Southwest Regional Reports

Conifers for Gardens in the Southern Plains

Fine Gardening – Issue 178
Golden Pacific Shore Juniper

See regional picks for conifers, and read the article by Andrew Brand for even more ideas.

Evergreen conifers provide the bones for any landscape. They offer a variety of colors, textures and habits all year long. While conifers are sometimes relegated to the rear or boundary of a property where they politely screen out nosy neighbors or unkempt yards, these plants can make wonderful additions to all parts of a garden.” Read more Conifers for Any Size Landscape.


Night Light Hinoki Cypress

1. Night Light Hinoki Cypress

Name: Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Conschlecht’

Zones: 5 to 8

Size: 4 to 5 feet tall and wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; average, well-drained soil

The soft, evergreen foliage of Night Light is tipped in yellow and turns golden bronze in winter. This consistent color resists burn in summer’s sun and winter’s chill. Night Light has a dense, round habit and gracefully arching limbs that burst with texture. It’s an excellent structural plant or focal point in foundation plantings, and it gets its best color in full sun. Provide consistent moisture and regular fertilizer, but avoid wet or poorly drained sites.


Chapel View Japanese Cedar

2. Chapel View Japanese Cedar

Name: Cryptomeria japonica ‘PIICJ-I’

Zones: 6 to 9

Size: 5 to 10 feet tall and 4 to 8 feet wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; average, well-drained soil

Chapel View is an improved dwarf Japanese cedar with a broadly pyramidal form and gorgeous, blue-green needles. Dense branches sweep lightly skyward and provide lush texture. The foliage does not bronze in winter like that of other Japanese cedars, retaining its vibrant color all year. These disease- and pest-free trees have shown very little production of unsightly cones. Chapel View grows at a slow to moderate pace and can easily be pruned to manage size if desired.


Karl Fuchs Deodar Cedar

3. ‘Karl Fuchs’ Deodar Cedar

Name: Cedrus deodara ‘Karl Fuchs’

Zones: 6 to 11

Size: 12 to 15 feet tall and 4 to 5 feet wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; well-drained soil

“Graceful” is the word most commonly associated with this classic deodar cedar. ‘Karl Fuchs’ was introduced in 1979 and is rooted firmly in the market as one of the most remarkable and dependable deodar cedars available. ‘Karl Fuchs’ adds vertical structure to the garden and is cherished for its bright blue spring growth and narrow, pendulous habit. The weeping foliage shifts to green, creating a shimmering effect through much of the season. This water-wise evergreen is more cold-hardy than the species and stands up to drought. It is also adaptable to a variety of soil conditions, provided the drainage is adequate.


Golden Pacific Shore Juniper

4. Golden Pacific Shore Juniper

Name: Juniperus conferta ‘sPg-3-016’

Zones: 6 to 9

Size: 10 to 15 inches tall and 3 to 8 feet wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; dry to average, well-drained soil

Golden Pacific juniper is a bright-yellow version of the popular shore or ‘Blue Pacific’ juniper with the same low-growing, trailing characteristics. Plant it as a carpet of gold beneath upright trees and shrubs, or drape it over walls for year-round color. Golden Pacific is adaptable to a variety of growing conditions and soils and is an excellent choice for xeriscape plantings and rock gardens. Though it is shade tolerant, plant it in full sun for the most vibrant color from the surprisingly soft foliage. Golden Pacific is drought tolerant and shows excellent deer resistance.

Kimberly Toscano is a horticulturist from Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Photos: courtesy of Star Roses and Plants; courtesy of First Editions Plants; Visions/;; courtesy of Todd Johnson

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