Blue Rug Juniper: The Perfect Groundcover for Sunny Slopes

Blue Rug Juniper

If you’re looking for a groundcover that can handle sunny slopes and won’t require a lot of water, blue rug juniper is the perfect choice!

This evergreen tree has silvery-blue foliage that takes on an ethereal tone in the winter.

It grows slowly, so it won’t take up a lot of space, and forms an incredibly dense mat. The best time to plant blue rug juniper is in the fall or early spring.

Common Name Blue rug juniper, creeping juniper, carpet juniper
Botanical Name Juniperus horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’
Family Cupressaceae
Plant Type Evergreen shrub, groundcover
Mature Size 3-6 in. tall, 6-8 ft. wide
Sun Exposure Full
Soil Type Well-drained
Soil pH Acidic, neutral, alkaline
Hardiness Zones 3-9 (USDA)
Native Area North America

Tips for Keeping Your Plants Healthy

  • When it comes to keeping your plants healthy, there are a few things you can do to make sure they stay in tip-top shape.
  • First, be sure to water them regularly. This is especially important during the hot summer months when they are more likely to dry out.
  • Second, fertilize them every few weeks to give them the nutrients they need to grow. Third, prune them regularly to encourage new growth and remove any dead or dying leaves or branches.
  • Following these simple tips, you can keep your plants healthy and looking their best all year long!
  • Fourth, make sure they are getting enough sunlight. If they are not getting enough light, they will not be able to photosynthesize and will not grow as well. Be sure to place them in a spot where they will get at least six hours of sunlight per day.
  • Fifth, if you live in an area with a lot of pests, be sure to check your plants regularly for signs of damage.

Lighting and Temperature

Blue rug juniper prefers full sun but can tolerate some shade, especially in hot summer climates. It will not do well in deep shade or full shade conditions.

If you live in an area with very cold winters, you may want to protect your blue rug juniper plants with a layer of mulch over the root zone during the winter months.

This groundcover is very tolerant of different soil types as long as the soil has good drainage. It will not tolerate wet or poorly drained soils.

Blue rug juniper is also drought-tolerant once it is established, so it is a great plant for sunny slopes where other plants might struggle.


As long as your soil has good drainage, blue rug juniper will be happy. It’s tolerant of different soil types, including clay and sand.

If you have poorly drained soils, though, it’s best to look for another groundcover plant.


You don’t need to fertilize blue rug juniper unless it’s growing in very poor soil. If you do need to fertilize, use a low-nitrogen fertilizer and apply it in early spring before new growth begins.


This groundcover plant has a very dense growth habit, so it doesn’t require pruning. If you do need to trim it back, it’s best to do so in late spring or early summer.


Blue rug juniper is drought-tolerant once it’s established, so you won’t need to water it unless there’s a prolonged period of drought.

If you do need to water it, give it a deep soaking about once a week.


Blue rug juniper is a low-growing plant that only gets to be a few feet tall. It can spread out to be several feet wide, though, so make sure you give it enough space to grow.


This juniper plant doesn’t produce the dark blue berries that are typical of some other juniper plants. It does have pretty, silvery-blue foliage that can take on an ethereal tone in the winter.

Common Pests and Plant Diseases

Though junipers are often thought of as indestructible evergreens, there are actually a number of ways to damage or kill the plant. Major illnesses and insects generally don’t affect juniper, but damp soil can lead to root rot.

In springs with wet soil, the plant can develop tips and twigs blighted, which makes the young plants’ needles become brown and fall off.

Insects that carry the rust diseases cedar-apple and other rusts also live on it, and aphids, webworms, bagworms, scale, and spider mites can all be drawn to juniper.

While most gardeners have little trouble keeping their junipers healthy, it’s important to be aware of the potential problems that can affect the plant. By doing so, you can keep your juniper looking its best for years to come.

Propagating Blue Rug Juniper

The blue rug can be multiplied cut-offs from the stem of juniper. From late July to early October (late summer to early fall), cut up to a six-inch piece of an enlightened stem with a sharp knife.

Remove the needles from the cut’s lower portion. Place the cut in a container with wet potting mix after dipping the cut area in the powdered rooting hormone.

The cutting should be positioned in warm, indirect light with constant moisture in the soil. You should wait until the following spring to move your cut because root development may take several months.

Because this cultivar is not a real cultivar and its seeds produce a separate plant from the parent plant, seed propagation is not advised. Blue rug is a juniper that spreads by branch layering, so it can be easily propagated by taking stem cuttings.

It’s best to take the cuttings from late summer to early fall, when the plant is actively growing. Use a sharp knife to remove a six-inch piece of stem from the outermost part of the plant, making sure to include at least two sets of leaves.

Remove the needles from the bottom half of the cutting, and dip it in rooting hormone powder before placing it in moist potting mix.

Put the pot in a bright location out of direct sunlight, and keep the soil moist until new growth appears, which can take several months. Once roots have developed, you can transplant your blue rug cutting into its own pot or into your garden bed.

Unlike many other types of junipers, blue rug is sterile, meaning that its seeds do not produce offspring that are identical to the parent plant. Therefore, it’s best to propagate blue rug through stem cuttings rather than seed sowing.

Types of Creeping Juniper

In addition to the popular blue rug juniper, there are several other varieties of Juniperus horizontalis, commonly known as creeping juniper. The Barr Harbor cultivar is distinguished by its blue-green leaves, which turn reddish-purple in the winter.

It grows at a moderate to sluggish rate. Another variety is “Blue Forest,” a small-growing cultivar that can reach a height of five feet in ten years. In the winter, the foliage becomes purple; in the spring, it turns blue.

“Emerald Spreader” is known for its lush, emerald-colored leaves that are green all year long. Despite its slow growth, it has a maximum spread of six feet. As implied by its name, “Green Acres” boasts thick, deep-green leaves.

Another cultivar is “Monber,” which is also known as “Icee(r) Blue Juniper.” It has dense silvery-blue foliage that might occasionally turn purple in colder weather.

With so many fascinating varieties to choose from, creeping junipers are a versatile and desirable addition to any landscape.

How do you shape junipers?

Trimming and shaping junipers is a task that many gardeners find daunting. However, with a little practice, it can be relatively easy to create the desired shape.

The first step is to identify the main branch that will form the center of the plant. Once this has been selected, the remaining branches should be trimmed back so that they are slightly shorter than the central branch.

Next, the juniper should be shaped by trimming back any stray branches or leaves. When trimming, it is important to use sharp shears and to make clean cuts so as not to damage the plant.

With a little patience and attention to detail, it is possible to create a beautifully shaped juniper that will add interest to any garden.

How do you shorten a juniper tree?

There are a few different ways that you can shorten a juniper tree. One method is to simply cut back the longest branches. This will immediately reduce the overall height of the tree. Another option is to remove some of the lower branches.

This will give the tree a more tapered look and help to make it appear shorter. Finally, you can also trim back the foliage. This won’t actually shorten the tree, but it will make it look smaller.

Whichever method you choose, be sure to use sharp pruning shears and make clean cuts. With a little bit of care, you can easily keep your juniper tree looking its best.

Can you cut junipers back?

If you have ever tried to trim a hedge, you know that it can be a frustrating experience. The branches are often tough and unyielding, and it can be difficult to get a clean cut.

Junipers are particularly notorious for being difficult to trim. However, with a little patience and the right technique, it is possible to get a neat, well-groomed hedge.

In general, Junipers require very little or no pruning. They can be pruned at any time with the exception of sub-zero weather. The best time to prune them is in the spring, before the start of new growth.

The best method for pruning is to cut the individual branches to create an upwardly growing side branch.

This will encourage new growth and produce a fuller, healthier hedge. With a little practice, you will be able to achieve professional-looking results.

Do juniper shrubs have invasive roots?

Juniper shrubs are a popular landscape plant because of their beauty and versatility. They can be used to create informal screens or planted as specimen plants.

One of the advantages of juniper shrubs is that their roots are non-invasive. This means that they can be planted next to foundations without fear of damage. Juniper roots typically grow close to the surface, so they are unlikely to cause problems with underground utility lines or septic tanks.

However, it is always best to check with your local extension office before planting any shrub near your home. With proper care, juniper shrubs can provide years of enjoyment for both you and your neighbours.

How far back can you cut junipers?

Junipers are a versatile evergreen that can be used as a specimen plant, hedge, or screen. They are relatively low-maintenance and can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions.

However, junipers can occasionally become damaged or diseased, and will need to be pruned back in order to encourage new growth.

When pruning junipers, it is important to only cut back the branches that are damaged or infected. The cut should be made one inch over the bud or healthy leaves.

In areas where there is no needle growth, it may be necessary to completely remove the plant, as it is unlikely to produce new growth. With proper care and pruning, junipers can provide years of enjoyment.

How do you cut a juniper blue rug back?

Juniper blue rugs are popular for their durability and low-maintenance care. However, these perennial evergreens can become overgrown and scraggly if they are not periodically pruned.

To keep your juniper blue rug looking its best, follow these simple tips. First, choose a sharp pair of shears or pruning scissors. Next, identify the areas of the plant that you wish to trim.

Try to make cuts at an angle, rather than straight across, to promote new growth. When trimming back the juniper blue rug, be sure to leave some green foliage on the plant – too much pruning can damage it.

Finally, dispose of any trimmings in the compost bin or green waste bin. With a little bit of care, your juniper blue rug will stay looking neat and tidy for years to come.

When should you plant blue rug juniper?

Blue Rug Juniper is a ground cover that is excellent for those areas of your yard that are difficult to mow.

It also does well in areas that receive full sun or partial shade. Once established, it is drought tolerant. If you decide to plant blue rug juniper, the best time to do so is in the winter, during the plant’s dormant period.

You can purchase plants that are bare root, burlapped or in containers. If you choose bare root or burlapped plants, it is important to plant them before new growth begins in the spring.

Container plants can be planted anytime, as long as the temperatures are not too cold (below 60°F). Blue rug juniper is an evergreen, so it will provide year-round interest in your landscape.

Does blue rug juniper have deep roots?

Blue rug juniper (Juniperus horizontalis “Wiltonii”) is an evergreen ground cover that grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9.

It is characterized by an large and shallow root system. It has more extensive roots emerging from the center of the plant and numerous smaller roots developing as the plant expands.

As branches grow new roots develop on the branches, about 6 inches from their branch tips, assisting in anchoring the plant in the ground. Blue rug juniper is a low-maintenance plant that only needs to be trimmed once a year to remove any dead or damaged growth.

It is tolerant of a variety of soils and prefers full sun to partial shade exposure.

How do you prune a blue juniper tree?

Blue juniper trees are a popular choice for landscaping because of their attractive blue-green needles and compact growth habit. However, if left unpruned, these trees can become overgrown and unsightly.

Fortunately, pruning blue juniper trees is relatively simple, and can be done using just a few basic tools. First, remove any dead or damaged branches, cutting them back to the point of healthy growth.

Next, thin out the interior of the tree to allow light and air to reach the inner branches. Finally, cut back any straggly or overly long branches. With regular pruning, blue juniper trees will remain healthy and attractive for years to come.

How do you plant Blue Rug junipers?

Blue Rug junipers are a type of ground-covering evergreen shrub that is native to the mountains of central and southern Europe.

These plants are hardy and can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions, making them a popular choice for gardeners in many different regions. When planting Blue Rug junipers, it is important to choose a location that receives full sun.

The plants will also need well-drained soil in order to thrive. Once you have selected a suitable location, you can plant the shrubs by digging holes that are twice as wide as the root balls.

You should then mix some compost into the planting holes before placing the shrubs inside. After adding the plants, you will need to backfill the holes and water them thoroughly.

With proper care, Blue Rug junipers will quickly spread and fill in any empty space in your garden.

Jessica Miles

Jessica Miles is a writer for Botanique Boutique, a plant and gardening blog. She has always loved plants, flowers, and anything green. When she was younger, she used to watch her grandfather garden and would be in awe of the beautiful flowers he would grow. Now Jessica writes about all things related to plants and gardening - from beginner tips on how to start growing your own plants, to in-depth guides on caring for a specific type of flower or plant. She loves helping others learn about this fascinating hobby, and hopes that her writing will inspire people to get outside and enjoy nature!

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