Scientific: Juniperus chinensis
Common: Chinese juniper
Family: Cupressaceae
Origin: China, Mongolia and Japan

Pronounciation: Ju-NIP-er-us chi-NEN-sis

Hardiness zones
USDA 3 (some protection might be needed)-11

Landscape Use: Large foundation, informal screen, filler for mesic and old fashioned landscape design themes, bonsai.

Form & Character: Arching and spreading, fountain-like, coniferous, oriental.

Growth Habit: Large evergreen perennial shrub, moderately fast to 15 feet tall with a greater spread.

Foliage/texture: Chinese junpier has both adult (appressed, scale-like) and juvenile (stiff, short and needle-like, ternate) foliage, opposite. Foliar colors varies from dark green to yellow to glaucous depending on cultivar. Somewhat stiff and pointed branches spread outward at almost 45 degree angle; fine texture.

Flowers & fruits: Dioecious; female cones sub-globose to 5/16 inch across, 2-3 seeded, ripen in 2-3 years, purplish to brown; male flowers axillary and very small, golden yellow to brown, spring, inconspicuous.

Seasonal color: Absolutely none in Phoenix. In colder climates the foliage of juniper turns bronze or purple in winter.

Temperature: Highly tolerant

Light: Full sun to partial shade.

Soil: Very tolerant, but somewhat salt sensitive.

Watering: In Phoenix, chinese juniper needs to be watered deeply during the summer months to survive. Little to no supplemental water is required during hte rest of the year.

Pruning: Many struggle with how to maintain Chinese juniper as it matures and typically outgrows its planting space. Typically what happens is that eventually Chinese juniper is sheared to control its spread. This is why I am ardent about selecting cultivars that have mature growth habits that match the available planting space.

Propagation: Chinese juniper cultivars are propagated from cuttings which generally root readily. Some of the upright cultivars are more difficult to root and are grafted, usually onto J. chinensis 'Hetzii' or J. virginiana seedling rootstock.

Disease and pests: Spider mites and juniper scale.

Additional comments: Chinese juniper is mosptly an old-fashioned serviceable landscape filler plant that is widely grown as an ornamental in North America and Europe. In the Phoenix area, it is typcially found in landscapes of older homes in older neighborhoods. There are many cultivars and varieties for various uses. Some of these include:

The hybrid between Juniperus chinensis and Juniperus sabina, known as Juniperus pfitzeriana (Pfitzer Juniper, synonym J. media), is also very common as a cultivated plant. This hybrid grows only as a shrub, never a tree, making it suitable for smaller gardens:-