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Japanese Garden Juniper



Authors as Published

Alex X. Niemiera, Professor, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech (first published November 2010, last reviewed November 2023)


Foliage: Short awl-like foliage (sharp-to-the-touch)
Height: About 1.5 feet tall
Spread: About 10 feet wide
Shape: Low-growing ground cover
Main features: Japanese garden juniper is a very attractive evergreen ground cover with somewhat bluish-green foliage. It is quite drought tolerant and requires a full sun exposure.

Plant Needs:

Zone: 4 to 7
Light: Full sun
Moisture: Average to dry
Soil type: Most types except poorly drained soils
pH: Acid to alkaline


Japanese garden juniper is appropriate anywhere a low ground cover is needed; it is especially nice on slopes or cascading over rocks.


No special care is needed. This plant tolerates pruning but sharp foliage requires the use of gloves.

Additional Information:

Japanese garden juniper is a bit pricy in garden centers but that is because it is a relatively slow-growing plant. Weed infestation in this ground cover is minimal since it is over one foot tall; in contrast, weed infestation is much great in some of the relatively low-growing creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis) cultivars that are less than one foot tall.

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Publication Date

November 6, 2023