Welch juniper (‘Welchii’) is reminiscent of the columnar ‘Skyrocket’. Both are cultivars of the Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum), but the Welch juniper has softer foliage and a slightly wider habit. Its silvery-green foliage can take on a blue hue, especially in winter, and it carries small blue-gray berries that take two to three years to mature.
Common name: Welch juniper
Botanical name: Juniperus scopulorum ‘Welchii’
Plant type: Evergreen
Zones: 3 to 9
Height: 8 to 20 feet
- Sun: Full sun
- Soil: Thrives in dry, rocky soil
- Moisture: Average to dry; won’t tolerate wet soil or high humidity
- Mulch: None needed
- Pruning: None needed
- Fertilizer: None needed
Pests and diseases
- Common problems with juniper blights and cankers; alternate host for cedar-apple rust
- Deer resistant
- One or two ‘Welchii’ can be attractive accents in a small garden without taking up much room, throwing much shade or requiring much in the way of maintenance.
- Its dense foliage works as a privacy screen; plant several at about 4 feet apart to form a hedge or windbreak.
- Like other evergreens, Welch juniper attracts songbirds and other wildlife.
- The foliage of many Rocky Mountain junipers has a blue color or tint that often intensifies in cold weather.
All in the family
- The juniper is a member of Cupressaceae, the cypress family. Redwoods also belong to this family, which is the most widely distributed conifer family, found on all continents except Antarctica.
- There are many Rocky Mountain juniper cultivars available, including ‘Blue Trail’, ‘Gray Gleam’ and ‘Tolleson’s Blue Weeping’.
- Most Juniperus scopulorum cultivars have a columnar habit, but there are a few groundcovers.
Where to buy