The Q&A Archives: Coniferous Groundcover

Question: Can you tell me which variety of coniferous evergreen groundcovers will grow the most rapidly to cover a very large area that I have in zone 5? There is all day sun and good drainage. I just need an evergreen conifer that will fill in fast.

Answer: Junipers might fit the site. They are coniferous plants with fleshy, berrylike cones. Foliage is needlelike, scalelike, or both. Junipers are the most widely used woody plants for ground cover situations.

The ground cover group includes types ranging from a few inches to 2-3 ft. If you are planning large-scale plantings, some of the taller junipers (such as Pfitzer) could be included in this group. Prostrate and creeping junipers are almost indispensable to rock gardens. As ground cover, space plants 5-6 ft. apart; for faster coverage, space plants 3-4 ft. apart and remove every other one when plants begin to crowd. In early years, mulch will help keep soil cool and weeds down. Or interplant with annuals until junipers cover. Here are a few descriptions:

'Bar Harbour' (Juniperus horizontalis) 1'x10'/ Sun/ Evergreen/ Gray green foliage/ Groundcover.

'Blue Carpet' (Juniperus horizontalis) 6"x 8"/ sun/ Evergreen / Fast growing/ Silver blue foliage / Ground cover

'Blue Pacific' (Juniperus conferta) 1'x 6' / sun/ Evergreen/ Moderate grower/ Dense blue green foliage/ Groundcover.

'Procumbens Nana' (Juniperus chinensis) 1'x 5' / Sun / Evergreen/ slow grower / Blue green foliage/ Groundcover.

'Prostrata' (Juniperus Chinensis) 18"x 6'/ Sun/ Evergreen / Slow grower / Green foliage/ Good coastal plant/ Ground cover.
'San Jose' (Juniperus chinensis) 2'x 6' / sun/ Evergreen / Slow grower / Sage Green foliage/ Spreading groundcover.

'Wiltoni' (Juniperus horizontalis) 6"x 8' Sun / Evergreen / Fast Growing / Silver blue foliage / Groundcover.

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