Blue Star Juniper ShrubJuniperus squamata 'Blue Star'
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Juniperus squamata 'Blue Star'
Outdoor Growing zone
If you have hot, dry and stony areas to deal with, the Blue Star Juniper wants to be your friend. It will thrive in those harsh places and always look colorful and healthy. Even when the thermometer falls to minus 30 this juniper will never burn or fade away and it will be the star of your garden in all seasons.
A great virtue with evergreens is the variety of foliage color, which persists all year and brightens the garden at all seasons. The Blue Star Juniper has vibrant blue foliage that really puts a zing into your planting, while it stays small enough to fit into the smallest spaces and even into a planter box. This little beauty will also tolerate poor and rocky soil, drought, urban conditions and even deer.
Planting shrubs of various sizes shape and color in your garden has more of an impact on your surrounding than just visual appeal. You are also helping improve the environment! Shrubs help filter pollution from the air while supplying the oxygen that’s needed by every living creature. Their solid root systems bed in to the soil, which helps to prevent erosion, and they can also be a great way to help maintain moisture levels in the earth around them. That has obvious benefits for nearby plants.
Evergreen shrubs like the Blue Star pack quite a punch even though they are somewhat small compared to other evergreens. Their dense needle-type foliage, tinged with blue and silver, makes for a striking accent plant that can break up large areas of solid color; they make an even bigger impact when set alongside plants that produce complimenting color contrasts.
The Blue Star juniper is native to several locations around the world. They are most commonly found in the Himalaya Mountains, northeastern Afghanistan and into western Yunnan in the southwest of China. The compact dwarf juniper only reaches a height of three feet at maturity and a width of just over three feet. It is also a moderately slow grower that doesn’t usually reach its mature size until after its fifth year of growth. Blue Star is not a ground hugging plant; this particular species grows upwards and outwards in a flowing mound-like shape. This shape makes it a great choice to fill wide areas of barren space while also adding a smooth transition from your lower growing plants to the taller trees in your scene.
Multiple branches with dense blue and green needle-like foliage add a splash of color that can be used in a variety of design settings. Tiny oval bluish-colored cones that resemble small berries contain a single seed and grow nearly all year long. These small half-inch cones take about 18 months to fully mature before shedding their pollen in early spring. Thanks to the juniper’s evergreen nature, this small but versatile plant holds its color all year round. The constant color of these plants allow for visual enjoyment throughout the winter months which can sometimes be dark and dreary.
This Blue Star Juniper Shrub is suitable for planting in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 to 8. They prefer a moderate climate and are not suitable for locations that are both hot and extremely humid. It can thrive through the cold winters of Minnesota and even Montana, but will also enjoy the northern parts of some Southern states like Georgia and Florida.
Adding to the versatility of this juniper is the fact that it is quite easy to grow in pretty much any kind of soil. As long as the plant has adequate water and is displayed in locations where it can receive the full sun, this is one tiny shrub that is more than happy to settle in for the long term. Too much shade can be detrimental for these shrubs so you will want to make sure that, even though it is small and low to the ground, it’s placed to receive as much sunlight as possible throughout the day. It is also tolerant of mild bouts of drought. In order to prevent any stress to the plant, though, you will want to adopt an appropriate watering schedule during the hotter seasons especially in locations where you might go great lengths of time without rain.
When it comes to taking care of the Blue Star Juniper you will be pleased to know that it doesn’t require a lot of attention. As with many other plants, you will want to ensure that the shrub gets enough water for its first growing season. This will allow the plant to bed in and let its root system become well established in its new home. Once it has made itself at home, regular watering can be reduced. Since the shrub is a slow grower you may not notice its expansion over the years as much as with some faster growing plants. It also likes to look a little unruly in the shape and form aspects, but if you want a more uniform look you can pinch off new growth before it begins in the spring as well as removing dead or dying branches throughout the year. It can tolerate mild pruning throughout the season if necessary.
By incorporating the Blue Star Juniper Shrub into your landscape design, you will be able to create an eye-catching garden that will make your neighbors turn their heads each time they pass. Dwarf shrubs like this one are effective choices for areas with limited space, while larger spaces can benefit from the shrub’s versatility by becoming border plants. No other shrub can bring you the many differences that the Blue Star Juniper can and you will be hard pressed to find another plant quite like it. Don’t pass this one up if you want to create the perfect outdoor living space.
The Blue Star Juniper, with its small, bluish-colored cones, can attract a variety of wildlife. Birds, in particular, are attracted to these cones as they provide a source of food, especially during the winter months when other food sources may be scarce. Additionally, the dense foliage of the shrub can provide shelter for smaller creatures, making it a great addition to a wildlife-friendly garden.
Absolutely! The Blue Star Juniper is an excellent choice for a rock garden. Its ability to thrive in sunny, dry, and rocky locations makes it a perfect fit. Its compact size allows it to fit into smaller spaces, and its tolerance for poor and rocky soil means it can thrive even in the challenging conditions often found in rock gardens. Plus, its vibrant blue foliage provides a beautiful color contrast to the rocks.
The Blue Star Juniper needs adequate water, particularly during its first growing season to help establish its root system. However, once established, it is quite drought-tolerant and the watering can be reduced. During dry periods, it’s a good idea to water it deeply once a week. But remember, it’s always better to underwater than overwater as junipers do not like wet feet. Always check the soil before watering. If the top inch of soil is dry, it’s time to water.
Blue Star Junipers are generally quite hardy and resistant to most pests and diseases. However, like all plants, they can occasionally be affected. Common pests include juniper scale and spider mites, while common diseases include twig and tip blight, and root rot if the plant is overwatered. Regular inspection of your plant and early intervention can help keep these issues at bay.
Yes, the Blue Star Juniper can be grown in a container. Its compact size makes it an ideal choice for container gardening. Just make sure to choose a container with good drainage to prevent waterlogging. Also, remember that container plants often need more frequent watering than those planted in the ground. Lastly, ensure it gets plenty of sunlight, as this juniper loves the sun.
The Blue Star Juniper is a versatile plant that can be used in a variety of ways in your landscape design. Its compact size makes it perfect for small spaces, borders, or as a ground cover. Its unique mound-like shape and vibrant blue-green foliage make it a great accent plant, adding a splash of color to your garden. It can also be used in rock gardens, or even grown in containers for patio or balcony gardens.
The vibrant blue foliage of the Blue Star Juniper pairs well with a variety of other plants. Consider pairing it with plants that have contrasting foliage colors for a striking effect. For example, plants with golden or variegated foliage, like Gold Mop Cypress or Variegated Boxwood, can create a beautiful contrast. Similarly, plants with bright flowers, like Daylilies or Coneflowers, can also complement the blue-green foliage of the Blue Star Juniper.
The Blue Star Juniper is a moderately slow grower. It typically doesn’t reach its mature size, which is about three feet in height and width, until after its fifth year of growth. This slow growth rate can be a benefit, as it means the plant requires less pruning and maintenance than faster-growing species. However, if you’re looking for a plant that will quickly fill in a space, you may want to consider a faster-growing species.
Planting Blue Star Juniper in your garden has several benefits. Firstly, like all plants, it helps filter pollution from the air while supplying oxygen, contributing to a healthier environment. Its solid root system helps prevent soil erosion, particularly useful in sloping gardens or areas prone to erosion. Additionally, it can help maintain moisture levels in the soil, benefiting nearby plants. Lastly, its vibrant blue-green foliage adds color and interest to your garden all year round.
Yes, the Blue Star Juniper is considered to be deer resistant. While no plant is completely deer-proof, junipers are often less appealing to deer than other plants. Their dense, prickly foliage can deter deer from browsing. However, in areas with heavy deer pressure, particularly during harsh winters when food is scarce, deer may still nibble on junipers. If deer are a significant problem in your area, you may want to take additional measures to protect your plants.