Junipers (Juniperis spp.) are slow-growing evergreens that thrive in containers with conservative pruning. Trees in containers have several advantages. They fit in small spaces and can decorate areas, such as patios, where trees can not be planted. They can also be moved to keep away from the heat of summer or winter cold, stretching areas where they can grow by as much as a U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone.
How To Prune Junipers in Containers

Juniper Basics


Junipers grow in a variety of shapes and sizes, but all junipers adore sunshine and well-drained soil. They adapt to a variety of soil textures, pH amounts and fertility -- and stand up to winter winds, creating them good options to supply windbreaks for delicate plants or windswept patios. Junipers are orderly conifers, growing gradually and requiring only light pruning to keep their appealing shapes, Growth typically will take location through spring into early summer. Remove damaged or contaminated branches any time you find them on your plants. Clean resources with household cleaner or rubbing alcohol between employs to stay away from transmission of ailments. Clean blades a lot more usually when cutting branches with evident disease. Junipers' two leaf types need slightly different pruning techniques.

Scaled-Leaf Junipers


When you cut back a juniper with scaled leaves, new branches and leaves do not sprout, so conservative, well-planned pruning is vital. Many Chinese junipers and fitzers are hardy in USDA zones three through 9, including the Shimpaku (Juniperus chinensis “Shimpaku”) and Armstrong (Juniperus x fitzeriana “Armstrongii”) hybrids. These dwarf trees grow to 3 or four feet tall but can grow up to 4 or 5 feet wide. Using sharp hand shears or bonsai pruning scissors, remove only shoots growing past the crown, or foliage pad edge, far enough into the foliage so green scales conceal cut ends. Timely removal of overgrown branches trains other branches to continue for being compact.

Needle-Leaf Junipers


Junipers with needles get in touch with for attentive pruning as a result of the fact each branch generates light new growth, called candles, each spring. As soon as growing slows in early summer, snip off the total candle on the end of each branch with shears or scissors. Each spring, check for new branching caused by candle removal to keep a compact form to needle-leaved junipers such as singleseed (Juniperus squamata “Blue Star”), hardy in USDA zones 4 through eight.

Life in a Box


Pots and planters offer portability, but they also confine spreading juniper roots, so invest in dwarf trees or match containers to the grownup dimensions of their residents. You could save by oneself the periodic re-planting and plant loss inherent in forcing junipers to fit too-small spaces by over-pruning. Find containers large ample to provide about 2 cubic feet of soil for every single square foot of canopy of a tree of grownup dimension. Ensure that containerized plants get at least one inch of water per week -- sink a tuna can in the corner of the container to measure -- and give extra water after planting or pruning. Your junipers need extra nutrients, too, so feed them with evergreen plant food this kind of as 16-4-8 or 12-4-8 at a rate of 1/2 pound per a hundred square feet each spring ahead of new growth.