189 Juniperus confertaCommon Names: shore juniper, Japanese shore juniper, Blue Pacifica juniper Family: Cupressaceae (cypress Family)
Shore juniper is a dense, ground hugging conifer with aromatic gray green or blue green needlelike leaves about a half inch long and borne in fascicles of three. The needles are soft but sharp-tipped. Shore juniper gets only about 12-18 in (30.5-45.7 cm) tall, but can cover an area 10 ft (3.1 m) across. The female cones are spherical, about a 0.5 in (12.7 cm) in diameter, and silvery or bluish black with a waxy glaucus bloom. The whole plant has a soft, feathery look to it.
'Blue Pacifica', perhaps the most popular cultivar, has blue green needles and a very dense, spreading, compact habit. It is among the most heat tolerant and fastest growing. 'Compacta' is even shorter, less than a 1 ft (0.3 m) tall, and more compact. 'Silver Mist' is distinctively silvery. 'Emerald Sea' is among the most cold hardy; it has a looser, taller habit than the others, and is bright green.
Juniperus conferta is native to coastal areas on the north Japanese island of Sakhalin.
CultureLikes light, well drained soils and is salt tolerant. Shore junipers are great groundcovers for seaside plantings. Light: Full sun. Shore juniper will not be as dense if grown in partial shade. Moisture: Drought tolerant. Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 - 10. Propagation: By tip cuttings which root easily.
This is a great low maintenance evergreen ground cover and it's one of the fastest ground covers to get established. It thrives in alkaline to acidic soils. It is very drought tolerant. Shore juniper is very salt tolerant, and does well in dry, sandy soils, and is thus a good choice for seaside gardens and coastal communities. It is even used for dune stabilization. Let shore juniper cascade over a sea wall for a functional and beautiful effect. Shore juniper is perfect for container and rock gardens. The soft dense texture is especially nice along walkways, and makes a dramatic contrast in rock gardens.
It's especially attractive to mix and match juniper groundcovers in the landscape. Take advantage of the subtle differences in texture and hue among the many available cultivars and species of creeping junipers for a beautiful, artistic statement from "mere" groundcovers!
Steve Christman 12/28/99; updated 6/10/04