The genus of junipers has more than 70 species, many of which are actively used in landscape design. And where does juniper grow in the wild? It can be found on the territory of almost the entire Northern Hemisphere, starting from the polar zone and ending with tropical mountains.
Unpretentious and hardy coniferous plant
This coniferous plant, which is part of the cypress family and is a shrub or tree, grows in bright deciduous, pine and mixed forests, in the forest-steppe zone, on rocky slopes that are prone to drought, on hilly formations. Usually, representatives of the mountains are creeping and stunted plants, and tree-like representatives grow in wooded areas. In the arid regions of the Mediterranean, America and Central Asia, trees can form wooded thickets.
Juniper is drought- and frost-resistant, shade-tolerant, and not picky about the soil. Its strong, strong roots are able to get nutrients and moisture even from the worst soil rocks (infertile, rocky, sandy). However, growing juniper crops on the site, they still need to be fed with fertilizers for conifers, then the appearance and juiciness of the color of the needles will be more attractive.
The advantages of juniper include the ability to easily tolerate any, even the most extravagant haircut. For example, in the gardens of China and Japan, bizarre figures are created from juniper: lanterns, animals, armchairs, etc.
It’s only that juniper grows slowly, on average 10 cm per year. But this plant is a long-liver. The average life expectancy is 500-600 years, some species live up to a thousand years!
The only thing that unpretentious conifers do not like is excessive humidity.
Juniper: planting and care (video)
The most common types of juniper in Russia
Juniper is growing in Russia almost everywhere. About 20 species are found here, but three are most common:
Distribution area juniper often coincides with the places of growth of another species - Cossack. Common juniper, or heather, is a shrub or low tree (up to 8 m), depending on the growth zone. The harsher the climate, the lower the bush. The crown in the trees is pyramidal, in the bushes - broad-egg-shaped. Prickly needles, collected in whorls of three. It changes every 4 years. Fruits are cone berries.
Juniper Cossack - it is a creeping shrub reaching a height of 1.5 m, and in width, greatly expanding, up to 20 m. Most often it can be found in mountainous regions - in the Crimea, the Caucasus. Its peculiarity is a strong unpleasant odor if you rub the needles or damage the plant. This plant is poisonous.
Daurian Juniper, found in Siberia and the Far East, smaller - it grows to 50-60 cm.
In Russia, there is a place where junipers of various species grow, both local and imported. This is the Crimea. Coniferous plants have been cultivated in the Crimea since the beginning of the 19th century. On the southern slopes of the main ridge of the Crimean mountains, at an altitude of 400-450 m above sea level, high juniper grows. A little higher, at an altitude of 750 m, spiny juniper grows. It can also be found in the foothills. And on the northern slopes of the main ridge, smelly juniper dominates. All of these species are trees, the height of which ranges from 5 m to 25. And the tops of the mountains are a place for Cossack juniper. Its strong, branched roots restrain fragile rocks and prevent them from crumbling.
Junipers of Sargent, rocky, solid, frankincense, and Virginia stand out from the imported species for special decorative qualities. Moreover, the virgin look has many garden forms. Various species are rich in botanical gardens in the Crimea and other areas of southern Russia.
So, the evergreen coniferous shrub can be grown in any locality except wetland.
Many of its species and varieties feel great in the Moscow Region and central Russia, such as ordinary, rocky, Cossack, horizontal.
Due to the variety of shapes, sizes and colors it is included in various compositions, and also used to create hedges. But planting juniper is not only for decorating the site. It is known that by the allocation of bactericidal essential substances it is a leader among other trees. 1 ha of such a forest will be enough to heal the air of a big city. However, the junipers themselves do not tolerate the poor ecology of megacities and grow poorly there. And in the past, they adorned the streets of the cities of Holland, Italy, and China.
A relic plant also has other medicinal properties, due to which it is widely used in both official and traditional medicine. And from it comes a pleasant coniferous aroma.
Types and varieties of junipers (video)
When planting on the site, check the compatibility of the coniferous plant with other plantings. For example, its proximity to apples and pears is not recommended, because all of them are susceptible to rust and can infect each other. Or choose horizontal and ground cover varieties that spread along the ground, forming beautiful, uniform carpets.