If you desire to add a beautiful fast-growing plant to cover your ground, then the creeping structure of Juniper should attract you because of its needle-like foliage.

Introduction to Creeping Junipers:

Creeping juniper is an evergreen and low growing perennial shrub belonging to the Cupressaceae family with the scientific name Juniperus horizontalis or blue rug juniper or creeping cedar. Grown in Canada, Alaska, and certain parts of the United States like in Maine, Montana, Minnesota, Massachusetts, New York, and Wyoming, this plant is low growing conifer with long tendril-like branches and yellowish green to blue green like needles. Grown best between April and May, the tree comes with white flowers and dark blue, spherical seeds that are actually cone-like. Recommended for the ground cover of landscapes or rock gardens, it does well in slopes, hilly areas or sand dunes.

When to Plant Ground Cover Junipers:

Creeping juniper is adapted for growing in the USDA hardiness zones ranging from 3 to 9. Ideally, their seeds should be planted earliest in the fall or latest in late fall or in the early part of spring before temperatures begin to soar.

How to Grow Creeping Juniper:

Creeping juniper can be propagated by cutting; however, the growth of this plant is fairly slow and it will take some time if planted through cuttings. The simplest method of planting creeping juniper is probably by opting for a transplant of a well-developed juniper which has been bought from a garden store. Below is an alternative method on how to plant creeping juniper in a transplanting process.

Variety Selection:

Select ground cover juniper that will grow in your area, preferably Juniperus horizontalis or Juniperus procumbens, they are most suitable for this purpose.

Ideal Sun Exposure:

It would be best to site your junipers where they get at least 6 hours of full sun exposure per day to ensure that the plants grow well and have a lush green appearance.

Optimal Soil Conditions: 

Choose growing media with a good drainage system, preferably sandy or loam ones because they enable the development of the roots and water control. For the dense clay soils improve drainage with the help of word to avoid water logging if organic materials cannot be avoided.

Spacing for Coverage:

When planting, it is advisable to space junipers properly which depends on their growth habit and size usually 3 to 6 feet are suggested. This spacing enables them to spread well and cover the ground in a good manner and give your garden or landscape a good aesthetic value by making the plants look neat and equal on the ground.


First, water newly planted junipers frequently, especially during their first year, once the root ball loses its strength. Once they have grown and are well established they do not require irrigation and only require it if the area that it is grown in is dry for a long term. Read our blog Best Watering Tips for Happy, Healthy Plants for more detail.


Sprinkle a layer of mulch on the soil surrounding junipers to help in maintaining soil moisture and to suppress weed growth and the fluctuating of soil temperatures. This assists in the client maintaining the right climate for growth and is low on maintenance.


Ground cover junipers in most cases do not need the use of fertilizers; however, if the ground is nutrient deficient, then a slow release balanced fertilizer should be applied early in spring. There’s also the need to moderate on the inputs that are required for plant growth as too much fertilizing can lead to stunted growth of the plants.

Pruning: (H2)

It is recommended that junipers should not be pruned a lot, but, if a trimming is to be done, this should be done in the early spring. Do not sever too much of the plant since re-growing new branches from old stems is not easy in junipers .


Ground cover junipers, like creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis), beautify the garden and landscape with low-growing, evergreen foliage. The correct varieties for your climate and plenty of sun with well-drained soil will ensure that juniper is watered properly. Water a newly planted juniper regularly until it becomes established. Mulching retains moisture and can help control weeds; light pruning and careful fertilization nurture the emergence of healthy growth. Provided that the needs for proper pest management and winter mulching to protect against cold damage, ground cover junipers will provide beauty throughout any outdoor space year-round.