There are about 70 species of juniper distributed in the Northern Hemisphere from the Arctic to the equator. For most of them, the range is limited to a certain mountain system or region, only a few can be found in the wild over a large area. Juniper Cossack belongs precisely to the widespread species. It grows in Asia Minor and Southeast Asia, Central and Southern Europe, Siberia, Primorye, the Urals, the Caucasus, and southern Ukraine. The culture forms thickets in forests and groves at an altitude of 1 to 3 thousand meters.
Description of Cossack juniper
Juniper Cossack (Juniperus sabina) belongs to the genus Juniper from the Cypress family. It is a shrub up to 4.5 m, but more often not exceeding 1.5 m in size. When describing the characteristics of the Cossack juniper, it would be correct to speak not about the height of the plant, but about the length of the skeletal branches.
Its crown is formed by inclined trunks, heavily overgrown with lateral shoots. The branches are more or less creeping, but the ends are usually raised and directed upwards. The diameter of young green shoots is about 1 mm. Branches often grow to the ground and form thickets. Therefore, talking about the diameter of the crown of the Cossack juniper is problematic. In the interweaving of dense, lying on the ground and constantly rooting branches, it is difficult to distinguish where one plant ends and another begins.
The bark exfoliates, the old one falls off, is colored reddish-brown. The wood is soft, but strong, with a strong, not too pleasant smell, caused by the high content of essential oils.
Important! The culture has phytoncidal properties, the ability to purify and ionize the air.
The needles on young and in the shade plants are sharp, spaced, wrinkled, bluish-green, with a distinct central vein. Its length is 4 mm.
With age, the needles become shorter, scaly, to the touch - much softer and thornless. It is located opposite, in the main branches it is longer than on the lateral shoots - 3 and 1 mm, respectively.
Cossack juniper needles live for three years. They have a rather strong unpleasant odor that spreads when rubbed.
Cossack juniper is resistant to low temperatures, anthropogenic pollution, shading and drought, undemanding to soils. The root system is powerful, goes deep into the ground. The lifespan is about 500 years.
Cossack juniper varieties
In culture, the Cossack juniper has been known since 1584, first described by Karl Linnaeus in 1753. It became widespread due to its unpretentiousness, decorativeness and the ability to heal the air. For four and a half centuries, many varieties have been created that can satisfy a wide variety of tastes.
Juniper Cossack Mas
The Mas variety differs from others in its raised shoots with slightly drooping tips. The crown is dense, spreading, up to 3 m in diameter, in an adult plant it looks like a funnel. Since the branches are directed upwards, they take root less often on their own than in other varieties. The height of the Cossack juniper Mas reaches 1.5, sometimes 2 meters, the annual growth is 8-15 cm.
Young needles are prickly, with age at the ends of the shoots it becomes scaly, inside the bush remains sharp. From the side facing the sun, the Cossack juniper is bluish, below it is dark green. In winter, the color changes and takes on a lilac hue.
Single cones form only on old bushes. The bark is reddish, the root is powerful. Prefers a sunny location, but tolerates partial shade. Frost resistance - zone 4.
Juniper Cossack Knap Hill
Knap Hill variety is considered one of the most beautiful. It has a rather compact crown - an adult plant reaches a height of 1.5 m with a diameter of 1.6 m.By 10 years of age, the dimensions are 0.7-1 and 1-1.2 m, respectively.
The needles are of a beautiful green color, the young needles are needle-like. An adult bush can have two varieties at the same time - soft scaly and prickly. Pine berries are formed only on adult specimens, are dark brown colored, covered with a gray waxy bloom.
This variety is quite shade-tolerant, but looks more attractive in an open place. It hibernates in zone four without shelter.
Juniper Cossack Arcadia
Slow-growing variety Arcadia is at the same time one of the most resistant to low temperatures. Grows without shelter in zone 2. Does not tolerate overflow and saline soil, prefers placement in a sunny place. In general, it is considered a very hardy variety.
Seedlings of Arcadia Cossack juniper grew from seeds obtained from the Urals in D. Hill's American nursery. Work on the variety was carried out from 1933 to 1949, when it was registered.
The height of the Cossack juniper Arkady at 10 years old is only 30-40 cm, while the branches by this time are mastering an area with a diameter of 1.8 m and are located almost horizontally. They form a uniform, not too dense blanket. An adult bush stretches branches to a height of 0.5 m and covers 2 m.
A young plant has prickly needles, needle-like. It becomes soft with age. The color of the vegetative organs is green, sometimes with a bluish or bluish tint. The variety is considered one of the slowest growing Cossack junipers.
Juniper Cossack Glauka
As the name implies, this variety of Cossack juniper differs in blue needles. It will be especially bright in the sun, in partial shade, the vegetative organs will turn green, and the branches will be loose. But only the decorativeness of the plant will suffer, not health.
Glauka Cossack juniper is considered to be fast growing. Its branches spread over the ground, grow and quickly form an extensive colony. At the same time, the beautiful shape of the bush is deformed, lost among the many tangled and intersecting shoots. So, if the design of the site does not require the creation of thickets, you need to monitor the branches, not allowing them to take root.
Advice! To avoid unnecessary spread of the varieties and species of juniper growing in the horizontal plane, it is enough to cover the soil with a thick layer of pine bark.
Glauka grows up to 1.5 m in height, spreading 4 m in breadth.
Juniper Cossack Rockery Jam
From English, the name of the Cossack juniper variety Rockery Gem is translated as Rockery Pearl. It was isolated at the beginning of the last century in the branch of the Boscopic nursery Le Febres. The variety is considered an improved and refined version of the Cossack juniper Tamariscifolia.
Rockery Jam is a dense dwarf shrub with a beautifully shaped open crown. The branches are raised to a height of about 50 cm, the diameter of an adult plant is 3.5 m. This Cossack juniper forms flat dense thickets and can be used as a ground cover plant.
Important! You can't walk on it!
The culture grows slowly, it is distinguished by bluish-green needles. On young and adult bushes, the leaves are thorny, collected in whorls of 3 pieces.
The variety prefers a location in partial shade, it is there that Rockery Jam will be especially beautiful. Tolerates direct sun. Winters without shelter in zone 3.
Juniper Cossack Broadmoor
A variety bred from Russian seeds. Broadmoor is similar to Tamariscifolia, but its branches are stronger and less coarse.
The bush is horizontal, the shoots lie on top of each other like shingles, forming a spread flat crown with branches slightly rising in the center. The adult Cossack juniper Broadmoor reaches a height of no more than 60 cm, spreads up to 3.5 m in width.
The needles are grayish-green, small. The attitude to the light of the Cossack juniper Broadmoor forces it to be planted in open areas. In partial shade, it will look less decorative.
Juniper Cossack Blue Danub
The translation of the name of the Blue Danube variety sounds like the Blue Danube. Bred in Austria by L. Wesser, and entered for sale without a name. The name was given to the variety only in 1961.
It is a creeping shrub with open and upward-bent branches, similar to tongues of flame. An adult plant reaches a height of 1 m and grows to a diameter of 5 m. The crown is dense. The needles on young shrubs are acicular, with age they become scaly, only inside the juniper remains prickly. It grows quickly, adding about 20 cm annually.
The color of the needles is bluish, in the shade and inside the bush - grayish. It is recommended to plant this Cossack juniper in a large flowerbed or in large areas, as it quickly covers a large area. High winter hardiness, can grow in the sun and in partial shade.
Juniper Cossack Tamariscifolia
This variety has been known since 1730. It got its name due to the fact that young shoots vaguely resemble tamarisk. Forms a sprawling shrub with straight branches raised at an angle. The crown of an adult plant is like a dome.
Young juniper has needle-like needles, 50 cm high and up to 2 m in diameter. Specimens after 20 years stretch up to 1-1.5 m and spread to 3-3.3 m. The needles are green.
A significant disadvantage of the variety is its tendency to dry out adult branches.
Juniper Cossack Variegata
Slowly growing form, reaching 40 cm in height by 10 years, about 1 m in width.With age, it can stretch up to 1 m and reach a width of 1.5 m. Shoots are horizontally spread, the ends are raised. This juniper has a creamy growth. It grows slowly. It tolerates low temperatures well, but the variegated tips of the branches are prone to freezing.
Juniper Cossack in landscape design
Types and varieties of junipers, including Cossack ones, are widely and readily used in landscaping. The culture is undemanding to irrigation and soil composition, it tolerates urban conditions well. The greatest decorativeness can be achieved if the preferences of each variety for illumination are taken into account, otherwise the crown loses its shape, and the needles acquire a sick appearance and a grayish tint.
The use of Cossack junipers in landscape design is due to the shape of the crown - depending on the variety, pressed against the ground or lifting the ends of the shoots like the tongues of a fire. They are planted:
- as undergrowth in large areas and in public parks;
- on rocky hills, in rockeries;
- to strengthen the slopes;
- varieties with a beautiful crown in the foreground of landscape groups;
- forms with horizontal creeping shoots as a ground cover plant;
- as a drapery in the background of landscape tree groups with high crowns;
- frame lawns or large flower beds;
- as part of landscape groups;
- in flower beds with flowers that do not require too much watering;
- as a drapery of a high foundation;
- shade-tolerant varieties can be placed along the dark side of the fence;
- grown in single-row wide borders;
- to fill in hard-to-reach or unsightly empty spaces.
These are just examples of the use of Cossack juniper in landscape design. In fact, culture can be considered universal; it is not difficult for it to find a suitable corner on any site.
Important! Cossack juniper can be planted as a soil-protecting plant that strengthens crumbling slopes and slopes.
Growing conditions for Cossack juniper
Although the zone of distribution of Cossack juniper covers the southern regions, the culture perfectly tolerates low temperatures, and many varieties can be planted in zone 2. Shrubs will grow on stones, sandstones, clay and calcareous soils, and are generally undemanding to the composition of the soil.
In general, the species is photophilous, but most varieties perfectly tolerate partial shade, although they somewhat lose their decorative effect. Some forms are specifically designed for growing in areas where the sun rarely sees.
Cossack juniper tolerates anthropogenic pollution well and is drought-resistant.
Planting and caring for Cossack juniper
Cossack juniper is easy to care for. It can be planted in infrequently visited areas and in hard-to-reach places, where the plants obviously do not receive much care.
The shrub needs only sanitary pruning, but if necessary easily tolerates a shaping haircut.
Seedling and planting plot preparation
Since the species is undemanding to soils, the soil in the planting pit does not need to be changed. If it is very bad, the mixture is prepared from peat, turf and sand. A drainage layer with a thickness of at least 15-20 cm is required. When groundwater comes close to the surface, it should be large.
Advice! If the ground is rich in stones, you don't need to remove them.
A planting hole is dug in at least 2 weeks, drainage is laid and covered with a substrate. Water abundantly. The depth of the pit is not less than 70 cm, the diameter depends on the volume of the earthen coma, and should exceed it by 1.5-2 times.
It is better to buy seedlings from local nurseries. Imported ones must necessarily be in containers, domestic ones can have an earthen lump lined with burlap. You cannot buy junipers with dry roots or needles that have lost their turgor. Branches should be carefully examined for damage, signs of disease and pests.
How to plant Cossack juniper
The crop can be planted in spring and fall. Container plants - all season except hot months. Planting Cossack juniper in the spring is preferable in the northern regions, in the fall - in the south. Then the culture will have time to take root well.
Planting rules imply that the bush will be placed in the hole to the same depth as it grew in a container or nursery, without deepening the root collar. The soil is constantly compacted so that voids do not form. After planting, the plant is watered abundantly, and the soil under it is mulched.
Transplant of Cossack juniper
It is necessary to transplant the culture in the north in the spring, in the southern regions - by the end of the season. They dig a bush together with an earthen lump, place it on sacking, transfer it to a new place to the prepared hole. When some time must pass between the removal of the juniper from the soil and planting, the root is protected from drying out.
Advice! If, after digging, the earthen lump disintegrates, it is better to tie it with burlap and plant it together with a cloth.
The operation itself is no different from the one described in the previous chapter.
Watering and feeding
It is necessary to water the Cossack juniper in regions with a temperate climate several times per season. In hot summers or in the absence of rainfall for a long time, it may be necessary to humidify twice a month. Sprinkling the crown is carried out in the evening, at least once a week.
Important! Immediately after planting, the crop is often watered so that the soil does not dry out.
It is advisable to feed the bush twice a season:
- in the spring with complex fertilizers with a high nitrogen content;
- in late summer or early autumn - phosphorus-potassium dressings.
Often, gardeners only fertilize crops in the spring. This is allowed, but it is still better to do two feedings.
Mulching and loosening
The soil is loosened only under young plants. Then they are limited to mulching the soil - this does not injure the roots, retains moisture and creates a suitable microclimate.
Shelter of Cossack juniper for the winter
Cossack juniper tolerates low temperatures well. It grows low, if the winter is snowy, then the bush will not need protection even in a region with more severe winters than indicated in the varietal description.
In the first year after planting, the crop is covered with a cardboard box or white agrofibre or spunbond. In the future, the soil under the Cossack juniper is mulched in winter.
What to plant next to Cossack juniper
Here, first of all, it should be noted the crops that cannot be planted close to the Cossack juniper. Rust often develops on ephedra. A fungus from the genus Gymnosporangium does not cause much harm to the juniper itself, but fruit crops, especially pears and plums, are very striking. Here the ephedra acts as an intermediate host when carrying the disease.
Ornamental crops are planted next to the Cossack juniper such that they have similar needs for irrigation, soil composition and illumination. The choice of plants is huge, so landscape designers and owners can create any composition.
A combination of Cossack juniper with such crops would be ideal:
- ferns with light fringes;
- mosses and lichens.
Flowering of Cossack juniper
Cossack juniper is a monoecious plant prone to dioeciousness. This means that in a culture, male and female flowers are unevenly located on each individual specimen. There are individuals with organs of seed reproduction of only one sex.
The male flower is an oval-shaped earring with many stamens, the female one is assembled into a cone with 4-6 scales. Their disclosure and pollination takes place in May. The fruits are called cones and ripen at the end of the first season or in the next spring.
Black-brown, due to plaque, seeming bluish-gray, the fruits are poisonous. They have a rounded-oval shape, 5-7 mm in size, do not open when ripe. Each contains up to 4 seeds.
The flowering period of the Cossack juniper does not add decorativeness to the plant. But ripe pine berries are a real decoration, but they cannot be eaten, and children should be monitored especially carefully. Although the toxicity of the culture is low, this may be enough for an immature organism.
How to propagate Cossack juniper
The species Cossack juniper is easy to propagate with stratified and peeled seeds. Varieties rarely inherit the properties of the mother plant, so such breeding does not make sense for hobbyists.
When only a few new bushes are needed, the Cossack juniper is easy to propagate by layering - its shoots themselves lie on the ground and take root. But if you "tear off" an adherent branch from the ground (it is difficult to do it carefully), many roots will be torn off, it will be difficult for the plant to take root in a new place.
So it is better to manage the process yourself - choose a suitable escape, fix it in a convenient place, sprinkle it with earth. To make it more convenient to dig out the layering, you can put pine bark, cardboard, a piece of roofing material under the part of the branch free from the ground. Then it will do without unnecessary injuries - roots in an unnecessary place simply will not form.
Propagation by cuttings of Cossack juniper is carried out in cases when you need to get a lot of plants at once, or if someone "shared" a twig of the variety you like. This procedure is simple, although it requires careful attention to the seedling until rooting is over.
Cuttings of the Cossack juniper can be carried out at any time, but it is better to engage in reproduction in the spring. From a bush at the age of 8-10 years, a shoot of 10-12 cm is taken with a "heel" (a piece of the bark of an older branch), the lower part is freed from the needles, and treated with heteroauxin or another stimulant.
Important! You can store cuttings for no more than 3 hours in a cool place (for example, in the refrigerator), wrapped in a damp, clean cloth.
In a light nutrient mixture, perlite or clean coarse sand, cuttings are planted at an angle of 30-45 °. You can not stick shoots into the substrate, holes are made with a pencil or a specially planed stick.
The soil is compacted with your fingers, watered, cover the container with a film. The container must necessarily contain drainage and holes for the outflow of excess water. The planting should be regularly ventilated, instead of watering, spray abundantly from a spray bottle. They contain cuttings of Cossack juniper in a place protected from the sun at a temperature of 16-19 °. Already at 25 °, problems can begin.
After 30-45 days, the cuttings will take root and they can be planted in separate cups with light but nutritious soil. Young Cossack junipers are moved to a permanent place after 2 years.
Pests and diseases of Cossack juniper
Cossack juniper is a healthy culture. If you do not make mistakes in care and regularly carry out preventive treatments, use a sterile instrument when trimming and carrying out sanitary measures, problems should not arise. Sometimes:
- If you ignore the sprinkling of the crown and dry air, a spider mite may appear.
- Overflows provoke the development of rot.
- Too high humidity is the reason for the appearance of a mealybug.
It should be borne in mind that it is more difficult to deal with diseases and pests on young plants and forms with sharp needles. When processing, you need to literally pour the drug over the shrub so that the solution gets into the sinuses of the hard, folded needles. It is there that pathogens remain, which are destroyed by fungicides, and pest larvae. Insecticides will help to cope with them.
Juniper Cossack is an unpretentious ornamental crop that can be planted in small-care gardens. In many areas, it does not occupy a dominant position, and is often not very noticeable. But if the Cossack juniper is removed from the site, it will become less decorative, lose some of its charm.
Reviews of Cossack juniper
Gennady Fedorovich Kurochkin, 52 years old, Kazan
I would like to share my experience of growing Glauka Cossack juniper. It grows pretty quickly, which my wife and I did not know about. English roses were planted nearby, and for some reason they did not take root well with us, but here, after many years of attempts, as many as three bushes have taken root. The flowers looked fantastic against the background of the juniper. But we were not happy for long. The juniper grew and began to push the roses. The hand did not rise to remove anything. Then I took the secateurs and cut out the hollows for the roses right in the crown. I thought: "come what may!" Such beauty turned out, if you want to specially invent it, it will not work. Now I support only by cutting the notches. And I can't loosen the roses, but they apparently liked the neighborhood of the juniper - and they grow so well.
Mikaela Genrikhovna Radieva, 40 years old, Nizhny Novgorod
Cossack juniper does not occupy an honorable place on our site, but it is impossible to do without it. Of course, this culture is not very fond of the shadow. But if the yard is like ours - narrow, long, dark most of the daylight hours, the choice of plants is small, and you have to plant them on the principle of "just survive." Along the fence in the background, 10 bushes of the Cossack juniper Tamaristsifolia were placed. At first they grew freely, then they closed together and formed a dense group. Of course, you have to cut dry branches every spring and spray them regularly with epin to increase vitality. But in general, we are very pleased with the Cossack juniper.