by Ken Lain, the mountain gardener
Rich green mounds of juniper beauty only grow ankle-high for the perfect mountain ground cover. An ideal choice for low water, low care erosion control on natural banks where monsoon run-off is a problem. The perfect green nestled between boulders or soften the top edge of a masonry retaining wall. Ideally used to add color and style next to a barren rock lawn through the winter months. Junipers are always naturally welcome in Japanese gardens or pruned into creative bonsai forms.
Carpet Juniper is easy to grow a plant that can be planted in any season. It grows the best in well-drained soils but one need to avoid planting them over wet soil. The plant needs a deep and regular watering during the very first season so that it can establish a good root system.
This low growing ground cover juniper is extremely durable & hardy, and has excellent cold hardiness. Foliage is very bright green with a ofter texture than many other low growing junipers. Great for use as a low growing accent, groundcover in mass plantings, as well as great for along sidewalks. A great carefree choice – especially in colder mountain landscapes.
Typical spacing for most solid groundcover applications will be between 2-3 ft apart, but exact distance will vary depending upon exact planting location, sun exposure, area of the country, etc.
Diseases / Insects: Rather a trouble-free juniper – however, Phomopsis has been observed on specimens that have been kept in very wet conditions, or in soil with inadequate drainage.
Botanical Names – Juniperus sabina
Common Name – Calgary Carpet Juniper
Plant Type – Evergreen groundcover
Mature Size – 10” tall, 5 feet wide
Spacing 2-3′ feet apart for typical ground cover application
Sun Exposure – At least 6+ hours per day
Soil Type – Adapts to dry, well-drained soils
Water Needs – Low, once estabablished more in hot desert heat
Hardiness Zones – 3 to 8, USDA
Animal resistance – Deer, Rabbit, Javelina resistant
Garden Styles – Asian/Zen, Contemporary, Rustic
Landscape Use – Borders, Erosion Control, Rock Garden, Ground Cover
How to Grow Calgary Carpet Juniper
A superior evergreen groundcover with a very low, spreading habit and attractive soft green foliage. Use on slopes for groundcover or erosion control, along walkways, and in borders or rock gardens. Drapes nicely over retaining walls. A very durable landscape specimen that tolerates mountain heat, cold, and drought.
Full sun is preferred by juniper, although young plants will grow well in partial shade.
Juniper is a super hardy shrub that grow well in different types of soil. Loam is ideal, but sand or clay will also be sufficient for this tree to thrive. Juniper even tolerates salty mineral soils.
Water twice weekly, only once well established after the first year of growth. The water guide for this shrubs is deep soak as soon as planted and bi-weekly for the first year. A one-hour trickle that slowly saturates the root provides proper water for a new tree. Adjust watering based on rainfall.
Temperature and Humidity
Calgary Carpet Juniper can grow in a variety of climate conditions, but it will perish if exposed to temperatures below minus -30 degrees F.
Older shrubs rarely need additional irrigation. For young shrubs feed three times per year with 7-4-4 All Purpose Food (March, July, and October).
Juniper plants need little pruning except to remove dead or diseased branches. The best time to prune is in late winter (January through March), when sap flow is reduced by colder weather.
Companion Plants with Calgary Carpet Juniper for a Stunning Backyard
Lily of the Valley – Plant the gorgeousshrub in the Pinon’s cool shade for evergreen color with dramatic fire-red new growth and white flower clusters in spring.
Peony – There’s nothing quite like the huge fragrant flowers to add vibrant stunning pops of color.