The Complete Guide for Blue Rug Juniper (Juniperus Horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’) Care

The Blue Rug Juniper, otherwise known as the Juniperus Horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’ or Creeping Juniper ‘Wiltonii’, Juniperus horizontalis ‘Blue Rug’, Creeping Juniper ‘Blue Rug’, is a popular shrub plant loved by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

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.

This is why all the topics you need to know in order to achieve this will be covered in this Blue Rug Juniper Care Guide. Ready? Let’s go!

The fundamental caring guidelines for every Blue Rug Juniper can be summed up into the following:

  • Water: The Blue Rug Juniper appreciates reduced watering once it’s established.
  • Light: Keep your Juniperus Horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’ in an environment where it can receive full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Blue Rug 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 Rug 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 Rug Juniper belongs to the Cupressaceae family, the genus Juniperus and the species Horizontalis, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Juniperus Horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’ (ju-NIP-er-us hor-i-zon-TA-lis).

The Cupressaceae family also includes other plants like Chamaecyparis Pisifera ‘Golden Mop’, Blue Star Juniper, Chamaecyparis Obtusa ‘Filicoides’, Danica Arborvitae, Japanese Cypress ‘Filifera Aurea’, Chamaecyparis ‘Nana Gracilis’, Grey Owl Juniper, Chaenomeles X Superba ‘Jet Trail’, Juniperus Sabina ‘Monard’, Syringa Vulgaris ‘President Grévy’, Juniperus Sabina, Juniperus Procumbens ‘Nana’, Golden Irish Yew, Cupressus Sempervirens, Juniperus Chinensis ‘Hetzii Glauca’ and Blue Chip Juniper.

As with other Juniperus’s, the Blue Rug Juniper is an evergreen plant, which means it will be present year round in your garden.

Growing Region

The Juniperus Horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’ is native to Alaska, Canada and the northern United States.

You might be wondering why your Blue Rug Juniper’s native region is important. Well, if you know where your plant originally came from, you’ll know which environment conditions it prefers, and with it, knowledge on how to replicate it at home.

With this in mind, the Juniperus Horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 1 – 9 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 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 Rug Juniper is a relatively moderate grower, which makes things somewhat easy for any plant enthusiast.


But, how big does the Blue Rug Juniper actually get? What should you expect in terms of size? Let’s dive right in…

The Juniperus Horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’ can grow up to 3″ – 6″ (7cm – 15cm) in 3″ – 6″ (7cm – 15cm) and 6′ – 8′ (180cm – 240cm) in 6′ – 8′ (180cm – 240cm). 

These dimensions make the Blue Rug 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 96″ (240cm) free so the Blue Rug Juniper can spread to its best extent.


In terms of watering, the Blue Rug Juniper is a fairly complicated plant to take care of. This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat irregular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Juniperus Horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’ appreciates reduced watering once it’s established.

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 Rug 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. 

But, if you want a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to watering your Blue Rug Juniper then you should consider the famous ‘finger’ test. To perform this test, you just need to put your finger in your plant’s soil and determine if it’s moist or not. If it is, then don’t water; if it isn’t, then please do. In any case, this test will allow you to know if your Blue Rug Juniper needs or does not need water, every time.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Blue Rug 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.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Placement

In terms of light & exposure, the Blue Rug 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 ‘Wiltonii’ in full and direct sun (more than 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).


Being an evergreen plant, the Blue Rug Juniper will be present year-round in your garden. But, 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 Blue Rug Juniper produces some wonderful blue flowers around this time of year.


The leaves from the Blue Rug Juniper have a beautiful silver-blue color during most of the year.

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Blue Rug 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 ‘Wiltonii’ will be fine.


Does your Blue Rug Juniper have any garden recommendations? Does it serve any gardening purposes? Here’s how you can get the most out of your new plant.

Most Juniperus Horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’ 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 Rug Juniper’s best location within your garden is in banks and slopes, and in beds and borders; others use it for landscaping in erosion control, border, ground cover, coastal exposure, green roof, or a rock garden.

Companion Plants

Blue Rug Juniper’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Berberis, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Rosa will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!


And we’ve come to an end. Fortunately, that’s everything you need to know about your Blue Rug Juniper to keep it safe and sound in your garden or home. Enjoy planting!

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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