The Tree Center

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Gold Lace Juniper

Juniperus x pfitzeriana ‘Gold Lace’

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How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me

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The Gold Lace Juniper is a low, spreading evergreen conifer that will grow up to 12 inches a year, reaching a height of 4 to 5 feet, with a spread up to 7 feet across. It has mounding and arching semi-pendulous branches, and it is a rich gold color, not just at the tips, but all across the plant. This handsome coloring holds through summer and winter. Grow it to cover large areas in front of taller plants, on slopes and banks, and across dry, rocky ground. Every garden has places where this shrub will be a miracle worker.

  • Beautiful gold foliage throughout the year
  • Uniform color all across the bush
  • Low spreading habit covers large areas
  • Soft, slightly pendulous branches
  • Very cold-hardy and drought resistant

The Gold Lace Juniper is very tough, growing from zone 4 into zone 9. It thrives in full sun, which will develop the best golden coloring. It will grow vigorously in any well-drained soil, including rocky and sandy soils and clay soils on banks and slopes. Avoid areas that are always wet, especially in winter. Pests, diseases and deer are almost never problems, and you can trim the branches to keep it more compact, if you wish, although the natural growth form is the best. This is an indispensable low-maintenance shrub for every garden.

Plant Hardiness Zones 4-9
Mature Width 5-7
Mature Height 4-5
Soil Conditions Well-Drained Soil
Sunlight Full Sun
Drought Tolerance Good Drought Tolerance
Zones 4-9

Most gardens have large spaces in them that are boring if simply grass, and hard to maintain when turned into beds. The ideal would be to fill areas with plants that need little or no attention, yet add brightness and interest to the garden. Then your limited time can be spent on a few smaller areas, growing choice plants you love. Groundcover shrubs are the way to go, and they don’t have to be flat on the ground – we often need a little more height to give your layout more punch. For sunny areas nothing beats spreading junipers for this – they are super tough, they keep weeds away, and they take care of themselves. One of our favorites, and very useful for covering dry, sunny banks and slopes, is the Gold Lace Juniper. The wonderful year-round coloring has terrific garden impact, and the soft texture is attractive too. It grows moderately fast, not taking over but soon filling large spaces. Just a few will cover many square feet of ground and what’s not to like about all these benefits? Choose the Gold Lace Juniper to create a garden that takes care of itself.

Growing the Gold Lace Juniper

Size and Appearance

The Gold Lace Juniper is a spreading evergreen shrub, which grows 6 to 12 inches a year, reaching a height of 4 or 5 feet and spreading up to 7 feet across. It has an attractive mounding form, with semi-pendulous branch tips that hang downwards in a graceful way. The fine, lacy foliage gives it a softer texture, and best of all the leaves are wonderful shades of pure gold not just at the tips of the branches, but all across the bush, throwing a carpet of gold across the brown earth. The color holds through winter and summer, bringing a stable element to your design, and lifting the colors of the green shrubs around it. The leaves are small, pyramid-shaped and pointed, growing outwards from the stems. In Junipers this is called ‘juvenile foliage’, and it gives the bush a softer look and a lacy effect which is delicate and attractive in the garden. Older bushes may develop round berry-like cones. These are juniper berries, but they are not the type used for cooking or making gin.

Using the Gold Lace Juniper in Your Garden

On banks or level ground, as part of your foundation planting or out in your garden beds, the Gold Lace Juniper is incredibly versatile and useful. Plant it in front of larger shrubs to create that essential layered look in your beds, or use it alone to cover slopes, where the foliage and roots prevent soil erosion. Plant it between stones on a rocky slope, or beside manholes and other ugly features, to hide them. Use it with other interesting conifers to fill sunny and dry areas with color and interesting shapes. For group planting, space plants up to 4 feet apart to create a solid covering in a few years.

Hardiness

The Gold Lace Juniper is very hardy, thriving even in zone 4, and yet growing well all the way into zone 9. It is a plant for all American gardens.

Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions

Although the Gold Lace Juniper will grow in shade, the gold coloring develops best in full sun, and plants in full shade will produce thin, pale green foliage. So plant it out in the sun and enjoy those great gold colors. It grows best in any well-drained soil, but avoid areas that are wet, especially places wet through winter. It enjoys open, sandy soils and rocky ground, but on slopes and banks it will grow in clay soils too. Alkaline soils and saline soils are also tolerated, and this plant is resistant to salt spray, so it’s a good choice for coastal areas. Established plants are very resistant to long periods of drought.

Maintenance and Pruning

Pests and diseases are virtually unknown on the Gold Lace Juniper, and deer normally ignore it. Some evergreen fertilizer is beneficial in spring to maximize the growth of young plants. It grows naturally dense and looks most attractive untrimmed. It can, if you wish, be sheared into a low hedge, but you must start trimming when young, because bare branches, with no needles on them, will not re-sprout. To keep it more compact, remove the ends of the branches, cutting beneath an upward-facing shoot to hide the cut end, keeping a natural look.

History and Origin of the Gold Lace Juniper

Back in 1866, a French missionary and botanist called Armand David was exploring Inner Mongolia. There he found an unusual juniper, which he sent back to Europe. That original plant is still growing at the Späth Arboretum in Berlin. It was at first thought to be a form of the Chinese Juniper, Juniperus chinensis. In 1947 the American plantsman Peter Jacobus Van Melle studied that species, and realized that the Späth Arboretum plant was a natural hybrid between the Chinese juniper and the savin juniper, Juniperus sabina. Both of them grow naturally in Mongolia. He named it Juniperus x media, but later botanists renamed it Juniperus x pfitzeriana, the Pfitzer juniper, which today is its correct name.

Junipers often produce branches that have mutated, and look different from the rest of the plant. In 1923 a Pfitzer juniper at the D. Hill Nursery in Dundee, Illinois sprouted a branch with golden foliage, which became a popular plant, called ‘Pfitzeriana Aurea’. In 1983 a group of those plants were growing at the wholesale nursery J.C. Bakker & Sons Ltd. In St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. A unique branch was seen on one of the plants and new plants were made from pieces of that branch. Its more compact, lower growth, and persistent, uniform gold color made it unique, and it was patented in 1993 with the name ‘Gold Lace’. That patent expired in 2013.

Buying the Gold Lace Juniper at the Tree Center

You will love the graceful way the Gold Lace Juniper covers the ground, and its vibrant gold coloring, which is so stable through the year. It is a big improvement over older gold junipers, and always in high demand. Order the plants you need right away, as we won’t have it on the farm for much longer.

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Gold Lace Juniper

Juniperus x pfitzeriana ‘Gold Lace’