Juniperus horizontalis, also known as creeping juniper, is a popular evergreen conifer. Find facts on Juniper horizontalis and a listing of the best creeping juniper varieties and a brief description of each. Other articles may be found on choosing junipers, Juniper communis, drought landscapes, and ground covers.
Facts on Juniper horizontalis
Unlike some junipers, creeping juniper tolerates heat, drought, and salt. Juniper blight is a potential problem for this wide-spreading, soft-textured shrub with the purplish winter hue.
This species is hardy in Zones (3) 4-9. This species of juniper will tolerate heavy clay and somewhat alkaline soils. Junipers typically need no pruning, but you can certainly cut them back as needed. They prefer full sun and may become more open and unattractive if they are in too much shade.
Varieties of Juniperus horizontalis
Juniperus horizontalis ‘Bar Harbor’ is a low, expansive, fast-growing groundcover that is a blue-green in summer, turning purplish in the winter. It can survive the cold climate, salty air, thin rocky soil of the Northeast and the heat and drought of the Southwest. It grows 1’ high x 8’-10’ wide.
J. horizontalis ‘Blue Chip’ is a groundcover that has a low, mounding form with a silvery-blue color. It thrives in colder climates, and will have plum tints in winter. It is somewhat susceptible to juniper blight and grows from 10”-12” h x 6’-8’w.
J. horizontalis ‘Hughes’ has silvery blue-green foliage on twisty stems that give it a strong presence when planted near a boulder, on a bank for erosion control, streetside, or on a retaining wall where branches can droop over the edge.
J. horizontalis ‘Limeglow’ is a vase-shaped, spreading shrub with soft vibrant chartreuse foliage that holds its color in the heat. It turns burnt orange in winter and grow 1’ h x 4’ w.
J. horizontalis ‘Monber’ (Icee Blue) formas a silvery-blue carpet with dense branching. It grows 4”-6” h x 8’ w.
J. horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’ (syn. J. Horizontalis ‘Blue Rug’ Juniper) (Blue Rug juniper) is a silvery-blue groundcover with trailing branches that can also hide curbs, control erosion, or tumble over retaining walls. This most common cultivar, is dependable in high-desert landscapes with extremely variable daily temperatures. It grows 6” h x 6’-8’w.
J. horizontalis ‘Prince of Wales’ is an exceptionally hardy Canadian shrub, originating in Alberta, Canada, is blue green in summer and plum tinted in winter. Its center may open when it matures. Grows 4”-6”h x 4’-8’w.
J. horizontalis ‘Youngstown’ (Andorra juniper) has bright green leaves that turn purplish in winter. It looks good in rock gardens and at the front of mixed or shrub borders. This variety grows 12” h x 6’w.