Blue Rug Juniper, Juniperus horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’
This an absolutely awesome plant to grow, sell or use in a landscape design. They are hardy, tough as nails, will grow in just about any kind of soil and they do well in zones 3-9. How’s that for adaptability?
When I was landscaping and re-landscaping homes I put no less than five to nine Blue Rug Juniper into every planting that I did because this is a plant that I believe in and love recommending to my customers. Because it performs perfectly in a landscape.
Blue Rug makes an excellent evergreen ground cover. Depending on how close together you plant them they can take a few years to fill in, but once filled in they make a perfect blue, evergreen carpet, that does an excellent job of keeping a bed weed free.
This is one my favorite ways to use Blue Rug Junipers, under a Laceleaf, Weeping Japanese Red maple.
I must have taken this photo a couple of years later after the bed was completely filled in. Originally I only planted five Blue Rug in this bed and they completely filled in keeping weeds out completely.
In a planting like this they require very little maintenance. Once a year I take my spade and just cut them back to about 5″ from the edge of the bed. The new growth covers the cut edges and it looks beautiful all year.
They are a sun loving plant so they do well in full sun and tolerate hot and dry conditions pretty well. But they won’t do well in heavy shade. They’ll get really, really thin in shade and not be attractive at all.
I also like to use Blue Rug Juniper on the top of a retaining wall and let them creep over the wall. They really make an awesome display when use that way in a landscape because as they grow over the wall the branches droop and make their way toward the ground.
There are a lot of Junipers that “look like” Blue Rug. Don’t be fooled and don’t guess if you are taking cuttings. The look a likes range from barely okay to terrible plants. Of course that’s my very biased opinion based on years in this industry. The only other Juniper that is ground hugging that I will use in a landscape are Green Mound, Juniperus ‘procumbens nana’. That too is a nice plant but green in color. I’ll do a post about that as well when I get a little time.
Blue Rug Juniper are Easy to Propagate!
You can take and stick Blue Rug Juniper cuttings from late June through October. During the summer we do them this way, https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/mikes-plant-propagation-kit/. If you do them in the fall you can just stick them in a bed of sand and keep them watered until the ground freezes and water any time you think the sand might be dry.
They are slow to root so don’t expect them to be rooted enough to move for about 12 months. Sounds like a long time right? It is a long time, but if you faithfully stick 100, 300 or 500 each year you will soon have 500 a year to sell. More about fall and winter propagation here.
Don’t be Impatient. Load up the Seats of the Ferris Wheel.
This is what I call loading up the seats of the Ferris Wheel. Pick a number, do that many each year until all of the seats on the Ferris Wheel are full. Before you get in 1/8 of the way full you’ll be selling Blue Rug and will have more coming on each year.
I’ll tell you a little secret. Blue Rug Juniper is a hot, hot seller and nobody buys just one. Landscapers use them 5, 6 12 or 100 at a time as a ground cover. Right now we have people practically begging for rooted cuttings in Our Members Area.
They are also really hot sellers in small pots, like a one quart pot. But landscapers want them in three gallon containers and they are willing to the three gallon price. Wholesale on a three gallon evergreen right now is probably around $18.00, maybe more.
The opportunities with Blue Rug Juniper are endless.
Right now as I am typing this I am kicking myself for not sticking hundreds and hundreds of them two years ago. I’ve been buying them for my nursery and now I’ve put myself in a situation where I have to buy hundreds if not thousands more because I failed to stick my own cuttings.
We do tens of thousands of cuttings, but I should have stuck some Blue Rug! Shame on me!
Questions or comments? Post them below and I’ll answer them for you.