Hornibrook Juniper Juniperus communis 'Hornibrookii'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
juniper 'Hornibrookii'


Juniperus communis 'Hornibrookii', commonly known as Common Juniper, is a coniferous plant that carries its charm in its dense, ground-hugging form. The foliage presents as a lively green to blue-green hue. Its needles are sharp and pointed, giving the plant a somewhat spiky appearance when viewed up close, yet it forms a soft, feathery visual texture from a distance. One of the most striking features of the Common Juniper 'Hornibrookii' is its distinctive growth habit that gives it a layered, mat-like character, spreading outwards in a manner that can be described as both elegant and orderly. The branches tend to turn upwards, adding to the plant's textured dimensionality. During the reproductive season, the Common Juniper 'Hornibrookii' showcases berry-like cones, which start off as a green color, and gradually mature to a dark, bluish-black shade. These small, round fruits often have a bluish-white, waxy coating that adds to their visual interest. Overall, the Common Juniper 'Hornibrookii' offers an appealing aesthetic with its tailored growth form and coloration, making it a favorite in many garden settings where it's used as ground cover or a low natural barrier, without dominating the landscape it inhabits.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Hornibrook Spreading Juniper, Hornibrook's Juniper.

    • Common names

      Juniperus communis 'Hornibrookii'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The common juniper is not typically considered highly toxic to humans. However, consuming parts of the plant, particularly the berries, in large amounts may cause gastrointestinal issues such as upset stomach, diarrhea, and other digestive disturbances. In some individuals, particularly those with existing kidney conditions, excessive consumption of juniper berries could exacerbate those health issues. Pregnant women are advised to avoid consuming juniper as it might stimulate the uterus and could potentially cause miscarriages. It is always recommended to use juniper berries in moderation and to consult with healthcare providers before using them for medicinal purposes.

    • To pets

      Common juniper is generally considered to have low toxicity for pets. However, like humans, if pets ingest too much of the plant, particularly the berries, they might experience mild gastrointestinal distress indicated by symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. While serious poisoning is rare, it is advisable to prevent your pets from consuming the plant due to the potential risk of stomach upset or other more serious complications for animals with specific health issues. If you suspect your pet has ingested a significant quantity of common juniper, it is best to contact a veterinarian.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Height

      1 foot (0.3 meters)

    • Spread

      6 feet (1.8 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Landscape Interest - Juniperus communis 'Hornibrookii', commonly known as Common Juniper, adds year-round interest to landscapes with its unique foliage and form.
    • Low Maintenance - This plant requires minimal care once established, making it suitable for gardeners of all skill levels.
    • Drought Tolerance - It is well-suited to dry conditions and can thrive with less water compared to many other plants, conserving water resources.
    • Wildlife Habitat - Provides shelter and sometimes food for various species of wildlife, including birds and small mammals.
    • Erosion Control - The plant's root system helps stabilize soil and prevent erosion on slopes or in areas prone to soil loss.
    • Adaptable - Common Juniper can grow in a variety of soil types and climatic conditions, making it a versatile choice for many landscapes.
    • Evergreen Foliage - Offers year-round greenery and structure in the garden, even in the cold winter months.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Diuretic: Common juniper has traditionally been used to promote urination.
    • Antiseptic: The plant's oil exhibits antiseptic properties and can be applied topically.
    • Antirheumatic: Juniper preparations have been used to relieve rheumatic pain.
    • Carminative: It helps in the relief of flatulence and gastrointestinal discomfort.
    • Antispasmodic: Juniper can help to reduce muscle spasms.
    • Stomachic: The plant is believed to stimulate the appetite and improve digestion.
    • Antifungal: It has properties that may protect against fungal infections.
    Please note that while traditional uses are listed, the actual efficacy for these uses may not be well-supported by scientific evidence, and these uses should not replace medical advice or treatment prescribed by a healthcare professional.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Juniper berries from the Juniper plant are commonly used as a natural flavoring in gin, lending it its distinctive sharp and clear taste.
    • Juniper wood is resistant to rot and has been traditionally used for making durable fence posts and garden furniture.
    • The aromatic smoke of burning Juniper branches is used in some traditional practices to cleanse and purify the air or objects, similarly to sage smudging.
    • Juniper berries are used in Scandinavian cuisine to flavor wild game and meat dishes, bringing an earthy and tart taste to the food.
    • Dried Juniper branches and berries are used in floral arrangements and wreaths, especially during winter holidays for their appealing look and scent.
    • Juniper essential oil, derived from the berries, is used in aromatherapy to relieve stress and relax the mind.
    • The plant’s compact and decorative foliage makes it an ideal candidate for bonsai cultivation.
    • In some regions, the berries are used to flavor certain alcoholic beverages aside from gin, such as a juniper berry-infused beer.
    • The bark of the Juniper plant can be used to create a natural brown dye for textiles and crafting projects.
    • Juniper woodchips are sometimes used in smoking food to add a unique flavor to meats and fish.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Juniper is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Juniper is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Protection: Juniper has been associated with protection due to its sharp needles and its ancient use by people who believed it had the power to ward off evil spirits.
    • Purity: This plant is often connected with purification as its smoke is used in various cultural rituals to cleanse spaces and objects.
    • Healing: As juniper berries are used in natural medicine for various remedies, the plant symbolizes healing and health.
    • Endurance: Juniper's ability to grow in harsh conditions is reflective of endurance and the ability to thrive in challenging environments.

Every 2-3 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-4 years
Early Spring
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Common juniper, or Juniperus communis 'Hornibrookii', prefers dry to moderately moist soil and does not tolerate overwatering. Water this plant when the top two inches of soil feel dry to the touch, approximately once every week or two, depending on the climate and season. In general, it's better to err on the side of underwatering, and during the growing season, an estimated 1-2 gallons per week for established plants should be sufficient. During the winter, reduce watering as the plant's growth slows down. It's essential not to let the soil become waterlogged as junipers are prone to root rot.

  • sunLight

    The common juniper thrives best in full sun conditions where it can receive at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. It will tolerate light shade, but its growth may not be as robust or dense. The best spot for this plant is in an open area with plenty of direct sunlight throughout the day to ensure optimal growth and health.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The common juniper is cold-hardy and can survive in temperatures as low as -30°F, making it suitable for many climates. It can also tolerate high temperatures but prefers a range between 35°F and 70°F for ideal growth conditions. This plant is adaptable but should be protected from extreme heat, which could cause stress or damage.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning common juniper is important to maintain its shape and encourage dense growth; it also helps to prevent disease by increasing air circulation. Prune in late winter or early spring before new growth starts, removing any dead or diseased branches. Light trimming can be done throughout the growing season to shape the plant or control its size.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Common Juniper 'Hornibrookii' thrives in well-draining, sandy or loamy soil with a pH between 6.0 and 8.0. A mix of two parts peat moss to one part perlite and one part coarse sand works well. Adjusting the pH to slightly acidic will help the plant achieve optimal growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Common Juniper 'Hornibrookii' should generally be repotted every two to three years to replenish nutrients and prevent root-bound conditions. Younger plants benefit from more frequent repotting, whereas mature specimens may be repotted less often.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Common Juniper 'Hornibrookii' prefers drier conditions and can tolerate low humidity levels well. As a conifer, it does not require high humidity to thrive, making it suitable for most outdoor environments where excessive humidity is not an issue.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright light, avoid overwatering, no high humidity.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun, well-draining soil, and water when dry.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Juniperus communis 'Hornibrookii', commonly known as Common Juniper, begins its life as a seed, which requires well-drained soil and partial to full sunlight to germinate. After germination, it enters the seedling stage, establishing itself with a root system and foliage. As it transitions to the juvenile stage, it develops a woody stem and continues to grow both in height and girth. The mature phase is marked by the beginning of reproductive capability, where the plant produces male and female cones on separate trees, with pollination occurring mainly via wind. Once fertilized, the female cones develop into berries, which fully mature in 18 months. The cycle closes as these berries, consumed and dispersed by wildlife, become seeds that may germinate to start a new generation.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Early Spring

    • The most popular method of propagating Common Juniper 'Hornibrookii' is through cuttings. The best time to take cuttings is in the late summer or early fall when the current year's growth has matured. Cuttings should be about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) long and trimmed just below a node. The lower needles are removed to expose the stem, which is then dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root growth. These prepared cuttings are placed in a mixture of peat and perlite, ensuring that the nodes where the needles were removed are below the surface. The cuttings need to be kept in high humidity and at a steady temperature of around 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 24 degrees Celsius) until roots develop, which can take several weeks to a few months.