.
- You also need to avoid areas that are heavily exposed to automatic garden sprinklers or similar irrigation sources. Watering too much can make the soil too wet, making it difficult for plants to thrive.
Step 4. Check and improve soil conditions
Most varieties of juniper can live in a variety of soil conditions as long as the drainage system in the soil is good. If not, try to improve the drainage system in the soil so that the water absorbed by the soil doesn't stagnate before you plant your juniper.
- Soil acidity has little effect on most juniper varieties.
- Most varieties do well in areas with plain soil (garden soil), as well as dry loamy areas. Some varieties can even grow in sandy areas or areas with a fairly high salt content.
- If the soil conditions are too harsh with poor drainage, try digging the soil and adding gravel or sand to the area where you will be planting juniper seedlings a few days before planting. Both gravel and sand can help improve the drainage system in the soil.
- Although not mandatory, you can add organic materials such as leaf litter, manure, or compost to increase the nutrient content of the soil. Dig up the soil where the juniper seedlings will be planted and put these materials into the soil before you plant.
Method 2 of 3: Part Two: Planting
Step 1. Water the juniper seedling in the pot
Evenly, water your plant seeds to moisten the soil in the pot, and make it more compact.
- Before watering, first touch the soil in the plant seed pot. If the soil feels very moist and dense, you don't need to water.
- Watering is intended to reduce the air in the soil and, later, to facilitate the process of removing plant seeds from the pot.
Step 2. Dig a large enough hole in the soil
Use a hoe or shovel to make a hole in the soil twice as wide as the width of the pot and about the same depth as your seedling pot.
You need a hole large enough for your plant. If the hole you make is not large enough for your plant, the roots of the plant will not be firm and will not grow properly
Step 3. Apply fertilizer with a balanced content
Mix 10 milliliters of fertilizer with a ratio of 10-10-10 into each soil planting medium with a volume of 4 liters.
- Keep in mind that the ratio of 10-10-10 in fertilizers refers to the balance of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium content in fertilizers.
- Fertilization is done by mixing the fertilizer with the soil at the bottom of the hole, or by spraying it around the lip of the hole. Do not directly spray fertilizer into the hole (without first mixing it with the soil).
Step 4. Remove the juniper seedlings from their pots
If your seedlings are planted in plastic pots, carefully tilt the pot and press the outer walls of the pot to loosen the soil and roots of the plants inside. Once the soil is loose, you can easily remove the soil from the pot, either with soil or with a shovel.
If your young plant is being planted in a non-plastic pot, you can first loosen the soil closest to the pot wall by inserting a shovel and moving it in the direction of the wall in the pot
Step 5. Stretch the roots of the plant
Use your hands or a dull knife to loosen the tangled roots of the plant. Try to be able to separate as many roots as possible without damaging them too much.
You don't need to separate all the roots of the plant individually, but make sure the longest roots (those at the bottom) can be separated. This stretching can help the roots spread into the surrounding soil as the plant is planted
Step 6. Put the roots into the hole
Place the root right in the center of the hole you made and make sure the top of the root is at a level that is level with the soil surface around the hole.
Try to make the depth of the hole equal to the height of the soil when the plant seeds are still in the pot. If the hole feels too deep, lift the plant seeds back and add soil to the hole. Conversely, if the hole feels too shallow, lift the plant seeds back and dig the hole deeper until the depth is approximately equal to the height of the soil in the pot
Step 7. Cover the hole again with soil
Hold the plant firmly and in an upright position while filling the hole with the soil you dug from the hole.
- When covering the hole with soil, you can also add organic material. However, you need to remember that adding organic material in this step is optional.
- Press the soil that you are using with your hands or feet so that the soil that is inserted is solid, and there are no empty gaps in the soil. When planting, do not directly plug the plant into the ground.
Step 8. Leave enough space between your plants
If juniper plants are planted too close together, they can form thick foliage clusters and result in a lack of air circulation. As a result, plants are likely to be more susceptible to disease and pests.
- This can be a problem for all varieties of juniper, especially those that grow horizontally (widely).
- The spacing you need to leave between each juniper plant will depend on the type and size of the variety you choose. Consider how far the plants can grow, then leave enough space between plants to prevent overlapping growth.
Step 9. Water evenly after planting
Give the plant enough water as soon as you finish planting it in the soil. Watering can help the plant to be sturdier and compact the soil.
In order for the plant to grow stronger, keep watering twice a week for the first month
Method 3 of 3: Part Three: Treatment
Step 1. Avoid over-watering
Young juniper plants only need watering when soil conditions are very dry.
- Juniper plants are quite drought tolerant. Therefore, you can leave the plant without watering if the soil is not completely dry.
- Juniper plants can actually wilt if you water them too often. Wet soil conditions and waterlogged plant roots can make plants more susceptible to disease and pests.
Step 2. Apply fertilizer twice a year
Fertilizer must be mixed first with the soil around the plant. Fertilization is carried out in early spring and late summer.
- For a land area of 9.23 square meters, use 225 grams of fertilizer.
- For best results, immediately apply fertilizer if it is expected to rain. If the rain is not expected to fall, do watering after the fertilizer is mixed with the soil.
- Use a fertilizer with a ratio of 16-4-8 or 12-4-8. Both types of fertilizers have a large nitrogen content (marked by the number “16” or “12”) which can help plants produce more chlorophyll, so plants can grow faster. Plants need only a small amount of phosphorus ("4") because the main function of phosphorus is to help plants to flower. Juniper plants require only moderate amounts of potassium (“8”). Potassium can help protect plants from disease, as well as promote root development.
Step 3. Prune the plant as necessary
You only need to trim off any dead or old leaves that are piling on the bottom of the creeping varieties. Trimming dead plant parts can increase air circulation, so plants become healthier.
- You can also prune the tops of the plants as they can limit the vertical growth of the plant.
- If the plant is too dense or dense, you can also trim the old branches.
- Wait for new shoots to appear in the spring before you start pruning again.
- Since the needles can hurt you, wear gloves and long-sleeved clothing when you prune your plants.
- Don't do massive pruning. Old stems or branches don't produce much new shoots, so if you prune too much, the old stems or branches won't grow back and the plant will go bald.
Step 4. Watch out for pests that commonly attack juniper plants
Juniper plants are susceptible to insects, including moth larvae, mites, leafminers (leaf-eating larvae), caterpillars, and aphids.
- Most of these pests can be controlled using pesticides. Wait for signs of pests to appear on your plants, then immediately buy a special pesticide for the type of pest that appears. Use pesticides according to the method of use stated on the label.
- If you see oval cocoons (like carrots) hanging from the leaves of your juniper plant, you may have moth infestation. To prevent the larvae from hatching and eating the leaves of the plant, you can immediately remove the cocoons.
- Spruce spider mites can be a big problem because they appear in large numbers. They can cause large amounts of leaf rot and eventually die. Therefore, it is important for you to prevent this pest attack by using pesticides.
- Caterpillar attacks can be detected if the ends of the branches turn brown and die. As for aphids, you can tell if there are lots of spider webs and plant leaves that turn brown. Both of these pests must be eradicated by using pesticides.
Step 5. Be on the lookout for common juniper plant diseases
Juniper plants grown in ideal areas rarely have health problems, but there are some diseases that can still occur, especially during rainy or cloudy seasons.
- Good air circulation can prevent rotting of the branches or shoots of plants. However, if you see any rotting branches or shoots, immediately prune the rotting parts.
- Cedar apple rust (cedar-apple rust) can occur when apple trees or wild apple plants are planted near juniper plants. If signs of this disease begin to appear (for example, the appearance of a kind of 'rust' on the leaves of juniper plants), immediately prune the affected plant parts.
- Phytophtora root rot causes sudden death of the whole plant and cannot be cured once the disease has progressed. However, this disease can be prevented by planting juniper plants on terraced land or in soil with a good drainage system.
- Reduce the appearance of scales on plant stems and leaves by spraying dormant oil in the spring or when scales begin to appear.