Native Western Juniper: Slow-Growing Landscaping Tree


Native to western North America, the Western Juniper is a slow-growing evergreen tree that can reach heights of up to 50 feet.

It has needle-like leaves that turn into scale-like structures as it matures, and small blue berries that are often mistaken for cones.

This versatile tree is frequently planted as a landscaping specimen in the fall or spring, and can take anywhere from 50 to 100 years to reach its full height.

Common Name Western juniper
Botanical Name  Juniperus  occidentalis
Family Cupressaceae
Plant Type Coniferous shrub, tree
Mature Size 12-50 ft. tall, 10-40 ft. wide
Sun Exposure Full to partial
Soil Type Dry to medium moisture, rocky
Soil pH Slightly acidic to slightly alkaline (6.0 to 8.0)
Bloom Time Cones/berries mature in fall
Flower Color Blue/purple berries have white coating
Hardiness Zones 5-9 (USDA)
Native Range West to Pacific Northwest United States

Tips for Keeping Your Plants Healthy

Assuming you’ve already done your research and know which plants are best suited for your climate and gardening style, here are some tips to help keep them healthy:

  • Water regularly and deeply, especially during dry spells
  • Fertilize regularly according to package directions – more isn’t necessarily better!
  • Mulch around plants to help retain moisture and control weeds
  • Check for pests and diseases regularly, and take action if needed – but be careful not to use too many chemicals, as this can harm beneficial insects as well as pests

With a little care, your plants should thrive. Enjoy watching them grow!s full size. The tree has an irregular shape with a dense canopy of blue-green leaves.

Lighting and Temperature

Junipers are tolerant of a range of lighting conditions, from full sun to partial shade. They prefer temperatures that do not dip below freezing for extended periods of time.

In areas with hot summers, they appreciate some afternoon shade to prevent scorching.


Soil that is too rich in nitrogen will produce excessive vegetative growth and reduce the plant’s overall vigor.


Fertilizer requirements are low for this species. It is tolerant of a wide variety of soils, including those that are poorly drained.

It prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade, and is drought-tolerant once established.


Pruning is not necessary for this species, as it has a naturally tidy growth habit.

However, if you do want to prune your tree, it is best to do so in the late winter or early spring before new growth begins.


Western Juniper is a slow-growing plant, so it doesn’t need much water. Once it’s established, it can tolerate long periods of drought.

Water it deeply and infrequently to encourage deep root growth.


Western Junipers are relatively slow-growing trees. They can take up to a century to reach their full size, which is usually between 50 and 80 feet tall.

The juvenile plants have needle-like leaves that develop into scale-like structures as the tree matures.


Western Juniper is dioecious, meaning that male and female cones are borne on separate trees. The small size of the cones has an enveloping blue pulp that is usually coated with white.

Female trees produce berry-like cones that ripen in one season and contain two to three seeds each.

Common Pests and Plant Diseases

As any gardener knows, soil is essential for growing healthy plants. Not only does it provide nutrients and support for roots, but it also helps to regulate moisture levels and prevent weed growth.

However, soil can also be quickly eroded by wind and water, damaging plant life and making it difficult for new seedlings to take root. One way to help prevent soil erosion is to maintain a healthy lawn.

Grassroots help to hold the soil in place, and the dense network of blades helps to deflect wind and water.

In addition, lawns help to slow down the flow of rainwater, giving the ground a chance to absorb the water before it runs off. As a result, a well-tended lawn can play an essential role in preventing soil erosion.

Propagating Western Juniper

The process of propagating seeds is laborious and time-consuming for these plants, which is why cutting stems is the most commonly used method.

This is a time-consuming method because it can take up to a year for the stems to establish and grow into plants that can be transplanted outside. However, if you want to try this method, here’s how to do it:

During the spring Cut an 8-to-10-inch needle-laden stem with sharp pruners. Remove the needles from the bottom 2 inches of the stem and make 1- to 2-inch cuts on both sides of the stem with a sharp knife.

After immersing the cut end in rooting hormone, place it in a pot filled with standard peat-based potting mix and a similar amount of sand. Make sure the potting medium is completely moist.

To absorb moisture, place the pot inside the large clear plastic bag. Tie the bag around the pot’s rim and poke several small holes in it for ventilation.

Keep the propagating material out of direct sunlight but in an area that receives indirect sunlight and has temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees F during the day and 55 and 60 degrees F at night.

Types of Western Juniper

Although western juniper can be found growing naturally in two different varieties, it is the more popular Juniperus communis variant that is most commonly sold commercially.

Juniperus occidentalis, also known as Sierra juniper, has a more southern distribution and a robust trunk with sinewy brownish-red bark. However, due to its unique appearance, western juniper is often used in landscaping and decorative applications.

When choosing a western juniper for your home or garden, be sure to take into consideration the climate and soil conditions of your particular location. With proper care, these hardy plants can provide years of enjoyment.

How do you take care of a juniper tree?

To ensure your juniper tree grows healthy and strong, there are a few basic requirements you’ll need to meet. Firstly, these trees are quite drought-tolerant and only need to be watered every so often.

However, make sure you’re placing them in an area with good drainage soil to start with. For the first few years during their growth period, your juniper might require watering during times of little or no rainfall.

Beyond that,junipers don’t require too much care. They’re also resistant to many common diseases and pests, making them a relatively low-maintenance option for your landscape.

With just a bit of attention, your juniper tree will thrive for years to come.

How do you keep a juniper tree healthy?

To keep a juniper tree healthy, prune it in the early spring by cutting off any dead branches and errant growth. You can also shape the tree gently if needed.

Maintain a light pruning during the growing season to ensure the juniper remains healthy. If you see any signs of disease, such as yellowing leaves or stunted growth, consult with a certified arborist or other expert for advice on how to proceed.

By following these simple tips, you can keep your juniper tree healthy and beautiful for many years to come.

Do junipers need a lot of water?

Juniper bushes are hearty plants that can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions. Once established, they require little to no supplemental watering and are more susceptible to problems from overwatering than from underwatering.

The key to keeping junipers healthy is to allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Newly planted junipers will need to be watered every week or so until the roots are established. Once established, water only when the soil is dry and give the plants a deep watering, soaking the root zone thoroughly.

If you live in an area with high heat and low humidity, you may need to water your junipers more frequently during the summer months. But in general, these tough plants can survive on very little water. So if you’re looking for a low-maintenance landscape plant, a juniper bush is a good choice.

Where do junipers grow?

Junipers are found in a wide range of habitats, from dry and rocky slopes to damp forests. They are especially common in the mountainous regions of the northern hemisphere, where they play an important role in stabilizing the soil.

Junipers are also found in North America, Central America, Asia, Africa and even parts of the Caribbean. Common Juniper (J. communis) is the largest of all conifers and one of the most widely spread species in the world.

Junipers are often used as ornamental plants because of their attractive foliage and berries. Some species of juniper are also used for timber or essential oils.

What zones do junipers grow in?

Junipers are a type of evergreen conifer that belong to the genus Juniperus. There are around 60 different species of juniper, which are native to locations all over the world, including Europe, Asia, and North America.

Junipers typically have sharp needles and small, round berries. The berries are often used as a flavoring in gin. Many junipers are popular ornamental plants due to their attractive foliage and compact growth habit.

When choosing a juniper for your garden, it is important to choose a variety that is suitable for your climate zone. In general, junipers are hardy plants that can tolerate a range of conditions, but some varieties are better suited to certain climates than others.

For example, some junipers can tolerate exposure to salt spray, making them a good choice for coastal gardens. Others are more tolerant of cold weather and can thrive in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9.

With so many different types of junipers to choose from, there is sure to be a variety that will thrive in your garden.

Can you over water juniper?

Junipers are drought-tolerant plants that can thrive in a wide range of conditions. However, like all plants, they can be susceptible to overwatering. Overwatering junipers can cause the branches to die and turn brown.

In extreme cases, it can also lead to root rot. If you think your juniper is overwatered, take a look at the leaves. If they are wilted or yellow, this is a sign that the plant is not getting enough water.

On the other hand, if the leaves are dark green or swollen, this is a sign of too much water. If you see these signs, it’s important to adjust your watering schedule accordingly. With a little care and attention, you can keep your juniper healthy and looking its best.

Where do junipers grow best?

Junipers are a type of evergreen shrub that is part of the cypress family. They are native to locations all over the world, including Europe, Asia, and North America.

Junipers vary in size and shape, and they can be either low-growing or tall. Some varieties produce berries, while others have needle-like leaves. Junipers grow best in sunny, well-drained areas.

While some varieties are able to be grown under full sun, the majority of Junipers tend to be vulnerable and more sloppy if they aren’t getting enough sunlight.

The only place in which a juniper isn’t satisfied is in poor drainage or damp conditions. When planting a juniper, it’s important to choose a spot that meets its growing requirements. Otherwise, you may be disappointed with the results.

What do you feed junipers?

Junipers are a type of evergreen shrub that are known for their low-maintenance care requirements. In terms of fertilizer, established junipers can benefit from a full fertilizer such as 12-4-8 or 16-4-8.

This should be applied at an amount of 1/2 1 lb. for 100 sq. feet during early spring and in late summer. It is important to apply the fertilizer before rain or water immediately following application.

Junipers are tolerant of a wide range of soils but prefer well-drained soil that is slightly acidic. Therefore, if you have clay soil or your soil is alkaline, you may need to amend it with peat moss or compost before planting.

Once your juniper is planted, water it deeply and regularly for the first growing season to help it establish a deep root system. After that, you can reduce watering to once per week unless there is extended drought conditions.

What is the growing season for juniper?

Juniper is a evergreen plant that is part of the cypress family. It is common to see juniper being used as an ornamental plant in many gardens. When thinking about when to plant juniper, it is important to consider the growing season.

Common juniper, just like other conifers, tends to be planted during the mild seasons of spring or early autumn. The rate of growth is influenced depending on the variety however, most are slow-growing, typically adding less than 6 inches each year.

With the correct growing conditions, juniper can live for a very long time and can even become centuries old! When choosing where to plant your juniper, it is important to find an area that has well-drained soil and full sun exposure. With proper care, you can enjoy your beautiful juniper for many years to come.

Can junipers tolerate drought?

There are a wide variety of juniper species, and not all of them are equally tolerant of drought conditions. However, the majority of junipers can withstand periods of drought quite well.

This is especially true of those species that have evolved to survive in dry, hot climates. In general, junipers are deep-rooted plants that are able to extract moisture from the soil even during periods of prolonged drought.

They also have the ability to store water in their needles, which helps them to survive extended periods without rainfall.

As long as they are given adequate time to adjust to new conditions, junipers are typically very tolerant of drought.

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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