Description of blue varieties of juniper, planting and care
Today it is almost impossible to imagine a “fashionable” garden plot or an intricate landscape composition without juniper. Some gardeners mistakenly believe that this coniferous plant is exclusively green in color. However, its needles have a number of shades, among which one of the most beautiful is blue.
Among the representatives of the Cypress family, the evergreen juniper stands out by the needles, which can be a tall tree with a branching trunk, or maybe a three-meter bush. Blue juniper differs from its relatives in the unusual color of the needles. This shrub is resistant to adverse climatic conditions, which explains its wide distribution - from the polar zone to the mountain tropics.
Did you know? Juniper can live up to 600 years, and first appeared on our planet about 50 million years ago.
Conducting a botanical description, the following can be noted:
|Leaves||shortened, needle-shaped, fully adjacent to the shoots, initially - coniferous, and eventually - scaly|
|Bumps||round scaly cones containing 10 seeds|
Popular blue varieties
Varieties, in the name of which the English word "blue" (blue) is present, differ in the crown of all shades of blue. Due to the unusual color, plants are in demand among landscape designers and gardeners. These varieties are combined into several groups. There are horizontal and vertical views.
The second name of the horizontal view is open. It combines about six dozen varieties.
- Distinctive characteristics of the species are:
- creeping crown;
- needle-shaped needles;
- long, curly branches;
- a large number of shortened shoots.
Representatives of this group are slow-growing.
The most popular varieties are:
- Blue Forest;
- Bar Harbor;
- Ice Blue;
- Blue chip;
- Blue moon;
- Winter Blue.
Viltoni - a dwarf bush up to 0.2 m in height, but reaching a diameter of almost 2 m. A continuous carpet is woven with branches, resembling a star in shape. Shoots are dense and directed in different directions. Gradually they form a “dense forest”, arranged in layers. Needle-shaped blue needles with a gray tint fit tightly to the branches.
Blue Forest - horizontal variety, but its lateral shoots are directed vertically. Sticking out, magnificent needles of saturated blue color. The plant reaches half a meter in height and requires molding to acquire a neat appearance.
At Bar harbor not only the main branches, but also the shoots grow widely to the sides. The height of the bush is not more than 0.3 m. Frosts change the color of thick needles - it takes on a bluish tint.
Ice blue grows no more than 15 cm in height, but the width of the bush approaches two meters. Long shoots form a thick carpet. The needles on the creeping branches are silver-blue, and in winter they are plum-colored.
Blue chip differs in that the main branches are located quite rarely. The crown is low, with a raised center and shoots directed vertically. The bush is decorated with decorative blue cones on the background of purple needles, which is unchanged all year round. The average height is about 20 cm, and the diameter is one and a half meters.
Blue moon reaches 0.3 m. Branches, which are located on the ground and covered with gray-blue needles, often root without help and creating special conditions. Graceful shoots unusually long. Color by autumn from blue becomes brown.
Glauka - This is a type of shrub that has branches crawling on the ground and fluffy shoots. It may be about 7 m high. It is distinguished by a narrow crown in the shape of a pyramid with a diameter of up to two meters. Color varies from light blue to blue or even steel, but there is no relationship between season and color change.
Winter blue, unlike its relatives, acquires a blue tint only in the winter, and in the warm season it has a silver tone. This variety retains a decorative color only with a sufficient amount of sunlight.
A characteristic feature of varieties of blue juniper vertical is their pyramidal crown shape. Shrubs can grow up to 10 m. They note their external similarity with cypresses.
Did you know? Juniper, which was taken from the "natural" forest conditions, almost never takes root in the garden.
Among the varieties of this species can be distinguished:
- Juniper Rocky Skyrocket;
- Blue Arrow
- Blue heaven;
- Wichita Blue.
Skyrocket decorated with lush, green-blue needles with scales. The ends of young shoots are in the shape of a needle. The average height of the plant is 7 m and its diameter is 1 m. It prefers loamy soil. Extremely poorly reacts to excess moisture. The variety is resistant to adverse weather conditions, however, heavy snowfalls are dangerous for it.
Blue Arrow bred on the basis of rocky juniper. He has a dense crown with a bright color and a columnar shape. Reaches a five-meter height, and expands in breadth by a meter or more. The shoots are pressed to the trunk. Needles with scaly structure. Branches form at the base. The variety is unpretentious in care and frost-resistant.
Blue heaven the shape of the crown resembles a cone. Its pale blue color does not fade all year. The height of the bush is 3-5 m, and the width is 1.5 m. The shoots on which the scales are located tend upward. For this hardy variety, the composition of the soil does not matter much. The main condition is a sufficient amount of light, because without the sun, the crown quickly loses its density and appearance.
Springbank grows up to 2 m and acquires a narrow-necked crown shape. Flexible shoots with threadlike ends deviate from each other. Bright blue color of scaly needles. The variety has a good growth rate. For him, there is no danger of prolonged drought or severe frosts.
Wichita blue - A growing bush of saturated blue color. The crown is broad-necked, and the shoots fit snugly to the trunk and are directed upwards. The height of the bush reaches 4 m.
The landing is preceded by the selection of a site that is suitable for the characteristics. It is worth giving preference to the zone accessible to sunlight, as partial shade growth is possible, but the color of the juniper will be pale and inexpressive, and its branches will thin and weaken. Unacceptably close groundwater location. If you plan to plant several plants, you need to consider that the distance between them should be at least 1.5 m.
An exception is a hedge, where the distance is reduced to half a meter. Blue seedlings are best purchased with a closed root system, in plastic containers, which will avoid damage to the roots during transportation and planting. Each bush should be carefully examined for signs of disease, rot, or injury.
Important! Clayy, heavy soil should be avoided, which in its characteristics is contraindicated in juniper.
One of the types of soil is optimal:
- slightly acidic.
The sequence of actions is as follows:
- Prepare the holes 0.6-0.7 m deep in advance. They should be wide, because seedlings have a superficial root system.
- Two to three days before planting, you need to lay the drainage of brick chips or gravel. The thickness of the interlayer should be about 0.2 m.
- Approximately the same amount should be filled with a nutrient mixture, which includes land, peat and sand in equal amounts. This layer will contribute to the rapid and reliable rooting of the bush.
- Before planting, biohumus diluted with perlite and pine needles is poured into the prepared hole. This tool will lighten the soil, which is very important for the root system.
- Set the bush in the center, gently spreading the roots.It is important not to immerse the root neck too deep.
- Tamp the soil is not worth it. Water the bush with plenty of warm water.
- The area around the trunk is mulched with sawdust, hay or straw up to 5 cm thick.
This representative of conifers does not require special conditions and painstaking work.
- Caring for health and visual attractiveness, it is necessary to carefully control the frequency of watering, as the plant negatively reacts to waterlogging, but a lack of moisture is contraindicated. In the summer, watering should be every month. It will not be superfluous to spray needles, but this should be done only after sunset.
- In the autumn-winter period, watering is generally not required.
- Do not deeply loosen the soil (maximum 5 cm in depth), so as not to damage and not expose the roots close to the surface.
- Only a few varieties of blue conifers require formative pruning, such as Blue Forest. Most often, sanitation should be done once a year.
- You can feed the seedlings in the spring - nitroammofoskoy.
- The first 2-3 years, the seedlings must be covered with a non-woven material for the winter so that they do not freeze. Be sure to tie the bushes with twine in order to protect the branches from the pressure of the snow layer.
- Small plants need to be covered in spring with a plastic box or basket with holes, so as not to expose the “youngsters” to too bright sunlight and not to cause burns on the needles, as well as to prevent them from freezing.
- The transplantation of old plants is carried out with a large lump of land. Adult shrubs tolerate this procedure much worse.
Video: how to properly care for juniper
To breed new varieties, breeders use seed propagation. However, he is beyond the power of the ordinary gardener, because is the most complex, requires certain knowledge and skills, time and effort, but does not guarantee the expected result.
Important! Transshipment of juniper is planned for the fall, and in the summer it is dug up gradually to reduce the diameter of the root system and deepen it.
More simple methods include reproduction:
Layering You can propagate plants whose branches are close to the ground and they can be bent without damaging. For this method, horizontal varieties are ideal.
The sequence of actions is as follows:
- Choose the strongest and most healthy branch, whose age is 3-5 years.
- Small cuts are made on it every 10-15 cm - the roots will form here.
- The branch must be laid in a small trench, where peat with sand was poured.
- Fix the branch, pouring sand on top, pour.
In summer, the amount of sand and humidity should be controlled. The young rooted plant remains to winter, and in the spring it is separated from the "mother" bush and transplanted to a permanent place.
Did you know? The specific smell of Juniper Blue Danub variety is able to deter moths.
Propagation by vaccination allows you to combine the best qualities of two varieties in one plant. The procedure must be carried out before “awakening”, i.e. before the resumption of sap flow in the spring. From the upper tier take shoots 1-2 years old and about 5 cm long (graft). And the bush becomes a stock in which the buds are already swollen.
- Carry out processing tools.
- Cut the tops of branches on the scion and stock.
- Align the sections and press firmly, securing with insulation tape.
- Apply resin or garden var.
The plant requires special care. He is recommended to “sparing” external conditions and intense sunlight is contraindicated. The parameters of the greenhouse are ideal. When the buds open, which will mean the success of the procedure, you need to loosen the tape. The bandage should be completely removed only after a year.
Propagation by cuttings does not require much time and physical effort.They are recommended to be harvested from strong shrubs whose age is no more than 15 years. These can be main or side branches from the middle or top of the crown. It is necessary to prepare a special substrate of coarse sand and peat, which should be leveled, compacted and moistened.Cuttings are deepened by 5–7 cm with an interval of up to 6 cm. If planting in several rows, between them you need to withstand 6–8 cm. Pour a solution of potassium permanganate or fungicides. Harvesting is done on the eve of spring or at the very beginning of autumn, so that rooting is effective. It is advisable to place the planting in the greenhouse for several months, and plant it in the spring, when not only the air but also the soil warms up.
Important! The seedlings obtained by the vaccination method grow slower than the rest.
Use in landscape design
Blue juniper is indispensable in landscape design, as keeps decorative all year round. Its original appearance is able to diversify any composition. Especially expressive conifers look like groups in which various shapes and sizes are combined. Shrubs have been growing for more than one year, so the "gaps" between them are filled with annual flowers.
Varieties that are classified as "horizontal" are most often used as ground cover because of creeping crown. They create a fluffy rug with clear borders and structure - an alternative to a green lawn. But representatives of the vertical group will become towering accents or living elements of the green hedge. Blue juniper can also be planted separately - it will serve as the expressive center of any decorative ensemble.Unusual blue juniper will easily take root in any garden. You can not be afraid of problems and difficulties in care. A representative of the Cypress family will not cause much trouble, but with its noble beauty it will shade any green coniferous plant or deciduous shrub.