The Blue Chip Juniper, otherwise known as the Juniperus Horizontalis ‘Blue Chip’ is a well-known shrub plant by gardening enthusiasts worldwide.
Best known for its low maintenance and moderate growth, this shrub will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its silver-blue colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.
Fortunately, this is precisely what we’ll cover in this Blue Chip Juniper Care Guide. So let’s dive in.
The fundamental caring guidelines for every Blue Chip Juniper can be summed up into the following:
- Water: The Blue Chip Juniper grows best in soil that is always moist.
- Light: Keep your Juniperus Horizontalis ‘Blue Chip’ in an environment where it can receive full sun on a daily basis.
- Soil: Make sure to keep the Blue Chip Juniper in soil with well-draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.
That’s it – sunlight, water and soil! The basic 3 fundamentals for all plant care, and with the Blue Chip Juniper this is no exception. With these three elements, your leafy friend will live healthy and happy.
Scientific / Botanical Aspects
In botanical terms, the Blue Chip Juniper belongs to the Cupressaceae family, the genus Juniperus and the species Horizontalis, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Juniperus Horizontalis ‘Blue Chip’ (ju-NIP-er-us hor-i-zon-TA-lis).
Other common Cupressaceae species include Juniperus Horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’, Chamaecyparis Pisifera ‘Golden Mop’, Flaky Juniper ‘Blue Star’, Chamaecyparis Obtusa ‘Filicoides’, Western Red Cedar ‘Fluffy’, Complete Guide for Golden Charm Thread-Branch Cypress, Chamaecyparis ‘Nana Gracilis’, Grey Owl Juniper, Chaenomeles X Superba ‘Jet Trail’, Moor-Dense® Juniper, President Grévy French Lilac, Savin Juniper, Dwarf Japanese Garden Juniper, Swamp Cedar ‘Danica’, Cupressus Sempervirens and Juniperus Chinensis ‘Hetzii Glauca’
As with other Juniperus’s, the Blue Chip Juniper is an evergreen plant, which means it will be present year-round in your garden.
The Blue Chip Juniper is a plant native to Alaska, Canada and the northern US.
As a rule of thumb, we recommend to always keep in mind your plants’ native region and environment, since these are the conditions that your Blue Chip Juniper is most accustomed to, thus where it can most favorably.
With this in mind, the Juniperus Horizontalis ‘Blue Chip’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 1 – 9 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 3b, 3a, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a and the ideal climate zone is between 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.
Growth and Size
In terms of size and growth, the Blue Chip Juniper is a relatively moderate grower, which makes things somewhat easy for any plant enthusiast.
But, how big does the Blue Chip Juniper actually get? What should you expect in terms of size? Let’s dive right in…
The Juniperus Horizontalis ‘Blue Chip’ can grow up to 8″ – 1′ (20cm – 30cm) in 8″ – 1′ (20cm – 30cm) and 5′ – 6′ (150cm – 180cm) in 5′ – 6′ (150cm – 180cm). These dimensions make the Blue Chip Juniper a relatively large shrub compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.
Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful spreading shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.
This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 72″ (180cm) free so the Blue Chip Juniper can spread to its best extent.
In terms of watering, the Blue Chip Juniper is a fairly complicated plant to take care of. This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.
Specifically, most experts agree that the Juniperus Horizontalis ‘Blue Chip’ grows best in soil that is always moist.
Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively low to average needs in terms of water.
As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Blue Chip Juniper in soil with well-draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive.
When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times.
In our experience, the famous ‘thumb’ or ‘finger’ test is what works best for the Blue Chip Juniper since with it, you will be able to give it the right amount of water, every time – regardless of the environment or placement where you do decide to keep it.
As mentioned earlier, the Blue Chip Juniper prefers to have soil with good drainage properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.
This is why most experts agree that the Blue Chip Juniper requires soil with sand, and shallow rocky, which will give you the right conditions it needs.
In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.
Light and Placement
In terms of light & exposure, the Blue Chip Juniper requires full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions.
Most experts agree that this shrub will do well as long as you keep it in full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.
Specifically, we recommend that you place your Juniperus Horizontalis ‘Blue Chip’ in full and direct sun (more than 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).
Being an evergreen plant, the Blue Chip Juniper will be present year-round in your garden. However, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (early, mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), the fall, and during the winter.
The leaves from the Blue Chip Juniper have a beautiful silver-blue color during most of the year.
Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance
The Blue Chip Juniper is well known for its tolerance to rocky soil, dry soil, drought and animals like deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Juniperus Horizontalis ‘Blue Chip’ will be fine.
How should you then organize your garden to include your new Blue Chip Juniper? Here are some recommendations by expert gardeners.
Most Juniperus Horizontalis ‘Blue Chip’ owners agree that this shrub will look great in most contemporary, asian/zen and rustic gardens of all types.
Other owners consider that they compliment well most gardens of coastal garden, informal and cottage, city and courtyard, gravel and rock garden, and in traditional garden styles.
In particular, the Blue Chip Juniper’s best location within your garden is in banks and slopes, and in beds and borders, others use it for landscaping in a ground cover, topiary, border, green roof, specimen, rock garden, erosion control, coastal exposure, or a wildlife garden.
Blue Chip Juniper’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Rosa, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.
Others consider that a nice Miscanthus will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!
So that’s it! These are the main plant care requirements that you need to keep in mind in order to have a healthy Blue Chip Juniper in your garden or home.