When it comes to easy growth in even the most difficult conditions, there are very few plants that can beat the Blue Rug Juniper. This is one of the best garden plants for hot, dry locations, and poor soils – and it thrives in regular conditions too. It doesn’t matter where you live – the north with icy winters; desert areas with hot days and cold nights; hot, dry inland deserts; coastal areas; or the hottest places with little winter cold – this plant is for you.
The Blue Rug Juniper is a fast growing evergreen that forms a low carpet of striking silver-blue foliage over a wide area. It will soon reach 6 to 10 feet across, with its branches spreading in every direction. It stays no more than 6 inches tall, so it really is a carpet of blue over your garden. It grows well on sloping ground, preventing erosion of the soil. It cascades over walls and terraces, or it covers large areas which are so hot and dry that nothing else will grow. It makes the perfect foreground for larger beds of shrubs and trees. This truly is a plant for all gardens.
Growing Blue Rug Junipers
The Blue Rug Juniper is hardy all the way to minus 40 degrees, yet it also grows well in zone 9, where frost hardly ever arrives. At high altitudes, under strong sunlight and sudden temperature changes, it grows well. It will grow in any well-drained soil, and is happy in very sandy soil, or gravel and rocky soils too. Most gardens have hot, sunny areas, such as alongside a driveway, or by a curb, where reflected heat from hard surfaces often creates difficult hot conditions. Through it all, the Blue Rug Juniper looks great, with dense, silvery-blue foliage all year round. It grows by sending out long stems, which then branch sideways to develop a thick, low carpet.
The Blue Rug Juniper is normally completely free of pests or diseases. Do not plant in shady areas or damp soil, as this plant needs plenty of sun, and well-drained soil. It is not eaten by deer, so you can plant even where they are found. It is resistant to salt-spray, and since it loves sandy soil it is ideal for the beach-front cottage. It is also rarely affected by road-salt in winter, so it can be planted along driveways too. Very few plants are a tolerant and versatile as this one.
Where to Plant Your Blue Rug Juniper
Because if its wide-spreading habit, remember to allow enough room when planting. For a ground-cover over a large area, plant on 4 to 6-foot centers. To soften the edges of a terrace or driveway, plant 2 feet back from the edge, so that you don’t need to trim. It is possible to trim back over-long branches. Simply cut back to just after an upward-growing shoot, and the cut end will never show. New side-branches will soon appear and thicken the growth of your plants.
Creeping Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis) is an American native plant, found growing all across north America, from Alaska to Maine. It grows south into Montana and Illinois, as well as across Canada, from east to west, and up into the Arctic. It is a variable plant, in growth pattern and in its foliage coloring, and many forms exist.
Origins of the Blue Rug Juniper
In 1914 Jacob van Heiningen, who lived in Connecticut, found a unique form growing on the island of Vinalhaven, Maine. Jacob had originally come from Holland, and he started a successful and important nursery in the town of South Wilton, in rural New England. So he was interested in plants, and saw the potential of this colorful juniper, which has become one of the most popular and reliable of all garden conifers. He also had a sense of humor, and called his plant ‘Wiltonii’, after his town, but also after Wilton Carpets, a famous brand of dense wool rugs from Axminster, England. Over the years most people came to call this plant the Blue Rug Juniper, keeping the spirit of Jacob’s original joke.
Buying Blue Rug Junipers at The Tree Center
Our plants are grown from stem cuttings taken from top-quality parent plants of the right variety, and this is such a popular plant, and so widely grown, that we know our stock will not be with us long. Orders for multiple quantities are coming in, so order now as we will soon be sold out. No garden is complete without a Blue Rug.