Hollywood Juniper is an easy-to-grow shrub that is an absolute favorite among gardeners and hobbyists from across the globe. If you wish to grow this perfectly-sized plant that bears twisty stems, then this article is just the one for you.
In this detailed guide, we list out tips and tricks to care for, grow and propagate the plant without any hassles. Continue reading this article to learn how to grow healthy and thriving juniper trees at home.
- What Is Hollywood Juniper?
- Hollywood Juniper Care
What Is Hollywood Juniper?
Hollywood Juniper is an evergreen plant characterized by unique blue needles and rust-brown bark. Originally from Japan, it is also known as the Juniperus Chinensis Kaizuka. The plant is low in maintenance and its twisty and spiral branches make it a favorite among plant lovers worldwide.
Hollywood Juniper Care
Juniperus chinensis ‘torulosa’ plants are characterized by spiraling growth and look almost like mini bonsai. You will find bluish-green coral needles densely growing on branches throughout the year.
The plant is relatively easy to grow provided you give it the right temperature, light conditions and well-draining soil. In the section below we cover each of these aspects in utmost detail so that you get gorgeous and healthy Hollywood junipers, so read on.
– Water Requirements
The plant requires watering once every two days as they do not have a very large root system. It also depends on the environment you are in, as well as the climatic conditions.
Warmer months will require more frequent watering and scaling back in winter months will be needed. Keep the topsoil slightly moist and make sure you dry them between watering cycles.
– Light Requirements
The plant requires full sun that is bright yet diffused. At least six to eight hours of sunlight per day is essential to keep it going. Do not overexpose the plant as excess heat as well as light from the sun can result in the leaves getting scorched.
You can grow it indoors as well and move them near any east-facing window where it can benefit from the morning sunlight that is not going to be that harsh. In the winter months use artificial grow light to provide it with both the required light as well as warmth.
– Soil Requirements
Junipers require soil that is porous and well-draining. The roots will not fare well if it is left to stay in soggy soil for a long time. Thus, you will have to ensure the water flows out freely from the soil as well as out of the plant container.
The ideal potting mix should comprise rocky or shallow soil with vermicomposting, perlite and mulch thrown in for some extra aeration. Additionally, you could also mix in wood chips and fine gravel. The plant tolerates a wide range of pH levels. Just keep the soil lightly moist at all times and this plant can stay healthy.
– Temperature Requirements
This plant is hardy and grows comfortably in a range of temperatures and climatic conditions. They thrive well in dry and hot environments and can also tolerate a certain amount of chilly climates.
An ideal temperature range can be between 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius). Moreover, as a bonsai, it is advisable to always provide it with a slight amount of warmth for vibrant foliage.
– Humidity Requirements
This plant does not require much moisture in the environment surrounding it. In fact, excess humidity can be detrimental to the health of the plant causing fungal diseases or root rot.
If you are growing the plant in a humid environment, reduce the frequency of watering. If indoors, you may use a dehumidifier around it to ensure there is no excess moisture.
– Fertilizer Requirements
The plant requires extra top-feed only once a year. A light organic general-purpose fertilizer should do the job during the time the plant is in its growth phase.
The ideal months to apply any sort of fertilizer are the beginning of spring all the way through summer. Scale back during autumn or winter to prevent fertilizer burn at the roots.
Pruning of the juniper is not required as this tree looks best when it is left to grow on its own. You could create a shape, though, to make it more attractive or if you wish to have a Hollywood juniper hedge.
Gently trim the unnecessary growth or the dried sections of the foliage with the help of a sterile garden pruner.
Juniper propagation can be done in a cost-effective way by using stem cuttings taken from the previous summer season. Here is the detailed, step-by-step guide on how you can create your own offset of the plant. We have explained the process in an easy-to-understand format.
– The Right Season To Propagate
The right season to propagate is during the early months of spring up to late summer when there are warm days for the roots to establish themselves.
Winter months are not ideal as the plant enters a state of dormancy and growth may not be fast enough. The roots seldom thrive and grow in a healthy manner on cold days. Thus utilize the warm months for your process and you will find your efforts prove fruitful.
– Tools Required
Before you begin the process keep the following tools at hand – A sterile garden pruner, a porous potting mix, a container with proper drainage holes and worm castings or mulch to increase the aeration of the soil.
The junipers with their evergreen needles are propagated from the semi-hardwood cuttings that have been obtained from the previous season, ideally taken between the months of July to October well before the cold months of fall or winter.
- Pick a container or pot and fill it with a well-draining potting mix. Make an inch hole in the soil.
- Use a wood cutting of length eight to ten inches long and dip one end into rooting hormone. Place it into the hole in the soil and make it firm with the potting mix all around, ensuring it stays in place.
- Keep the soil lightly moist throughout and under indirect light, within a temperature range of 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (13 – 18 degrees Celsius). Additionally, place the container over a heating mat directly to retain the warmth.
Within four weeks’ time, you should notice them developing roots of their own and over time the cut sections will establish themselves into independent plants.
Despite the plant being easy to maintain you may still face challenges while growing and caring for it. However, Hollywood juniper problems are not complex and can easily be tackled. In this section below, we provide a complete rundown of the most common challenges you may face and you can tackle them hassle-free.
– Pest Infestations
Scales, thrips and spider mites are common garden pests that can attack the Juniper plant. They appear in clusters on the plant and make it go weak and limp by sucking out all of its sap. Early detection of the infestation is vital to prevent the plant from completely dying out. Isolate the plant as soon as you spot the pests and snip away any affected portion immediately.
You will generally find infestations around the leaves or on the undersides in the form of web-like textures. Apply a jet of water on the affected portion until all of the pests fall off and repeat until you do not find any more infestations. Additionally, apply an organic liquid such as neem oil which will repel these pests and prevent future occurrences. Maintain good hygiene by regularly misting the foliage and wiping it clean with a damp cloth.
– Brown Junipers
If you are concerned about your juniper turning brown, you should know that it could be because of fungal diseases, mechanical damage or overwatering. Under each of these conditions, the branches become brittle and the tips turn brown or yellow. The way to tackle any sort of fungal disease is to snip away the affected tips to prevent its spread.
If browning has occurred due to overwatering, scale back on the water and follow a schedule. Check if the humidity in the air around is excessive. In such a case, place it in a spot with better air circulation or you may opt to use a dehumidifier around it. Give the plant adequate ventilation along with exposure to the sun.
– Stunted or Slow Growth
Hollywood juniper’s size is generally around 15 feet in height and 10 feet in width. If you find your plant not growing to this size, or experiencing extremely slow growth, it could be due to low light conditions.
The plant requires bright sunlight for at least six hours daily so move it to a spot where it can receive adequate diffused light. If you are growing multiple junipers, keep the Hollywood juniper spacing at 4 feet distance so that all sides of the plant receive equal and adequate sunlight.
Keep away from the harsh afternoon sunlight as this could harm the plant by scorching its leaves. If you are growing it indoors, keep the plant where you receive enough morning sunlight. Additionally, remove dust off the foliage as this prevents sunlight from penetrating it.
– Root Rot
Root Rot is the most common condition of a plant that has been overwatered. It can also occur if the roots have been allowed to sit in water for a very long time. Under this condition, the leaves turn yellow and brittle and the plant may look weak.
To tackle this, scale back on the water and inspect for blackened sections on the roots. Transplant it into fresh and light soil and monitor your watering schedule as per the details mentioned in our Hollywood juniper tree care section. This should prevent further damage to the stems and roots of the plant.
– Brittle Spines and Leaves
Hollywood juniper is hardy enough to sustain itself in a range of environmental conditions. Yet, you may sometimes find the spines and leaves turning brittle. This can happen if the plant is under certain stress conditions such as fluctuations in temperature, inadequate light, excessive heat or humidity.
Reduce such conditions by growing the plant in an area that can receive steady light, warmth and the right levels of humidity. This should help you overcome this condition.
– How Long Do Hollywood Junipers Live?
Their life expectancy is about 30 years. It grows at a slow rate and with the ideal conditions you can enjoy it for many years.
– Does this juniper produce berries?
Yes, the Hollywoord juniper does produce berries. However, most juniper berries are poisonous so rather avoid eating them.
You have now read how to grow the Juniper plant and you know that it is easy and hassle-free.
Let us summarize the discussion in this article in the section below.
- Hollywood Juniper is an easy-to-grow shrub and is a favorite among gardeners due to its perfectly small size, twisted branches and spines. The plant is hardy and can grow in a range of conditions.
- It is also called the kaizuka as it originates from Japan. It has unique blue needles, requires low humidity conditions, bright yet partial light, moderate temperatures, and slightly moist soil to thrive and grow.
- It does well with light fertilization once during the growing months and with minimal pruning, it can stay in an attractive shape.
- Propagate the plant via cuttings taken from the previous season’s growth. The process is easy and you can achieve success with just a few basic tools and skills.
- Keep pests and fungal diseases at bay by protecting the plant and maintaining proper plant hygiene. Additionally, you stay from over-watering the plant as well as dehydrating the soil as both can damage or kill the plant.
After having read this comprehensive care guide on growing and caring for this delightful plant you will be able to include this in your home and garden. So wait no longer and look for Hollywood juniper for sale and make your garden even more attractive.