Tuesday, July 13, 2021

'Blue Pacific' Juniper - A Coastal Beauty

Rocky coast


ON some rude fragment of the rocky shore,

Where on the fractured cliff the billows break,

Musing, my solitary seat I take,

And listen to the deep and solemn roar.


O'er the dark waves the winds tempestuous howl;

The screaming sea-bird quits the troubled sea:

But the wild gloomy scene has charms for me,

And suits the mournful temper of my soul…

- Charlotte Smith, ‘XII. Written on the Sea Shore’, Elegiac Sonnets.

No matter where it’s planted, ‘Blue Pacific’Juniper evokes the feeling of the seashore. It’s native to the seacoasts of Japan. ‘Blue Pacific’ is an improved variety of Juniperus conferta (pronounced “jew-NIP-er-us KON-fer-tuh”) also known as Shore Juniper. It’s height is shorter and the foliage color is richer.

The evergreen foliage of this low-growing beauty is blue-green and needle-like. ‘Blue Pacific’ grows 6 inches to 18 inches in height and spreads 36 inches to 48 inches.

Shore juniper can be grown anywhere in USDA Climate Zones 4 through 9, provided that it’s exposed to full sun and planted in well-drained to dry soil. Soil can be average to poor with pH ranging from 5.1 to 7.8. Sandy soil is just fine.

As you might expect from a plant that’s native to coastal regions, ‘Blue Pacific’ juniper is drought tolerant, deer resistant, and salt-tolerant. So, it’s ideal for xeriscaping, ground cover, and erosion control, especially in coastal gardens.

Prepare the planting bed for Shore juniper by cultivating at least 14" deep, removing all traces of weeds. Composted manure may be incorporated into the soil, but it may not be necessary. ‘Blue Pacific’ does well in poor soil. Nevertheless, incorporate 5-10-15 fertilizer at a rate of no more 2 lbs. per 100 square feet into the soil. Avoid synthetic fertilizers contacting any part of your plants.

Plant this juniper approximately 36” apart. Closer if you want quicker coverage, and budget allows. Dig planting holes into the cultivated soil a little less deep than the depth of the growing container. Place the plants into the holes and back-fill, watering as you go. Press soil around the root balls. Do not cover entirely the root balls with soil. The tops should be slightly exposed. Add a top-dressing of mulch around the plants, not on top of them, about 1" deep.

Because it likes well-drained soil, plant ‘Blue Pacific’ juniper with other plants having similar cultural requirements. As the plants mature, fertilize sparingly and allow soil to dry between watering.

'Blue Pacific' juniper will undoubtedly become one of your favorite ground cover solutions for your coastal garden, or any other difficult site with dry, sandy soil.

Return to GoGardenNow.com.

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