Juniper Rocky Skyrocket: Secrets to Successful Growing
Juniper Skyrocket (Juniperus scopulorum Skyrocket) is a spectacular plant with blue needles and a slender, columnar crown. Hailing from the highlands of Mexico and North America. In translation, the name sounds like “Sky rocket” - and the tree really resembles an upward-looking space starship.
Juniper Rocky Skyrocket: Secrets to Successful Growing
- Color : needles gray-blue or blue-green.
- Tree height : 6-8 m.
- Crown width : 100 cm.
- In which regions is growing : the middle strip of Russia.
- Features of landing : in a sunny place or in partial shade.
- Immunity : high, but can be affected by rust.
- Life expectancy : up to 300 years or more.
The height of the plant often reaches 7-8 m, and the diameter of the crown is 100 cm. The shape is columnar. The branches are directed upward, the shoots are located quite densely.
Scaly needles have a beautiful bluish-blue color, cone berries are dark blue, with a waxy coating.
The growth rate in height is 0.2 m per year. The growth in width is much smaller - about 5 cm per season. The trunk of the tree is strong, but flexible, the bark is brown, fractured. The root system is placed close to the surface.
Juniper rocky Skyrocket is highly resistant to cold - can withstand temperatures up to -29-30 ° C.
It is recommended for cultivation in the 5th zone of frost resistance and in warmer places. These conditions correspond to the entire middle strip of Russia (Chernozemny, Central, Volga, North-Western regions).
The plant adequately tolerates the heat of the southern regions, but it is better to plant it in light partial shade to avoid sunburn.
For a successful planting and good survival, it is better to purchase a plant with a closed root system. The ground in the container should be moist and the crown of the seedling should have an increase in the current year.
A healthy bush is characterized by elastic twigs with firmly seated needles, the absence of dark or whitish spots, dry shoots, and any damage to the trunk.
Juniper Skyrocket loves the sun or light partial shade. With full shadowing, the crown becomes more loose, and the color becomes less saturated.
Due to the characteristics of this species (high growth, flexible trunk, surface root system), it is better to choose places that are protected from wind and drafts so that the tree does not tilt or deform under their influence.
Rock juniper is not demanding on fertility - it grows well on loose, dry or moderately moist soils.
On loams and other dense soils, the addition of sand or broken brick, laying of the drainage layer is necessary.
Before planting, the seedling in the container is watered abundantly. They dig a hole twice as much as an earthen lump, and then fill it with water and allow moisture to absorb (the depth of the hole is about 70 cm).
A plant is planted so that the root neck remains at the level of the soil. They fill the ground in parts, tamping tightly to ensure traction with the roots. At the end of the landing, the trunk circle is mulched.
If several junipers of this species are planted in a permanent place, the distance between them should be 2 m.
We give the plants an original look
Caring for Skyrocket is not complicated, but has some features.
Regular watering is carried out only in dry periods, top dressing - once per season. However, the tree trunk circle must always be mulled, and the crown needs to be trimmed to maintain a beautiful decorative shape.
With regular rainfall, the rocky juniper does not need watering at all.
In dry times, it should be moistened several times a week, using 10 liters of water per 1 m of growth. In the evenings it is necessary to sprinkle the needles so that it remains bright and fresh.
The plant is fed once a season - in early spring. Usually use complex fertilizers for conifers or nitroammofosku.
Granules are scattered over the area of the trunk circle or dissolved in water when watering.
Mulching and loosening
The soil in the near-stem circle is loosened after watering, while getting rid of weeds. The depth of cultivation should not exceed 6-7 cm.
Mulching allows for much easier care. As mulch, you can use sawdust, peat chips, wood chips, dry needles or a leaf.
The skyrocket needs a regular haircut, as the overgrown and disheveled tree no longer looks so spectacular.
Pruning is carried out in early spring, before the sap flow begins. For sanitary purposes, dry and damaged shoots are removed; for decorative purposes, thin out and form a crown, cutting no more than a third of the green mass.
With the onset of winter, the juniper crown is tightly tied so that it does not deform the snow.
Young plants are covered with spruce branches, burlap, special covers. The trunk circle is insulated with peat at 15 cm. Adult trees can not be covered, but in February it is advisable to shade with a dense net from the sun (to avoid burns).
When propagating juniper seeds, the characteristics of the variety are not always preserved, so gardeners prefer the vegetative method.
Cuttings are harvested in the spring, before the buds open. On the middle or upper branches, shoots 12-15 cm long are selected and broken off or cut “with a heel”.
Before planting in a nutrient substrate (a mixture of garden soil, peat, sand and fertilizers for conifers) they are placed in a solution of the root stimulant for a day.
Planted cuttings are placed in a greenhouse or covered with a plastic bottle. The soil in the container is regularly moistened, and the greenhouse is aired. Rooting occurs after 2-4 months.
Diseases and Pests
Attentive attitude will save the culture from various infections
The most dangerous disease of culture is rust. With a severe defeat, the tree cannot be saved - it has to be cut down and burned.
For prevention, it is necessary to plant the Skyrocket away from fruit crops, on which fungus can develop, spray with Bordeaux liquid and copper-containing preparations.
At the first signs of infection, the plant must be treated with Arceride, and damaged branches should be cut and destroyed.
Of insects, aphids, scale insects, moths, spider mites are harmful. If the number of pests is insignificant, you can try washing the needles with a solution of laundry soap with medical alcohol (15 ml per 1 liter).
In serious cases, it is worth using special preparations: Fitoverm, Karbofos, Decis, Actellik and the like.
Use in landscape design
Due to its beautiful color and regular conical shape, Juniper Skyrocket is very popular in landscape design.
- This slender tree is often used to create verticals in various compositions and mixborders.
- It is planted as a tapeworm, creating a bright accent, or used for growing hedges.
- This view can be seen in parks, squares, alleys, and other public places.
- The narrow-conical shape of the plant and the noble shade of the needles look elegant and solemn.
- The tree is in perfect harmony with flowers, decorative cereals, heather. It is equally well suited for rocky gardens, rock gardens, compositions of English and Japanese styles.
According to the description of gardeners, caring for juniper Skyrocket is simple, but to maintain decorativeness, the crown needs to be formed in time.
The densely spaced branches allow you to not only align the contours, but also create real topiary compositions. A correctly trimmed tree can claim the most spectacular role in home garden landscaping.
Judging by the reviews, this variety is successfully propagated by cuttings. Usually, more than half of the planted cuttings take root, so that you can get several seedlings at once.
This is a budget option for those who want to create a hedge or a group of conifers, since the price of the variety is quite high (about 4 thousand rubles for a seedling 100 cm in size).
This species begins to grow intensively for 3-4 years of life. Prior to this, the growth in height and width is extremely small and often hardly noticeable.