Authors as Published

Alex X. Niemiera, Associate Professor, Department of Horticulture


Foliage: Short awl-like foliage (sharp-to-the-touch)
Height: About 1.5 feet tall
Spread: About 10 feet wide
Shape: Low-growing ground cover

Main features

Japanese garden juniper is a very attractive evergreen ground cover with somewhat bluish-green foliage. It is quite drought tolerant and requires a full sun exposure.

Plant Needs

Zone: 4 to 7
Light: Full sun
Moisture: Average to dry
Soil type: Most types except poorly drained soils
pH range: Acid to alkaline


Japanese garden juniper is appropriate anywhere a low ground cover is needed; it is especially nice on slopes or cascading over rocks.


No special care is needed. This plant tolerates pruning but sharp foliage requires the use of gloves.

Additional Information

Japanese garden juniper is a bit pricy in garden centers but that is because it is a relatively slow-growing plant. Weed infestation in this ground cover is minimal since it is over one foot tall; in contrast, weed infestation is much great in some of the relatively low-growing creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis) cultivars that are less than one foot tall.

Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

Publication Date

November 3, 2010