icee blue juniper - Knowledgebase Question

Columbia, sc
Avatar for prsheridan
Question by prsheridan
November 28, 2006
We have 4 of these plants in a 4' x 10' plot, and none of them appear to have taken growth over 2 years, with brown around the edges (one is mostly brown). Have tried some high nitrogen fertilizer and liming earlier this year, but to no noticeable avail; recently planted Pansies in the same bed are doing well; please advise.

Answer from NGA
November 28, 2006
If your junipers have not grown in two years, I think it's time to dig them up and investigate the planting site. Junipers require full sunshine and well-draining soil. As long as the roots are in average, fast-draining native soil, they should establish themselves without problem. While they're becoming established they will need a weekly deep soaking. Dig the plants up and check the root system. Healthy roots are creamy white inside; dead or dying roots will be brown or rusty colored. While you have the plants out of the soil, check to make sure the planting holes drain quickly (fill with water and see how fast the water empties). You may find that the roots have remained exactly the same size as they were in the nursery pots. If this is the case, take the time to dig the entire planting area and amend with some organic matter (compost, aged-manure, etc.) to facilitate good drainage. Then gently work the root mass to untangle them and then replant, spreading the roots out in a natural fashion. Water well to help settle the soil. I think this will help your junipers establish their root systems over the next few months and be ready to put on new growth next spring.

Best wishes with your junipers!

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