Even as spring-blooming bulbs, perennials and flowering shrubs build toward their peak of glory in the spring garden, we can’t help but praise a couple of groundcover junipers that are new from Monrovia this year. Get them onto your spring planting list; they’ll reward you with year-round color, ease of care and, if you have a slope, erosion control.
Jazzy Jewel Creeping Juniper
Virtues: Jazzy Jewel juniper makes a good evergreen groundcover. Its beautiful colors make it attractive in and of itself all year, though it’s also happy to give the spotlight to flowering shrubs and perennials in spring and summer. This shrub can be used in a border or as a hardworking ground cover on a slope.
Common name: Jazzy Jewel creeping juniper
Botanical name:Juniperus horizontalis ‘MonGeo’
Exposure: Full sun.
Season: Year-round for foliage.
Foliage: The evergreen foliage is bright green with splashes of gold during the warmer seasons. In winter, it takes on bronze and purple tones.
Habit: This evergreen groundcover juniper has a mounding to spreading form to two feet tall and six feet wide.
Origins:Juniperus horizontalis is a mat-forming juniper species native to the northern United States and Canada. Jazzy Jewel is a cultivar introduced by Monrovia in 2017.
How to grow Jazzy Jewel juniper: Plant in full sun and average or lean soil with good drainage. Sandy soil is great for this juniper. Apply mulch to keep out weeds. Water regularly for the first year; thereafter, this is a heat- and drought-tolerant shrub that should require only occasional deep watering in dry spells.
Burly Blue Rocky Mountain Juniper
Virtues: Burly Blue juniper offers a gentle blue-gray year-round color that makes it a more elegant or understated choice than other blue groundcover juniper varieties. It looks great and works hard to hold soil on a hillside or skirt taller specimens in the shrub border.
Common name: Burly Blue Rocky Mountain juniper
Botanical name: Juniperus scopulorum ‘MonOvr’
Exposure: Full sun.
Season: All year for foliage.
Foliage: This evergreen shrub holds its blue-green color all year.
Habit: A mounding, spreading groundcover shrub, Burly Blue juniper grows to two feet tall and six to eight feet wide.
Origins:Juniperus scopulorum, or Rocky Mountain juniper, is a species native to western North America. The species is a tall, columnar or rounded tree, but many cultivars of different shapes and sizes have been developed. Burly Blue is a selection introduced by Monrovia in 2017.
How to grow Burly Blue juniper: Plant in full sun in well-drained soil. Sandy soils that stay on the dry side are excellent for this shrub, but it is fairly adaptable to anything but wet soil. Mulch to prevent weeds as the shrub fills out its space. Water regularly the first year, then only during dry spells.
Images by Doreen Wynja and courtesy of Monrovia