Garden Tips

Planting and maintaining juniper - this is how it's done


If you like to grow medicinal plants yourself, then you should also plant juniper (Juniperus) in your garden. Read here how this works and what you need to consider when caring for it.

There are many types of juniper

A so-called Alpine juniper (common juniper) is ideally suited for the garden design of our latitudes. Because on the one hand juniper is quite robust and hardy, and on the other hand it can be used to create Mediterranean flair in the garden as well as rustic romance. Juniper columns are e.g. very good for hedge planting, even offering year-round, evergreen privacy! But they are also suitable as garden room dividers.

Other types of juniper are now also imported from the Mediterranean, from Asia (Chinese juniper) and America, etc. After all, more than 60 types of this cypress family are known today.

Common juniper - small plant profile

Common juniper (Juniperus communis)
Growth rate:10 - 15 cm a year
Height:500 - 800 cm
Root system:Deep-rooting
Location:Sun to partial shade
Ground:low in nutrients, dry
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There are male and female plants

Did you know that juniper has a male and a female plant? Yes that's true. These can usually be distinguished by the shape of the flowers:

  • The male juniper flower consists of stamens that stand together.
  • The female juniper flower consists of three seed buds standing side by side. Berries form on the female stem in the first year, but they do not ripen (remain green). You can only harvest the black juniper berries from the second, sometimes only after the third year of planting (harvest time - early autumn).

No matter which plants you choose: How you should plant them in the garden and what you need to take care of when taking care of the cypress family, we will now tell you here.

Planting and maintaining juniper - this is how it's done

Cultivation:

The juniper, which grows up to 10 meters high, is usually offered as a bale plant. You can plant these plants either individually or as a row of hedges in a sunny to moderately shady location. But you should always keep a distance of about 70 to 100 centimeters. The best season for planting conifers is spring, but juniper can also be planted in early autumn.

Juniper prefers a sunny to moderately partial shade

" Tip:
Of course, you can also multiply juniper yourself using cuttings. But you have to be very patient here, because juniper grows very slowly.

When it comes to the nature of the soil, juniper hardly makes any demands, but it clearly prefers dry soils. However, it is best to enrich the soil with compost and water it well before planting.

Maintenance:

Fertilize juniper:

From time to time you should fertilize the juniper, although incorporating compost around the trunk is often sufficient. However, specialty juniper fertilizers are even offered, which you are welcome to use if required. By the way: Juniper fertilizer is also often used for bonsai juniper plants.

Rear section:

In spring or autumn you can cut back the juniper or cut it into shape. It is advisable to carefully remove the dead wood before you start with the actual pruning. If possible, cut off the juniper only on the branch forks and only cut back the green branches, which then also prevents pest infestation on the juniper.

Cut juniper back in spring or autumn

"Tip:
Juniper pruning is an extremely prickly affair, which is why you should work with sturdy clothing and gloves!

Combat pests:

Pests are rarely attacked by junipers. Only the pear grate (fungal disease) occurs more frequently in some locations, but can be quickly regained by various spray agents (fungicides).

"Tip:
You can only cut off small infestations on the juniper generously and dispose of them in household waste (not on the compost!) To prevent them from spreading to pear trees.

Usage tips

Juniper - especially the juniper berry - is one of the medicinal plants and can be used in a variety of ways. Among other things, with complaints of the respiratory tract, with digestive problems and women complaints, but also with infections and joint pain, etc. You can use the juniper to make syrup, tea, tinctures and essential oils.

Juniper berries are medicinal plants

You can also use the juniper berry, which you can harvest in early autumn, in the kitchen, for example in sauces from game dishes and for seasoning sauerkraut. But spirits manufacturers also like to use juniper berries to make different types of schnapps.

Important:
You should keep the dosage of juniper berries as low as possible. In the case of kidney diseases, you should even avoid the consumption of juniper.