Junipers on Hillsides
Junipers are one of the easiest shrubs to care for and are too often overlooked. These evergreen shrubs come in all shapes and sizes and have many uses in the landscape. Utilizing Junipers to landscape slopes and hillsides has many benefits.
We use junipers on a hillside or slope because they help stabilize the soil and prevent erosion. If you have a hill in your yard where you can't keep mulch on it, try some junipers.
The most popular junipers used on hills or slopes are Blue Rug and Blue Pacific. These two varieties stay very low to the ground and are basically a groundcover. They spread fast! We suggest planting your junipers about 3-5 feet apart. Within 2 years these plants should be touching covering up any soil or mulch which will greatly stabilize the area.
If you're looking for a taller juniper that gets about 3-5 feet tall we suggest the Grey Owl or the Angelica Blue. These varieties are very similar. The Angelica Blue has a whiter blue color and the Grey Owl has a darker blue color and a slightly softer look.
Planting and Caring for your Junipers
To give your new junipers a great start, we suggest you install 3-4 inches of rough mulch around your plants. The mulch will hold in the moisture and help your plants establish faster.
Junipers like to be fed. Spread a high quality slow release fertilizer 2-3 times per year throughout the planting bed. The roots will grow faster, and will enable the shrub to spread faster. The stronger the roots, the better it will hold the soil in place preventing erosion.
Your hillside doesn't have to be all junipers. If it's not too steep, you can plant an ornamental trees as a focal point. Crape myrtles work very well if you live in the south. Birch trees will work very well in the north.
Mix it up a little. Add boulders and flowering shrubs to increase the beauty of your yard. Remember there is no wrong way to landscape your home. Just plan your landscape first even if you have to do a little at a time.