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How To Propagate Dwarf Juniper

Dwarf Japanese Garden Juniper (Juniperus procumbens 'Nana') is one of the most popular low growing junipers. It grows best in United States Division of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 to 9. Plant in well-drained soil in total sun. Once established it can tolerate drought, wind and salt spray. It will grow one foot tall and spread to 3 or 4 feet. It can be propagated by stem layering or cuttings.
How To Propagate Dwarf Juniper

Transplanting Rooted Branches

Dwarf Japanese garden juniper grows along the ground, forming dense mats of foliage with branches on top of each other. Most mature specimens will have roots along the underside of the lowest branches. Push aside the upper branches and lift some of the lower branches to determine if roots have designed. If they have, the branch can be cut and transplanted to a new location. If the roots are there but are underdeveloped cover the branch with soil to market root growth.

Stem Layering

Roots can be forced to develop on stems by stem layering. Make a decision on a healthy branch to layer. Remove mulch and debris from under the branch, exposing bare soil. Scrape the bark off the lower portion of the branch for 6 inches, starting about ten inches from the tip of the branch. Pin the scraped section to the ground utilizing a landscape pin and cover it with soil, leaving the tip exposed. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Allow the roots develop until they are prepared to hold a soil ball together then transplant the new juniper.


Junipers can also be propagated from cuttings. Cut four to 8 inches from the tip of quite a few branches in the fall. Snip off growth from the lower 1 1/2 to two inches. Dip this end in rooting powder. Make holes in sterile rooting medium, stick the cuttings in the holes and press the rooting medium around them. Water the medium to settle the soil around the cuttings and cover the propagation tray. It may consider a couple of months for the cuttings to form roots. Transplant them to pots when the roots are about 3 inches long.


The dwarf Japanese garden juniper seldom generates berries. Any berries it creates may be sterile. Berries should be cold stratified by trying to keep them in the refrigerator in moist sphagnum moss for 3 months prior to planting. After planting they may take two to three months to sprout if they are not sterile. When they do sprout they are very likely to have different characteristics than the dwarf Japanese garden juniper, since they are hybrids. Seed propagation is not recommended unless you are trying to produce new juniper varieties.