Juniperus procumbens 'Nana' / dwarf Japanese garden juniper

Obrizok, in a Garden of Conifers (1999): semi-dwarf, very low mounding, can grow up to 10' across, short stiff branches.

Juniperus procumbens 'Nana' is a slow-growing cushion-forming, ground hugging form of Japanese juniper that is very popular in the nursery trade. It grows completely prostrate with mounding, layered branches, holding dense, green foliage. Over time, the plant's center will "mound up" while branches continue to cascade downward.

After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 12 inches (30 cm) tall and 4.5 feet (1.5 m) wide, an annual growth rate of 4 to 6 inches (10 - 15 cm) mostly outward.

This cultivar originated in Japan long ago. Arthur Hill of D. Hill Nursery, Dundee, Illinois brought back the first plants from Japan. They first listed it in their 1904 nursery catalog as Juniperus japonica 'Nana' a synonymous name. The similar but stronger growing clone 'Bonin Isles' is sometimes wrongly offered as 'Nana' in the trade. It is also confused with a somewhat mysterious plant, Juniperus squamata var. prostrata.

Juniperus procumbens 'Nana' — accessioned in 2008 at the Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Photo by Katherine Wagner-Reiss
Juniperus procumbens 'Nana'
Photo by Sandra McLean Cutler
Juniperus procumbens 'Nana' — a closeup of foliage detail. Photo copyright of The Wildlife and Conifer Garden.
Photo by Nonda Surratt
Juniperus procumbens 'Nana' Bonsai at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum of The U.S. National Arboretum, May 2006. Plant went into training in 1975.
Photo by Dax Herbst
Juniperus procumbens 'Nana'


John Fennelly

Information on caring for a 'Nana' juniper we just bought, thanking you in advance!

T Sisler

What time of year should they be planted? I am located in Eastern North Carolina. Also is there anything you can do to speed up the growing process? Thanks

Joan Stagnaro

Is this safe to plant on a septic field? How deep do the roots go? Thank you !