zone 9 juniper
zone 9 juniper
(Image credit: MykolaIvashchenko)

Juniper (Juniperus spp.), with its feathery evergreen foliage, can work well in the garden in various capacities: as a groundcover, a privacy screen, or a specimen plant. If you live in a warmer region like zone 9, you’ll still find many types of junipers to plant. Read on for information on growing juniper in zone 9.

Types of Juniper

So many types of juniper exist that you are sure to find at least one perfect for your zone 9 garden. The types available in commerce range from low growing junipers (about ankle height) to upright specimens as tall as trees. Short types of juniper serve well as groundcover and also offer erosion control on slopes. Medium sized juniper shrubs, about knee-height, are good foundation plants, while tall and extra tall types of juniper make good screens, windbreaks, or specimens in your garden.

Juniper Plants for Zone 9

You’ll find many types of juniper plants for zone 9. In fact, most junipers qualify as zone 9 junipers. When you want to start growing juniper in zone 9, you’ll have to make some difficult choices between excellent plants. Bar Harbor juniper (Juniperus horizontalis 'Bar Harbor') is among the most popular short juniper plants for zone 9. It’s great for ornamental groundcover with blue-green foliage that turns purple in winter. If you prefer that your zone 9 junipers have silvery foliage, consider Youngstown juniper (Juniperus horizontalis 'Plumo’). It is also a short juniper with low, trailing branches. For junipers about as tall as you are, you might like Grey Owl (Juniperus virginiana ‘Grey Owl’). The silver-green foliage is lovely, and these zone 9 junipers spread wider than they are tall. If you want to start growing juniper in zone 9 but are thinking of a privacy screen or hedge, consider large or extra-large species. You’ll have many to choose between. For example, California juniper (Juniperus californica) grows to about 15 feet (5 m.) tall. Its foliage is blue-green and very drought resistant. Gold juniper (Juniperus virginianum 'Aurea') is another plant to consider when you are growing juniper in zone 9. It has golden foliage that forms a tall, loose pyramid up to 15 feet (5 m.) tall. For even taller types of juniper, look at Burkii juniper (Juniperus virginiana 'Burkii'). These grow in upright pyramids to 20 feet (6 m.) tall and offer blue-green foliage. Or how about Alligator juniper (Juniperus deppeana) with bark as unique as its common name? The tree bark is patterned like the checkered skin of an alligator. It grows up to 60 feet (18 m.) high.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.