Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Dwarf Japanese Garden Juniper - For The Landscape Or Bonsai

 Japanese Garden Juniper

Beneath the low canopy of Dwarf Japanese Garden juniper, one often finds twisted branches reminiscent of an old, windswept tree. It’s a living sculpture. For that reason, Dwarf Japanese Garden juniper (aka Juniperus procumbens ‘Nana’) is a perennial favorite for bonsai and garden enthusiasts. Whether potted or established in the landscape, it evokes a sense of mystery.

This shrubby ground cover, native to Japan, grows about 8 inches tall and spreads slowly to form a dense mat. The very short evergreen foliage is deep blue-green during warm months, and displays a purplish hue in winter. Dwarf Japanese Garden juniper grows 8 inches to 12 inches in height and spreads to 36 inches.

Juniperus procumbens ‘Nana’ can be grown anywhere in USDA Climate Zones 4 through 9, provided that it’s exposed to full sun and planted in well-drained soil. Average garden soil with pH ranging from 6.1 to 7.5 is best.

Dwarf Japanese Garden juniper is drought tolerant, deer resistant, and salt-tolerant. So, it’s ideal for xeriscaping, ground cover, and erosion control in small areas. And, of course, it’s a favorite subject for bonsai and Japanese garden themes. Even beginning bonsai hobbyists will find it to be easy to train for its natural shape lends itself well to the art.

Prepare the planting bed for Juniperus procumbens ‘Nana’ 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. Or, 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 6 feet apart, at most. 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 only 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 Dwarf Japanese Garden juniper with other plants having similar cultural requirements. As the plants mature, fertilize sparingly and allow soil to dry between watering.

Gardeners wishing to try their hand at growing bonsai can click on this link for search results at

Return to

No comments: