Holger’s JuniperJuniperus squamata ‘Holger'
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Juniperus squamata ‘Holger'
Outdoor Growing zone
Holger’s Juniper is a rare and striking evergreen, with a beautiful flat-topped form and drooping branch tips. The spring growth is a creamy-yellow with some lime overtones, gradually maturing to a striking silver-blue. The colors hold well in winter, and this plant is always beautiful and a real stand-out. It grows around 4 feet tall and wide, and needs no trimming. It is perfect for an accent among your foundation planting, or for covering a slope, with its erosion resistant root system. It looks great in gravel beds among boulders, or in planters. It’s also popular to make a bonsai tree.
Full sun is best for Holger’s Juniper, to give the best color development and good growth. It grows in any well-drained soils, including rocky and sandy soil, or urban areas, and in any soil that isn’t wet. It is drought resistant once established, and very resistant to salt spray. Pest and disease free, it is very easy to grow. Avoid trimming to retain the graceful form of this beautiful plant.
Juniper’s are abundant in garden landscapes – some might say too abundant. There are a few varieties that are grown so widely they have become boring, so time to consider a unique juniper that is not seen so often, but that is fantastic for easy-care gardening. Making a striking specimen, around 4 feet tall and wide, this beautiful bush has a low arching form with long, slightly pendulous stems creating a graceful and satisfying look. Best of all, the foliage is simply gorgeous, starting each year a beautiful sulfur-yellow, creamy bright with a hint of lime. Over the summer it transforms into a beautiful silver-blue, really standing out in fall and through the winter, before bouncing back again in golden tones. Used in your foundation planting it can’t be beaten as an accent, and since it stays low with a flat top, it won’t grow up and obscure windows or other plants – no need for trimming. It looks great out on a lawn, and it’s perfect mixed with other colorful conifers among gravel and boulders, or flowing down a slope. Tough, easy, reliable and beautiful, let’s put our hands together for Mr. Holger Jensen, and the great juniper he has given us.
Holger’s Juniper is a conifer evergreen forming a broad mound, 3 to 5 feet tall and about the same width. It develops with a flat top and more-or-less horizontal branches, ending in graceful, slightly pendulous stems. It branches densely from the ground, and only after many years does it develop a noticeable trunk at ground level. The bark flakes attractively, and is dark brown. The leaves are densely packed along the stems, each one a slender tapering triangle, standing out a little from the stem and ending in a narrow point. New growth is creamy-yellow to a slightly greenish sulfur-yellow, and it holds that color for some weeks, making a great contrast in your beds. Gradually the color fades, until by late summer it is a striking silver-blue, which then holds throughout winter until new growth develops in spring. Old plants may develop glossy black berries about one-third of an inch in diameter.
This evergreen is perfect for a striking foreground in your foundation planting. It’s graceful, slightly pendulous form and dramatic colors really stand out and add great beauty to your garden. It could be used in the foreground of larger garden beds, alone or as an edging. It is especially effective on slopes and among boulders and rocks, and even as an interesting lawn specimen. It could also be grown in a planter, and it is a beautiful and easy plant for making into a bonsai tree.
Holger’s Juniper is hardy almost everywhere, growing from zone 4 to zone 8, in all but the hottest and coldest parts of the country. It grows well in mountain areas and in dry regions, but also in urban locations. Despite its horizontal growth, the stems are very strong and resist even heavy snow loads without breaking.
Like all junipers, Holger’s Juniper grows best in full sun, with the most vigorous and dense growth, and the best foliage colors. It will grow in any well-drained soil, including sandy and rocky ground, poor urban soils, clays, and in ordinary garden soils as well. It is drought tolerant and has a high tolerance of salt-spray in coastal locations.
Usually free of pests or diseases, Holger’s Juniper is incredibly easy to grow. Water regularly when newly planted, but once a good root system has developed it is tough, reliable and drought resistant. It is best left untrimmed, to enjoy the natural arching form, but if you do need to reduce its spread, do this by trimming branches back to just in front of a branch growing upwards, so that the cut is hidden. Don’t trim with shears or hedge trimmers.
The scaly juniper, Juniperus squamata, is called that because of the scale-like pointed leaves and the flaking bark. It is also called the Himalayan juniper because it grows across a large area from northeastern Afghanistan to western Yunnan in China. It is found up to 15,000 feet above sea-level. Known as gao shan bai (高 山 柏) in China, it is a popular tree for bonsai and penjing, admired for the way it develops weather-beaten gray trunks and horizontal forms.
The variety called ‘Holger’ was found as a unique seedling in 1946 by Holger Jensen of Ramloesa Nursery in Helsingborg, Sweden. It is likely that it is actually a hybrid plant, from a cross that took place at the nursery between a plant of Juniperus squamata and a plant of Juniperus x pfitzeriana ‘Pfitzeriana Aurea’, a large hybrid juniper with golden foliage.
This striking juniper isn’t often available, so you aren’t going to see it in every garden in your neighborhood – just yours, where its graceful and unique beauty will make it a stand-out plant and give your garden a special look. Order now, because knowledgeable gardeners quickly buy quality plants like this one – they will soon all be gone.