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4010 Mt Diablo Blvd.
Lafayette, CA, 94549

Life is Beautiful Blog

Conifers

Blaire Benson

We love conifers for bringing to the garden what seems like a limitless variety of color, texture, shape and size. Textures range from soft and feathery to dramatic and architectural, and include some that would even fit into a Dr. Seuss landscape. Our selection has expanded this year and found its new home next to fruit trees at the end of the parking lot. 

Luke, our resident conifer expert, has weighed in on a few of his favorites:

  • Our newest addition is the Juniperus con and the ‘Golden Pacific,’ as it's known, isn’t your typical juniper. With bright yellow green foliage and standing under 15 inches tall, this low maintenance and manageable plant is sure to be a focal point of your garden. Fairly drought tolerant once established, this conifer will take full sun and is hardy to most diseases and pests.
  • There is nothing quite like the Weeping Nootka Cypress or Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 'Pendula,' known for its very unusual, graceful texture. This pyramidal evergreen will grow to be 60 feet tall, averaging between 15 and 20 feet in ten years, with its dark and delicate foliage making it a stately vertical accent.
  • One of my favorites is the picturesque Japanese White Pine (Pinus parviflora ‘Glauca Brevifolia’). Boasting fine-textured, bluish-green foliage and persistent growing cones, this conifer serves as a great garden focal point. The low maintenance pine will grow up to 15 feet tall and will hold on to its cones for up to 5 years.
  • A shade lover, our Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica ‘Sekkan’) features soft textured, dense evergreen foliage. The new growth is a striking hue of pale yellow and can even appear white in shade. The cedar flourishes in morning sun and afternoon shade. 

The size and shape of most conifers can be easily controlled by annual pruning. With pines, new growth (candles) can be cut or removed to slow the general growth. Most conifers will tolerate low summer water once established. Water them about three times a week in hot weather for the first two to three years. During the cooler seasons, a deep watering is only needed once a week. Use an acid fertilizer such as Master Nursery Camellia, Azalea, Gardenia & Rhododendron Food or E. B. Stone Organics Azalea, Camellia & Gardenia Food in spring, mid and late summer.

If you're interested in our conifer selection, stop by and receive expert guidance from our knowledgeable staff. We're always happy to answer your questions!