Blue Chip JuniperJuniperus horizontalis 'Blue Chip'
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Juniperus horizontalis 'Blue Chip'
Outdoor Growing zone
The Blue Chip Juniper is the go-to plant when you want a low evergreen with bright foliage to cover the ground. Just a foot tall, but 5 feet across, ultimately growing to 10 feet wide, it makes a dense carpet. The lovely silver-blue needles take on a handsome purple tint in winter, and it looks great all year round. For covering the front of beds, softening the edges of paved areas, or cascading down slopes, this plant has no equal. Use it among boulders and in those difficult hot and dry places. Plant it on the levels of retaining walls, or beneath upright plants in boxes and planters. Grow it with other evergreens in rock gardens – wherever you grow it you will love it.
Full sun and hot, dry conditions are perfect for the Blue Chip Juniper. It is hardy even in zone 3, but tough and reliable in the hottest zones. Very drought resistant after the short period it needs to become established, it grows well even in rocky and sandy soil. It stays free of pests and diseases, and ignored by deer, this plant needs no trimming to remain low and dense, but young stems can be pruned to keep it more compact.
Every garden needs reliable plants that fill spaces with attractive color and form, while needing almost no attention, and thriving under ordinary conditions. These basic plants set the foundations of the garden, while fancier plants provide graceful ornament. Low, spreading plants are especially useful, as they cover large areas in front of taller bushes, or cover banks and sloping ground with a weed-resistant carpet. When striking, evergreen, silvery-blue foliage is what you need, then the sparkling Blue Chip Juniper is your plant. This plant is always handsome, easy to grow, reliable and very hardy. Whether you are starting a new garden, or filling awkward spots in an established one, this is a plant that is essential for everyone.
The Blue Chip Juniper is a tough evergreen conifer, with low, spreading branches that radiate out from the center of the plants in all directions. Forming a flat, creeping mat of stems, its neat silver-blue needles cover those stems and make a dense carpet. It will follow the contours of the ground, growing around and over boulders, cascading down retaining walls, and filling the spaces between taller bushes. In time the center of the plant will rise a little above the ground, while the outer stems continue to spread along the soil. This plant grows at a moderate rate, adding 6 to 12 inches a year to the length of the stems. After 10 years it will be about 5 feet across, and a foot or so tall, and if untrimmed it will continue to spread outwards indefinitely. Older plants can be 18 inches tall, and cover an area up to 10 feet across, forming a dense mat. For ground-cover, plant at 3-foot centers.
The tiny leaves of the Blue Chip Juniper cling to the stems of the newest growth, but they quickly open outwards into small, triangular needles with a slightly bristly feel. In winter in colder areas the foliage at the ends of the branches often takes on an attractive purplish tone. This plant is incredibly tough, and you can even walk on it occasionally, so it is perfect for planting between the cracks of a paved area that doesn’t have a lot of foot traffic. Older plants might produce a few pea-sized blue-black berries, but this is rare.
Use the Blue Chip Juniper wherever you want to cover the ground without creating height. It is perfect for the front of shrub beds that edge hard surfaces, such as broad paths, driveways, or paved areas. With its natural low growth, trimming is never needed to keep it low, and the spreading stems soften the edges and make the simplest paving more beautiful. Plant it to cover manholes and other obstructions. Make an attractive garden feature by growing it among rocks and gravel with a collection of other colorful evergreens. With its natural ground-hugging nature, it is perfect for covering slopes, and it will prevent soil erosion and weed-growth. Plant it at the top of a wall, or on the levels of terracing, where it will flow down in a natural, organic fashion, softening the hard surfaces.
The Blue Chip Juniper is very easy to grow. It is hardy from zone 3 to zone 9, and this incredibly tough plant is just as much at home in cold winters as it is in hot, dry areas. Plant it in full sun for dense growth and the best silver-blue foliage coloring. In shady spots it will be greener and thinner in growth. Any well-drained soil is ideal, including dry, sandy and gravel soils, rocky soils and clays too. The only ‘enemy’ of this plant is wet-soil, so avoid low-lying areas, and places where water accumulates. After one or two growing seasons this plant is very resistant to drought, and it will survive extended dry periods. Pests and diseases leave it alone, and deer normally ignore it. It grows well in poor soil, and it tolerates urban gardens and city pollution well. If you need to trim it because the branches are growing outwards too far, trim at any time, cutting just in front of an upward-facing stem, which will hide the cut. Regular removal of the stem tips will keep it more compact, if needed.
The creeping Juniper, Juniperus horizontalis, grows across the northern parts of North America, from Newfoundland to British Columbia, and around the Great Lakes. It is found in dry, sandy and rocky places where little else will grow, so Nature has made it tough. It brings that toughness to our gardens, and there are several selected forms grown. It has been grown in northern Europe since the 19th century, where the climate is also harsh. The variety ‘Blue Chip’ was selected from among a batch of seedlings at the nursery of A.M. Jensen, in Orling, Denmark, in the 1990s. It was first introduced with the name ‘Blue Moon’, but that name was already in use for another, upright-growing juniper. So, when D. Hill Nursery of Union, Illinois introduced it into America they changed its name to ‘Blue Chip’, to avoid confusion. Since then its virtues have become renowned, and this popular and reliable plant is a gardener’s favorite. Because it is so widely recommended, we know our stock will be sold very soon. Order now, while we can still satisfy your order.