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    How to Grow and Care For Blue Arrow Juniper

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    Blue Arrow Juniper Tree Branches. Juniper trees are the toughest plants.

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    Juniper trees are the toughest plants and can tolerate scorching sun, cold temperatures, and various soil types. Their hardy nature and drought tolerance make them perfect for landscapes in any climate. The genus Juniperus hosts many species varying in their growth habits.
    It includes low-growing groundcovers to large pyramidal junipers such as Juniperus horizontalis ‘Plumosa Compacta’ (low growing), Juniperus chinensis ‘Sea Green’ (medium growing), Juniperus scopulorum ‘Blue Arrow,’ (upright growing),  etc. Based on their growth forms, they make great use as hedges, ground covers, and foundation plants.
    Among these Juniperus species, the ‘Blue Arrow’ is an excellent choice for a Mediterranean-style garden for its sophistication and formal style. It has the most stunning blue-green foliage and conical pyramidal growth forms. 
    ‘Blue Arrow’ Juniper grows in full sun with well-draining soil and is hardy in the USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9 (also happiest in hot zones). This evergreen plant is the selection of rocky mountain juniper and deer resistant (its foliage irritates touch and ingestion).
    This article will highlight the unique features of the ‘Blue Arrow’ juniper, its propagation, and how to care for this evergreen outdoors.

    About Blue Arrow Juniper

    The ‘Blue Arrow’ juniper, also known as Rocky Mountain Juniper, is a fast-growing plant with an upright, narrowly columnar growth form. It produces dense, glossy, evergreen foliage of blue-green color, making it perfect for indoor and outdoor decorations. Even in front yards, this low maintenance and narrow vertical plant make an ideal outdoor Christmas tree appearance.
    Juniperus scopulorum ‘Blue Arrow’ is a member of the Cupressaceae family and reaches a mature height of 10 to 12 feet (add 12 to 18 inches per year) with a spread of 2 feet. This evergreen tree keeps its narrow vertical feature without any trimming or pruning.
    Moreover, its unique growth habit and blue foliage coloring make it a suitable filler for indoor corners and balconies; this stunning plant blends very well with its environment.

    Blue Arrow Juniper Tree Care Guide

    Blue Arrow Juniper Tree
    Juniperus scopulorum (synonymous with Juniperus virginiana ‘Blue Arrow’)
    Coniferous trees, shrub
    Up to 12 Feet tall and 4 Feet wide
    Full sun (8hr sun)
    Low to Moderate
    Slow release fertilizers do best
    Well draining and acidic soil
    Cuttings, Grafting, Layering
    4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
    Foliage can cause skin irritation
    Hot dry sites and is considered cold hardy (an alternative to Italian Cypress)
    Common Names
    Scientific Name
    Plant Type
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Sun Exposure
    Soil & Soil pH
    USDA hardiness zones
    Where to buy

    Blue Arrow Juniper Plant’s Features

    This evergreen tree has a unique growth form, shinny blue-green foliage, and perfectly fits into every natural garden or area. These are the key features of the ‘Blue Arrow’ Juniper. One of the most brilliant features of the Blue Arrow is its dense silver-blue foliage that remains all year round. They are highly vertical accent plants and keep their columnar profile with no pruning. Its narrow and upright growth form makes it ideal for small spaces in containers.
    It is low maintenance and easy-to-grow plant that is drought and deer resistant. They can tolerate salt spray, pollution, and water shortages. ‘Blue Arrow’ juniper is cold hardy in zone 4, making it an excellent substitute for the Italian Cypress in colder regions. They are also highly adaptable to all kinds of soil and provide shelter to birds during the winter.

    Landscape Uses for Blue Arrow Juniper Plants

    ‘Blue Arrow Juniper is a narrow vertical accent plant with dense needle-like foliage. Their hardy nature, unique growth form, and blue-green leaves make them ideal for landscaping such as groundcovers or foundation plantings.
    Plant them as windbreaks and hedges for the privacy screen. Grow the ‘Blue Arrow’ juniper (deer resistant) as a fence or border. Also, plant them along the walkways, slopes, or hillsides for erosion control.

    Blue Arrow Juniper vs. Skyrocket Juniper

    The major difference between ‘Blue Arrow’ juniper and ‘Skyrocket’ juniper is the size and color of their needles or foliage. ‘Blue Arrow’ juniper has blue-green foliage and is narrower than the ‘Skyrock’ juniper. In comparison, the needles of the ‘Skyrocket’ juniper appear more silvery green.

    Blue Arrow Juniper vs. Arborvitae

    Both ‘Blue Arrow’ juniper and Arborvitae are cone-bearing plants from Juniperus and Thuja genera. The rocky mountain juniper has bluish-green foliage, while Arborvitae can be shades of blue, green, and yellow with gold or white branch tips. Also, the ‘Blue Arrow’ juniper tolerates drier conditions, but Arborvitae survives the soggy conditions, and its leaves are used to treat skin infections and cold sores.
    The unique forms and colors of Juniperus and Thuja give the houseplant owners and landscapers to use them in various ways.

    How to Grow Blue Arrow Juniper

    Growing and maintaining the ‘Blue Arrow’ Juniper is one of the most leisurely hobbies because it is low maintenance and drought tolerant. They are easy to grow (happy in hot and cold climates) and perform best in full sun and well-draining soil, including poor, sandy, and rocky soils.
    Blue Arrow juniper grows best in USDA hardiness 4 through 9, including the drier hot and cold states. Their hardy nature makes them an ideal substitute for Italian Cypress (which only grows in zone 7) and Sky Pencil Holly.
    Furthermore, they do not need specific growth requirements and happily grow in natural environments. So, growing them in rocky gardens, on slopes, and in the corners of balconies, the courtyard is best. They add beauty through upright narrow growth, such as you can grow annual flowering plants around the base of Blue Arrow for a more magnificent effect.

    When and How to Plant Blue Arrow Juniper

    Spring is the ideal time to start a new ‘Blue Arrow’ juniper. To plant this low-maintenance and fast-growing tree:


    Select a suitable location with full sun exposure in your garden. Prepare the site with compost amendments and remove weeds and other fallen plant leaves.


    Dig a hole almost the size of a medium container and wide as twice for the Blue Arrow juniper. Add peat moss and perlite in the hole for moisture retention and maintain the soil pH as slightly acidic. 


    Remove the Blue Arrow juniper from the box or container and loosen the roots with a garden hose. Place the plant in the hole and ensure it is in the same depth as of the pot. 


    Fill the hole with organic compost, bark, and soil firmly. Water the plant immediately after planting, followed by watering twice a week. Blue Arrow is a hardy plant; once it is established, it will survive adverse conditions.
    Companion Planting: What to Plant with Blue Arrow Juniper
    The best companion plant for Blue Arrow Juniper is the plant with blueberries, beautiful flowers, and showy foliage, or the ones with the exact growth requirements. For example, the Hinoki cypres or dwarf conifer has the exact growth requirements. Also, Bamboo species and drought tolerant flowering annuals are the best companion plants. These are catmint, Russian sage, rose, barberry, and maiden grass.
    The upright narrow columnar growth form of Blue Arrow with flowering annuals at the base adds fuller and vibrant colors and beauty.

    How to Care for Blue Arrow Juniper

    ‘Blue Arrow’ Juniper can withstand various growing conditions, making it easy to care for plants. They are the happiest plants as long as they are in full sun and well-draining soils. It is drought tolerant and can tolerate a variety of temperature ranges. The following are the primary care factors of this evergreen tree:

    💧 Water

    Juniperus scopulorum ‘Blue Arrow’ is drought tolerant and does not require much watering to thrive. It only needs water in the early growth stages and is ideal for water-wise gardening.
    Pro Tip Icon
    Pro Tip
    ‘Blue Arrow’ is more sensitive to overwatering than underwatering. So, water it wisely.

    ☀️ Sunlight

    ‘Blue Arrow’ juniper is a sun-loving tree that thrives best in full sun and needs a six to eight-hour exposure to morning sun for healthy and colorful foliage.
    Ensure to keep it in partial shade during the late summer when the sun is at its hottest levels. This scorching sun will burn its foliage and impact the plant’s cosmetic value.

    🌡️ Temperature and Humidity

    This cold, hardy tree can tolerate extreme climate conditions and withstand minus 35 degrees Fahrenheit. However, ‘Blue Arrow’ ideal temperatures are warm and dry. It only needs regular misting when it is freshly repotted.
    Overwintering Blue Arrow Juniper
    Juniperus scopulorum ‘Blue Arrow’ is a cold hardy juniper and does not need additional care in winter. While young plants are prone to winter burn and need watering more frequently. So, water them more often to prevent frost injury. Also, setting down the plant base with mulch will help to prevent water loss and maintain the soil temperature during the winter.

    🌱 Best Soil for Blue Arrow Juniper

    The best soil for Juniperus scopulorum is loose, slightly acidic, and well-draining. Remember, it does not do well in standing water conditions. When planting a ‘Blue Arrow’ Juniper in spring, make healthy soil amendments by mixing organic mulch, perlite, and vermiculate with organic soil to boost healthy growth.

    🌻 Fertilizer

    Juniperus scopulorum ‘Blue Arrow’ does not require many fertilizer applications but to fuel its energy and growth, apply slow-release fertilizer once a year in spring.

    😎 Pruning and Maintenance

    Blue Arrow juniper are known for their narrowly upright and columnar growth and need no trimming. However, the regular cutting back of hardy stems and branches is essential to keep the plant healthy and maintain the glossy and dense foliage.
    Also, remove the dead leaves to encourage new growth. Pruning of extra hardy branches assists in new developments with a dapper look of garden juniper.

    Propagate Blue Arrow Juniper by Cuttings

    Time plays a critical role in the propagation of ‘Blue Arrow’ juniper, and the best time to do it is the end of the fall and early spring (the danger of frost has gone). To propagate through cuttings, select a healthy, green branch and cut the cutting from the central stem with a sharp knife. Ensure the cutting has foliage on one side and nodes on the other side.
    Dip the bottom part of the cutting in rooting solution up to one inch, then place it in a pot filled with high-quality potting mix and peat moss. Water regularly to keep the soil damp for healthy root growth. It takes almost six months for the cutting to develop healthy roots.

    Propagate Blue Arrow Juniper by Grafting

    Another route to propagate ‘Blue Arrow’ juniper is grafting, which is more complex than other methods. For this purpose, prepare a rootstock that must be three to four years old. Pick the cuttings or scion from the ‘Blue Arrow’ juniper in January and start their grafting in early spring. Now, remove the needles and twigs from the scion and rootstock.
    Cut the top layer of bark on the rootstock and scion and attach both scion and rootstock (cambium on cambium) with a rubber band and wax. Keep the grafted juniper in the greenhouse till August, and it may take two years to reach mature height.

    Propagate Blue Arrow Juniper by Layering

    The propagation through layering is the easiest and most practical to creating new groundcover juniper cultivars. It may take up to 1 to 2 years to develop a healthy root system. To reproduce the ‘Blue Arrow’ juniper, first, prepare the soil with peat moss and river sand to make it loosen near the mother plant.
    Choose the lower and established 2 to 3 branches of the juniper and remove needles at the downside. Now, fasten the branches in the hole and pin them. Fill the adjoining gap with soil and water the layers pinned in the soil. They will develop roots within one year and carefully separate them from the mother plant and the ground.

    Pro Tip Icon
    Pro Tip
    Many consider it is good to make minor cuts on the bark of a branch at the point of contact with soil is excellent and encourages rapid root development. It will only assist rot due to moist soil conditions. So when propagating through layering, the only important thing is the branch's contact with the ground.
    Blue Arrow Juniper next to a house.
    Image Source:Blue Arrow juniper are known for their narrowly upright and columnar growth and need no trimming. However, the regular cutting back of hardy stems and branches is essential to keep the plant healthy and maintain the glossy and dense foliage.

    Common Blue Arrow Juniper Problems

    Twig blight - Brown or Graying Tips of Branches

    Twig blight disease is caused by the Phomopsis juniperovora fungus that first attacks the young foliage and then stems. It requires warm temperatures and adequate moisture to start the infection cycle. Therefore, in spring, the twig blight disease occurs. The tips of the young needles turn brown at the ends of small branches. As the infection progresses, the infected foliage turns dark brown or ash gray with black dots (fungal fruiting bodies) and eventually dies.
    Good sanitation practices such as sterilization of cutting and pruning tools prevent the fungal spore contamination and spread. Prune out dead and damaged branches during dry weather to protect against further disease spread.
    Apply fertilizers to fuel the juniper energies against fungal spores and fungicides before the start of new growths.


    It is also known as cypress canker or Seiridium canker. This disease causes severe damage to the ‘Blue Arrow’ juniper if not treated early. The symptoms are yellowing and browning of leaves with weaker branches. The fungal infection spreads through the plant body, causing the killing of the entire plant. These resinous sunken areas mainly appear on stems and branches with spore-bearing fruiting bodies (pycnidia).
    Apply copper-based fungicide such as copper soap in the spring to prevent spore germination.

    Common Blue Arrow Juniper Pests

    ‘Blue Arrow’ junipers are tough plants and immune to most pests and diseases. However, they can get spider mites and scale infestations during warm, dry, and humid weather. The following are the critical pests to detect and get rid of early.

    Bagworm Moth

    These lepidopterous pests have a broader host range but are more damaging to juniper trees. The bagworm moth’s heavy infestations damage the needles and stunt the growth of the ‘Blue Arrow’ juniper.
    Even they can defoliate the evergreens permanently. Upon hatching in May, the bagworm caterpillars crawl on leaf surfaces to feed and spin down the silk threads to make a cocoon-like bag. These bags help them to attach to the host leaves and freely move to chew on needles.
    To get rid of them, introduce the natural predators of bagworm moths such as green lacewings and lady beetles. During winter, hand-picked the female bags and destroyed them before May and June to prevent the next generation cycle.

    Juniper Scale

    Most common host plant of this pest is junipers, cypresses, and incense cedar. Juniper scale feeding damage includes the discoloration of the leaves, while under high populations, the defoliation occurs, leading to the death of plants. 
    Juniper scale also secretes honeydew which assists the growth of other pests. Spraying juniper trees with pyrethrins during the larval stages of scales will help in management.

    Spruce Spider Mites

    Cold winter temperatures favor the invasion of spruce spider mites on rocky mountain juniper. They turn the plant foliage into yellow with a dry, brittle appearance. Neem oil and insecticidal sprays are effective in getting rid of this pest, while in the summertime, the beneficial insects can manage them. 
    You can read more about spider mite treatment here.
    How spot a spider mite infestation on my Blue Arrow Juniper?
    This little pest is a sap feeder and sucks out through piercing-sucking mouthparts. Small pale yellow spots and fine webbing on infested plant areas are the two common signs and help in spruce spider mite detection.

    Where to Buy Blue Arrow Juniper?

    To buy this fast-growing and evergreen juniper with a complete care guide, visit Neverland.

    FAQs on Blue Arrow Juniper

    Does Blue Arrow Juniper spread quickly?
    It is a fast grower, adding 12 to 18 inches yearly with 2 feet spread.
    Does Blue Arrow Juniper come back every year? Is it annual or perennial?
    After severe pruning (cutting back needles and branches, leaving the stem bare), it becomes difficult for the old stem wood to develop new growths. So, it will not come back. To avoid this problem, only remove dead foliage and twigs, but with great care.
    How far apart do you plant Blue Arrow Juniper?
    The best spacing is between five to fifteen feet to create more room for light penetration and three feet for privacy screens.
    When Should Blue Arrow Juniper be planted?
    Spring is the ideal time for planting the ‘Blue Arrow’ Juniper.
    Is Blue Arrow Juniper toxic to dogs?
    Blue Arrow Juniper is toxic to dogs, and the poisonous part is needle-like leaves and small silver berries that contain harmful compounds and cause sickness to your pet.

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