How to water juniper

Juniper is a plant that has a particularly branched stem. It is an evergreen shrub that arises spontaneously and for this reason it does not need special attention to survive. However, in case you decide to grow it in the garden, it is advisable to take some precautions. Juniper is a plant that needs water during the summer season, especially in the first 3 years of life. Therefore, if grown in places with dry summers with little rain, it is recommended to provide the right amount of water, taking care to keep the soil constantly humid. Once the plant is more adult, the developed roots are able to calmly withstand even prolonged drought. Juniper is able to develop quietly even on acidic, nutrient-poor and gravelly soils.

How to grow juniper

Juniper grows spontaneously in areas with a temperate climate and is able to withstand high and low temperatures. The plant is also at ease in mountainous areas with severe winters and is present in arid and uncultivated places near the sea and in coniferous woods. Juniper trees can be grown in fully sunny or semi-shaded places. It is not necessary to keep them sheltered from the wind as they have excellent resistance against this atmospheric agent. The plant is able to grow on different types of soil, but prefers loose, medium-textured and neutral soils. Juniper leaves are needle-like and evergreen. It is a dioecious plant, so the male and female flowers are found on different plants. The fruits ripen quite long and therefore remain on the plant even for 2-3 years. The sprigs with berries are harvested in autumn, between September and October and left to dry in dark, dry and airy environments. Juniper can be multiplied by seed or by cutting. The seed should be planted in full spring; the cutting should be done at the end of the spring season, using new branches.

Fertilization and pruning of the plant

The first step in juniper cultivation is to prepare the soil. During this phase it is necessary to distribute mature manure, which allows the soil to be enriched with nutritional elements. If you can’t find or don’t want to use manure, you can use any other organic fertilizer. Once the preparation of the growing medium has been completed, the juniper plant is planted. In the following years it is recommended to provide a slow-release complex fertilizer. The fertilization interventions must be carried out at the moment of the vegetative restart. Pruning should be done during the winter. The operation consists in removing all dry, damaged branches placed in a shady and vertical position.

Juniper: Diseases and remedies

Juniper is often attacked by cedar aphids and mealybugs. Cochineal infestation is noted for the particular appearance of dark spots on the leaves. These parasites feed on the sap of the plant. In this way the juniper weakens and the leaves fall off. The attack by aphids is even more dangerous, since these insects are able to act both directly and indirectly. In fact, they destroy the leaves of the juniper and, in addition to this, by producing the honeydew, they are able to attract numerous species of fungi. If infestations by these parasites occur, it is possible to act manually with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol. However, in the event that the attack should be more extensive and serious, it is recommended to resort to specific pesticides.

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