Plant type: Conifer
USDA Zone: 2 to 6(7)
There are an endless number of juniper forms, and no less within this one species itself. The common juniper (Juniperus communis) can be a tree with ascending or outward spreading branches or a low-growing prostrate form. Most of the time, though, the species is a five- to 10-foot shrub that spreads eight to 12 feet wide. Where it occurs naturally, the common juniper has adapted itself to a wide variety of terrain, from rocky outcroppings to dry, calcareous soils where little else grows. It's extremely cold-hardy (to USDA Zone 2), but doesn't hold up to heat the way other junipers do. In Zone 7 or warmer, select another juniper type.
Culture: As tolerant as this shrub is of many different climates and soil types, it does best in full sun and well-drained soil. A reasonably degree of tilth and fertility give the common juniper a bit of edge against juniper blight, to which it's susceptible.