When it comes to tough, reliable and drought-resistant plants, junipers are the ‘go-to’ evergreen. Some gardeners are happy watering and caring for their plants, but many of us just want to see something attractive and functional, without having to spend time caring for it. If that sounds like you, then junipers were made for low maintenance. These plants come in lots of different shapes, from flat on the ground to thin upright pencils, and in colors from gold to green and blue. They grow at different speeds too. For a real garden work-horse, the Green Columnar Juniper, with its rapid growth, toughness, drought resistance, and bold, green upright form, must be the number-one choice.
Growing Green Columnar Junipers
The fast-growing Green Columnar Juniper develops quickly into a strong upright pillar of deep-green foliage. It will grow to 15 or 18 feet tall and be just 5 to 8 feet wide. Young plants have an open look, unless they are trimmed, but as it matures this plant becomes fuller and denser, with dense foliage. The leaves are scale-like, clinging to the branches, and they are a rich green, especially when new, becoming darker with a hint of blue with maturity. Older plants, especially if unclipped, may develop clusters of rounded blue-black berry-like seed cones ¼ to ½ inch across.
Uses on Your Property
Because it is so tough, and able to handle drought and blazing sun, you can confidently plant the Green Columnar Juniper in places where many other evergreens would fail. Its ornamental qualities and ability to easily create strong vertical accents – such an important element in any garden – means this plant has a host of uses. If you have a blank courtyard to deal with, plant one in each corner, add some brightly colored urns, and instantly turn that empty space into a stylish Moorish retreat. Deal with a big blank wall by painting it ochre and plant a row, spaced well apart, and you have that Arizona look.
Plant them closer together – about 3 feet apart – and you have an upright narrow screen that is super-tough. You can leave it to grow naturally, or clip it once or twice as year, as you choose. Plant a group of three on a lawn, or in a gravel yard, for a compelling focal point, or create an avenue along your driveway with the Green Columnar Juniper standing at attention to greet you. If you have a steep, awkward slope to deal with, and the risk of soil erosion, then the strong roots of this tree will hold it all together, while making a striking forest of columns everyone will admire.
Growing in Planter Boxes and Pots
Then there are planter boxes and pots, where the drought-proof Green Columnar Juniper won’t mind at all if you forget to water regularly, and where you can clip them into tapering columns, spirals, and any other upright shape your imagination can create. A pair on either side of a doorway or entrance would be perfect.
Planting and Initial Care
Plant the Green Columnar Juniper in full sun, for the best color and densest growth. It will grow in any soil that doesn’t stay wet for long, and once established this tree is very drought tolerant, toughing it out in the hottest weather with no problems at all. It almost never suffers from pests or diseases, and although deer are unpredictable, they rarely bother with junipers. Already fast-growing, you can add even more inches by using an evergreen fertilizer, and watering regularly, especially when your plants are young. For a very neat look, clip once or twice a year. You can trim throughout the spring and summer, and in fall too in hotter zones, but avoid trimming before cold weather, and during droughts.
History and Origins of the Green Columnar Juniper
The Green Columnar Juniper is a selected form of the Chinese juniper (juniperus chinensis). This tree can be found growing naturally in China, Mongolia and Japan. It is very variable, sometimes growing into a large tree 60 feet tall, and other times becoming a big, spreading shrub. It is found growing on hillsides and in rocky places, often in areas with low rainfall, so Mother Nature has already made it tough and drought resistant.
Neil R. Heitz worked at the Fairview Nursery in Pennsylvania in the 1940s. While growing seedlings of the Chinese juniper, he spotted an outstanding plant, with very vigorous growth and great rich-green foliage. It may be that he meant to call it ‘Heitz’s Column’, but his name became confused with another popular juniper called ‘Hetzii’, so today we know this plant as ‘Hetzii Columnaris’, although it is not related to the original ‘Hetzii’ variety, which is a hybrid juniper discovered in Germany.
The vigorous young trees we will ship to you are grown by taking stem pieces from plants descended from that original seedling. They are then attached by grafting to roots of the ‘Hetzii’ variety of juniper, which has an especially vigorous and profuse root system. This supports the rapid growth of the Green Column Juniper, so you get the best possible plant. The demand for these tough, reliable evergreens is always enormous, so order now, while our stocks remain available.