Landscaping with Juniper: Maintain and Prune This Hearty Conifer

| 4/28/2019 11:48:00 AM

 Juniper Before Pruning

Juniper is a beautiful plant that you can find virtually anywhere once you know what to look for.  I knew nothing about Juniper just a few years ago, but once I realized that several juniper bushes located on our property required frequent maintenance in order to control them, I became familiar with them very quickly.

Going back, our property was home to a former nursery and showcased a variety of bushes, trees and plants. Unfortunately, when we purchased it, the interior of the house needed so much renovation — two years passed before we even touched anything on the outside.  When we finally did, we found that we had several different types of juniper right in our backyard, and I have a love/hate relationship with every one of them.

Juniper Characteristics

Closeup Juniper Branch New Growth

Juniper is a coniferous plant belonging to the cypress family. It is a very common plant used in landscaping as garden hedges, hill coverings, and property barriers, to name just a few. Some juniper are low-laying creeper versions, while others are standalone bushes. The color of needles and berries can vary among type but are usually a beautiful green/blue color.

For many plants, years of no pruning may not be an issue, chop them back when you get to it and it will grow back, similar to a haircut. However, Juniper can be much more unforgiving.

Juniper is beautiful in appearance and has a wonderful, refreshing scent, so I would love to keep the bushes around if possible. Juniper also has many wonderful uses that make it a beneficial plant to have in your backyard. It makes beautiful cuttings for holiday arrangements.

Juniper berries can also have a variety of uses from cooking, to healing salves, to essential oils. While junipers can be very enjoyable, the amount of maintenance required is something you definitely want to consider before planting them.

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