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Q.How can I encourage juniper shrubs to bear more berries?

Zone 28712 | Anonymous added on December 27, 2019 | Answered

Many years ago my dad employed a farm assistant who was also a nursery worker. He brought a few buckets of juniper to Dad’s farm and, by chance, one of them was accidentally turned over and began to grow – the rest were meant for other spots but were neglected and died. From what I have read, there must have been two shrubs – one male one female – in the pot. At any rate, the shrubs are now over 12 feet tall, wild and unkempt. I use juniper each year when I make fresh Christmas wreaths; not a lot, just to mix in with the greenery. Some years there are plenty of rich, blue berries. Other years there are practically none. Does the “pruning” that I give here and there help, or hurt? How can I encourage consistent berry production? Thanks!

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on December 27, 2019

Pruning junipers can be tricky because of their "dead zone." If you cut into that, no new leaves will grow. As long as there is a male and female in close proximity, and it does not get disturbed often, you will see a good fruit set.

These articles should help: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/shrubs/juniper/care-of-junipers.htm


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