The Blue Star Juniper, otherwise known as the Juniperus Squamata ‘Blue Star’ or Flaky Juniper ‘Blue Star’, Singleseed Juniper ‘Blue Star’, is a well known shrub plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.
Best known for its low maintenance and slow 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 exactly what we’ll cover in this Blue Star Juniper Care Guide. So let’s dive in.
The basic care guidelines you need to remember for your Blue Star Juniper are the following:
- Water: The Blue Star Juniper grows best in soil that is always moist.
- Light: Keep your Juniperus Squamata ‘Blue Star’ in an environment where it can receive full sun on a daily basis.
- Soil: Make sure to keep the Blue Star 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 Star 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 Star Juniper belongs to the Cupressaceae family, the genus Juniperus and the species Squamata, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Juniperus Squamata ‘Blue Star’ (ju-NIP-er-us skwah-MAH-ta).
As with other Juniperus’s, the Blue Star Juniper is an evergreen plant, which means it will be present year round in your garden.
The Juniperus Squamata is native to Afghanistan to China and Taiwan.
Knowing your plant’s native region is very useful, as it can give you tips on which environment is best for your Blue Star Juniper. If you keep it in mind, you can try to replicate these conditions at home, and you’ll likely end with a healthier plant.
With this in mind, the Juniperus Squamata ‘Blue Star’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 1 – 9 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a 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 Star Juniper is a relatively slow grower, which makes things easy for any plant enthusiast.
But what exactly does this mean for your Blue Star Juniper? How large a pot should you consider, how tall, how wide can it get? Let’s jump in…
The Juniperus Squamata ‘Blue Star’ can grow up to 2′ – 3′ (60cm – 90cm) in 2′ – 3′ (60cm – 90cm) and 3′ – 4′ (90cm – 120cm) in 3′ – 4′ (90cm – 120cm).
These dimensions make the Blue Star 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 48″ (120cm) free so the Blue Star Juniper can spread to its best extent.
In terms of watering, the Blue Star 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 Squamata ‘Blue Star’ 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 Star 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 Star 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 Star Juniper needs or does not need water, every time.
As mentioned earlier, the Blue Star 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 Star Juniper requires soil with clay, 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 Star 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 Squamata ‘Blue Star’ in full and direct sun (more than 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).
Being an evergreen plant, the Blue Star 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 leaves from the Blue Star Juniper have a beautiful silver-blue color during most of the year.
In particular, they have a needles arrangement with a whorled organization in its leaves.
You can expect the leaves from your Juniperus Squamata ‘Blue Star’ to be around (3-6 inches) in size.
Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance
The Blue Star 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 Squamata ‘Blue Star’ will be fine.
Now, let’s talk garden and how your Blue Star Juniper will look best in it.
Most Juniperus Squamata ‘Blue Star’ 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 Star Juniper’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, and in ground covers, others use it for landscaping in a rock garden, poolside, mass planting, ground cover, firescaping/fire wise, coastal exposure, border, or a urban garden.
Blue Star 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 Star Juniper to keep it safe and sound in your garden or home. Enjoy planting!