by Ken Lain, the mountain gardener
This updated Chinese Juniper has brilliant mint green foliage displayed over an arching form. One of the most constant shrubs in the mountain landscape is planted as shrub borders, mass plantings, or the fringe of natural areas. Evergreen. Moderate growing 5′ ft. tall X 6′ ft. wide.
An informal shrub that is highly adapted to topiary forms. Use as a rugged hedge along driveways and to divide properties. Provides solid foliage to mask crawl spaces and utilities in a foundation planting. Blend with gold and bronze evergreens in mixed shrub borders. The spreading form is an ideal bank cover for erosion control.
Botanical Name Juniperus chinensis
Common Name Mint Julip Juniper, Chinese juniper
Plant Type Evergreen shrub
Mature Size 5′ ft. tall X 6′ ft. wide
Sun Exposure 6+ hours of Full sun
Soil Type Average, well-draining
Soil pH 5.5 to 7.5 pH
Bloom Time Spring
Flower Color Yellow to bronze
Hardiness Zones 4 to 9
Native Area of East Asia
How to Plant and Grow Mint Julip Juniper
This improved Chinese juniper has many uses in landscaping, including hedges, privacy screens and specimen plantings. This juniper is so tolerant of salt, it can be used near sidewalks, driveways, and roadways. It is rarely damaged by animals, such as deer, javelina, elk, and packrats.
Ensure the location has excellent drainage and gets at least six hours of sun during the growing season.
Mint Julip Juniper has the same cultural needs as most other juniper species. Container-grown plants should be planted in a large, carefully prepared hole and backfilled with soil amended with Watters Premium Mulch or another acidifying organic material.
Chinese juniper grows best in full sun. It prefers at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.
This plant is tolerant of many different soil types, including sandy, rocky, and clay soils. It does best in average garden soil with a neutral to slightly acidic pH. Good soil drainage is critical.
Along with adequate drainage, Chinese juniper grows best in moderately moist soil. Irrigate young plants twice a week to maintain soil moisture. Once juniper is established, it becomes tolerant of dry soil and drought.
Temperature and Humidity
Mint Julip juniper is exceptionally robust in frigid temperatures and well suited for USDA zones 4 to 7, hardy down to minus-25 degrees Fahrenheit. This species prefers cold temperate climates. The plant is tough in humid and dry conditions, as long as its roots aren’t sitting in soggy soil.
Feed with Watters 7-4-4 All Purpose Food 3 times per year (March, July, and October) for best blooms and dense foliage that screens and cuts the wind.
Pruning is typically best done annually in the late winter or early spring, just before growth begins in March. Prune dead, broken, or diseased branches. Next, trim back leggy branches to maintain the plant’s shape. Aim to selectively prune branches around the entire plant to increase the amount of light that can reach its center.
Mint Julip Juniper is very forgiving of pruning mistakes. So if you prune a bit too much, just give the plant a little growth time to correct your error. Topiary forms and pompoms are best pruned 3-4 times through the growing season to promote denser growth.
Companion Plants with Mint Julip Juniper for a Stunning Backyard
- Arizona Cypress
- Austrian Pine
- Red Clusterberry Cotoneaster