Junipers come in a range of shapes, sizes, and colors. The one thing that unites them all is year-round color and rugged winter hardiness. Today we're focusing on low-growing, spreading junipers that we'll lump together as a group and refer to as groundcover junipers.
The two main kinds of groundcover junipers are Juniperus horizontalis, which is native to Canada and the northern U.S., and Juniperus procumbens, which is native to Japan. Both like sunny, rocky locations, and they are sometimes hybridized to create new varieties. They are available in shades of grey, blue, and emerald green in a range of heights. They are perfect for filling in rock gardens or dry raised beds. They require little to no maintenance - typically just watering during the first season or two, and keeping the edges contained if you want them to stay in a specific area. If they are in soggy soils they can develop root rots, and when they are under stress they can become susceptible to some insect pests.
Common Name: Creeping Juniper, Japanese Garden Juniper
Scientific Name: Juniperus horizontalis, Juniperus procumbens, Juniperus hybrids and varieties
Light: full sun to light shade
Size: 4-24" tall, 12-48" wide (depends on variety)
Soil: well-drained soil, tolerates dry and rocky conditions once established
Other Notes: tolerant of poor soils as long as they have good drainage, evergreen