Juniperus Squamata ‘Blue Star’
The species Juniperus squamata has cultivars of all forms, from l ill trees to prostrate shrubs: all have shoots with distinctive, nodding tips and short, awl-shaped, aromatic leaves. These are marked with white or pale green on the upper surface. J s. ‘Blue Star’.is a low-growing cultivar with striking silvery-blue foliage and is an excellent plant for small-scale displays, where it can be left for many years before it attains its ultimate height of around 40cm (16in). As the plant matures, it takes on a rounded, bushy form.
This conifer is fully frost-hardy, and plants growing in the garden are able to tolerate temperatures well below freezing: plants in containers are more difficult to keep growing in extreme conditions. If moistfreezes, or the compost is very dry, the plant’s fine root hairs can die from drought. Keep J. s. ‘Blue Star’ out of drying winds, and out of very hot sunshine in Summer. Grow in bright, but largely indirect, light; an East- or West-facing aspect is ideal. The rich colour of the foliage will suffer if the plants grown in deep shade.
Water J. s. ‘Blue Star’ thoroughly, then allow the compost to dry on the surface before the next watering: in Summer, ensure that the rootball does not dry out, and in Winter try to keep a balance. Plants in the garden will tolerate very dry conditions around the roots, but tub-grown examples must be cared for a little more. Juniper tolerate lime in the water and in the compost.
This conifer needs no additional humidity: the foliage is tough and covered in a thick cuticle which helps to prevent drying out.
If repotted or top-dressed each Spring, J. s. ‘Blue Star’ has no need of additional feed.
Top-dress container-grown specimens with fresh compost in Spring, adding a slow-release fertilizer into the compost. Grow this Juniper in a free-draining, loam-based compost, adding up to a quarter by volume of horticultural grit if necessary.
Use this compact, pretty plant with other small-growing conifers in a stone sink or stone-effect container: use gravel as a mulch to set off the colours of the foliage.
Juniper Webber Moth causes foliage to brown and die. Small brown caterpillars, pupae and webbing will be evident from late July. From then to late Autumn, use a contact insecticide to kill the caterpillars.
Conifer Spinning Mite attack in early Summer, causing yellow leaves, which may drop; control with systemic insecticide.
Cold, dry conditions in Winter can cause foliage to brown.