Today we will talk about Blue Point, one of the best junipers for both hedging and growing as a specimen plant.
Blue Point Juniper care tips
- Plant Blue Point in a place with at least 6-8 hours of direct sun
- Water it after the top layer of soil has dried 2 inches
- Place juniper trees 8 feet apart for a hedge
- Use well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0-6.8
- Fertilize the juniper once a year with slow-release fertilizer
- Mulch the surface with pine bark 1-2 inches thick
|Care/requirements||Blue Point Juniper|
|Hardiness:||USDA zone 4-9|
|Size:||Height 12 ft. and Width 8 ft.|
|Light requirements:||6-8 hours of direct sun per day, Full sun or partial shade|
|Soil:||Loam or amended soil|
|Soil pH:||6.0-6.8 Grow best in neutral or acidic soil|
|Watering:||First 1-2 years after planting when the soil 2” dry|
|Growth rate:||Fast (6-10 inches per year)|
|Best time for planting:||Early spring or early fall|
|Spacing:||8-12 feet apart (center to center)|
|Transplanting:||Early fall or early spring|
|Fertilizer:||Balanced NPK, slow-release|
Blue Point is best planted in a location with full sun and loose soil without stagnant water. Make sure that no surface water flows near the juniper.
Early spring is the best time to plant this juniper because it is dormant at this time and will not feel much stress. The second favorable period is autumn, around the end of September or the beginning of October.
To use Blue Point Juniper as a hedge, plant it 8 feet apart (center-center). If you want to plant it as a specimen plant, give it 10-12 feet of space.
The planting hole should be twice the size of the juniper roots. Put some compost or peat in the bottom of the hole and mix it with the soil. Place the tree so that only the roots are in the ground, not the trunk.
Backfill all the empty space in the hole with the soil you prepared, about which we’ll talk later. Next, water the juniper tree with plenty of water.
Blue Point needs at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight for good development and rich color. Planting in full sun will only be an advantage as this juniper is a sun-loving plant.
It can also grow in semi-shade, but the main thing is to get at least a few hours of direct sunlight. In this case, the plant will grow more or less normally, but the color of the needles will most likely be green.
Blue Point cannot grow in full shade. In the absence of direct sun, the crown will be loose and the plant will be regularly sick with fungal diseases. After a while, it will die.
Blue Point Juniper prefers light and fast-draining soil. In such a substrate it will grow quickly and without problems. It can also tolerate loam and some types of other soils.
The heavy clay soil in which water stagnates is unsuitable for growing this juniper. So mix a few bags of compost or peat with native soil before planting and plant your juniper in this mixture.
You also want the soil to have a pH of 6.0-6.8, i.e. neutral or slightly acidic. Adding compost or perlite will also make the soil slightly acidic.
If you have not improved the substrate with organic matter check the pH with a special kit. If the soil is alkaline, acidify it with sulfate available at the garden store.
Juniper needs to be watered after the top 2 inches of soil have dried out. This recommendation should be followed for the first 1-2 years after planting. Once the Juniper is rooted, you can stop watering.
The amount of water should be at least 1 to 2 inches. If you plant a large juniper there should be so much water that all the roots get it. But again, this is a recommendation for newly planted junipers.
If you see next year that the juniper gave good growth it means that it has taken root and watering can be stopped. In fact, rooted Blue Point Juniper is a drought-tolerant plant and can withstand quite a long time without water.
On the other hand, it is very easy to overwater. If you water this plant when the soil is wet or water accumulates near it, its roots can start to rot. Curing root rot is a very difficult task.
You can trim the Blue Point Juniper if you want. But this variety does not need pruning because it is relatively small. It is also often used as a hedge and does not need pruning in the first few years.
If you do decide to cut it back, the best time is early spring or autumn. This is when the plant is usually dormant and will not get too much stress.
When pruning, it is best to use a sharp, good-quality tool. Also, do not forget to disinfect it.
Avoid pruning more than 30% of the plant in a single year because otherwise, the plant might die. After pruning, spraying the tree with fungicide will be an advantage.
In general, Blue Point grows well without fertilizer. But if you want a large and lush tree quickly, you can fertilize it.
A fertilizer with a balanced NPK formula is best. You can also find a fertilizer developed specifically for conifers on the market, and they are good too. The main thing is that it should be made as slow-release pellets.
The best time to apply granular fertilizer is in early spring. Usually, one application per year is enough. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions.
Avoid fertilizing juniper in the first year after planting. Also, do not fertilize in late fall and winter.