Dwarf Junipers and Pines Shine in the Summertime
Junipers and Mugo Pines are a perfect choice for summertime conditions – and great for the winter extremes as well. Used as container plants or right in the garden bed, these hardy choices make for less work and more fun in the miniature garden.
Junipers are now available in many shapes and sizes as horticulturalists are realizing the great value they can bring to any type of outdoor garden. Planted right in the garden bed, they can either anchor the bed or be a very colorful ground cover throughout the year. Used in containers, the new bright colors can easily be matched with your favorite annual or perennial and be reliable throughout the year. But in the miniature garden, we can have the best of both worlds.
The upright column of the Compress Juniper (Juniperus communis ‘Compressa’) can be a very formal anchor tree in the miniature garden bed. The gray-green foliage opens up a palette of colors to choose from. A row of these column shape trees would easily mimic a row of Italian cypresses that you might see lining long driveways out in the countryside.
The ground cover Junipers are particularly useful, as they don’t get taller, they just spread out gradually. By simply pruning the new growth in springtime and any wayward branches throughout the summer, one of these types of Junipers can last in a pot for well over 5 years with a minimum pot depth of 10 inches.
Mugo pines are a trusted miniature tree as well. When really young, they can be used alone or with a taller tree, for a very established-looking miniature garden. And as they grow – which would take some of them years to do like the Paul’s Dwarf Mugo Pine (Pinus mugo ‘Paul’s Dwarf’) that grows about 2” per year – they can easily be a majestic specimen tree in miniature. The White Bud Mugo Pine (Pinus mugo ‘White Bud’) is a rare exception as it already looks like a big little tree. Place a wee pond underneath it with a small bench and you have your own secret garden to escape to anytime you like.
This is not to say either are “no maintenance” because no living plant is. These two types of trees will endure the extremes providing they have been given the proper care. In-ground, they will need at least two full seasons to get established – meaning water them! Place them in a full sun bed with a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight and let the soil dry out until wrung-sponge damp between watering sessions. After which, only in the dry summer months would they need a bit of water.
In containers, they will need the same light and water – but for the life of the container because the roots obviously can’t find water themselves. After about two years they’ll need a little fertilizer. Use the time-release, Osmocote fertilizer for a safe and simple solution.
See what Junipers and Mugos are in our store here.
For backorders on any of the above mentioned trees that are no longer in the store, just send me an email at Janit@TwoGreenThumbs.com.