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Dwarf Japanese Garden Juniper Juniperus procumbens 'Nana'

Phonetic Spelling
ju-NIP-er-us pro-KUM-benz
Description

The Dwarf Japanese Garden Juniper 'Nana' is a cultivar that is an evergreen, conifer, low-growing shrub that may reach from 6 inches to 1 foot tall and 5 to 6 feet wide. The cultivar, 'Nana,' forms a dense compact mat with branches that tend to intertwine and spread out in sprays. The leaves are prickly needles that are bluish-green, linear to lanceolate, awl-shaped, spiny, pointed, 1/4 inch long, and appear in whorls of three. In the winter months, the needles have a slightly purplish hue. The plant can become wide-spreading over time if space permits or will mound upon itself if space is limited. It grows up over obstacles such as low walls or rocks. This plant has a slow growth rate, and it is frequently used for bonsai.

Dwarf Japanese Garden Juniper 'Nana' was introduced in Japan in 1922. It is a member of the Cupressaceae or cypress family. 

The genus name, Juniperus, is Latin for juniper. The specific epithet, procumbens, means low growing or prostrate.

This plant needs full sun and open space. It is tolerant of a variety of soils, thrives under adversity, and is easily transplanted, It is deer, drought, erosion, heat, and dry soils tolerant. 

The Dwarf Japanese Garden Juniper 'Nana' is a versatile, sprawling, and cascading ground cover that may be used for bonsai or in the landscape as a border, in a rock garden, or in mass plantings. 

Seasons of Interest:

Foliage: Year-round

Quick ID Hints:

  • Stiff branches vary in length, tips are ascending
  • Awl-shaped leaves are in whorls of 3 and are pointy
  • Leaves are bluish-green and turn slightly purplish in winter
  • Undersides of leaves have 2 white dots at the base
  • Plant is a dwarf, evergreen, matting shrub

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:   This shrub does not have many serious insect or disease problems, although it is susceptible to blight and spider mites. Due to the prickly needles, skin irritation may occur. It is best to wear gloves when handling this plant.

VIDEO created by Andy Pulte for “Landscape Plant Identification, Taxonomy, and Morphology” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee.

 

More information on Juniperus procumbens.

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Tags:
#evergreen#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#slow growing#blue green needles#bonsai#dwarf#erosion control#cpp#mounding#easy to transplant#spreading#cascading#deer resistant#groundcover#fantz#evergreen shrub#dry soils tolerant#dense growth#mat forming#landscape plant sleuths course
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#slow growing#blue green needles#bonsai#dwarf#erosion control#cpp#mounding#easy to transplant#spreading#cascading#deer resistant#groundcover#fantz#evergreen shrub#dry soils tolerant#dense growth#mat forming#landscape plant sleuths course
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Juniperus
    Species:
    procumbens
    Family:
    Cupressaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Mounding
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Prickly
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Whorled
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are small, rigid, closely set, awl-shaped in whorls of 3. They are bluish-green in color, pointy, and slightly purplish in winter. The underside of leaves are bluish with 2 white dots at the leaf base. New growth is bright green.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Branches vary in length, are stiff, and the tips are ascending.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Rock Wall
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Rock Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Erosion