En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - September 28, 2009

From: Phoenix, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Weeds in Blue Rug juniper in Phoenix MD
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

The landscaper planted Blue Rug Junipers around the Helleri Holly and Yews in front of my house ten years ago. The Blue Rug has done great and looks really nice. My problem is that weeds grow up in the Blue Rug. I keep pulling the weeds, but I can't keep up with them. So, I am thinking of digging up the Blue Rug. I planned to spray them with Roundup to kill them before I dig them up. How hard are the Blue Rug to dig up? A friend told me they are extremely difficult to dig up.

ANSWER:

Blue Rug juniper is a trade name for Juniperus horizontalis (creeping juniper), and usually also referred to as cultivar 'Wiltonii.' While the creeping juniper is native to North America, it is not native to Maryland. It needs full sun to flourish and very good drainage; it will not tolerate water on its feet. It is possible that because your plant has been planted out of its native area that it is not growing vigorously enough to resist the weeds coming up through it. We did some research and most of the information we found said that to keep weeds out of this juniper, you need to put down weed barrier and mulch before it is planted. Little late for that, but something to remember if you try it again. 

As for whether it is difficult to dig up or not, what are your choices? Leave it there or dig it up. Since some people are allergic or sensitive to the foliage of this juniper, if you decide to dig the plants out, prepare yourself with long sleeves and heavy leather gloves. It will be easier to get at the roots if you first trim away all the upper growth that you can.This will give you easier access to the soil around the roots and permit you to get deep in the dirt close to the crown. We recommend neither for nor against the use of herbicides, but in this case, we don't see how it would help. You're taking the foliage out anyway, and what you need to get at is the root, which probably wouldn't be affected by the herbicide at all. Plus, you always run the risk with herbicides of inadvertently getting something else you didn't want killed, and losing a valuable shrub or tree. 

Pictures of Juniperus horizontalis (creeping juniper) from Google.

 

More Shrubs Questions

Non blooming Texas Mountain Laurel from Las Vegas NV
September 04, 2012 - Hi, I live in Las Vegas, Nevada and have a Texas Laurel and have had it for 2 years and still no purple flowers on it. Why won't it bloom ? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Want to identify a shrub with golden to orangish berries in Minneapolis MN.
July 14, 2009 - Tall shrub or maybe tree with small berries golden to orangish color. The berries are not in large clumps but more twos and threes. Leaves are opposite each other, smooth edges and sort of elliptica...
view the full question and answer

Native tree or shrub with fruit to espalier on fence
July 23, 2010 - I live in the Austin, TX area and I would like to choose a native tree or shrub to espalier on a fence in my garden. Ideally, I would like to use a tree that bears fruit. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Removing existing shrubs from Grapevine TX
September 24, 2012 - We just bought a house and we have some shrubs and hedges we want to remove. What is the best way to remove them so that they don't grow back? We have some holly hedges, a very large cedar or juniper...
view the full question and answer

Hummingbird Bushes for Broken Arrow OK
August 27, 2014 - I am looking for bushes that attract hummingbirds. I live in Broken Arrow, OK. Can you recommend some?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center