An evergreen Tree growing to 18m at a slow rate. It is hardy to zone 8. It is in leaf all year, in flower from February to March, and the seeds ripen from October to November. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Wind. The plant is not self-fertile.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soil. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.
Edible Uses: fruit - raw or cooked. A dry and mealy texture but with a sweet and palatable taste. The fruit can also be dried, ground into a meal and prepared as a mush or cakes. The fruit has a sweetish palatable pulp and is about 15mm in diameter. The cones take 2 years to mature.
Genus - Juniperus
Species - Deppeana
Common name - Alligator Juniper
Pre-Treatment - Required
Plant type - Large Shrub / Small Tree
Vegetation type - Ornamental evergreen
Hardiness zones - 6 - 9
Exposure - Full sun
Height - 15 m
Spread - 8 m
Growth rate - Medium
Leaf / Flower color - Dark Green / --
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Clay, loam, well drained
Water requirements - Average Water
Landscape uses - Feature Plant, Hedges, Screening / Wind Break
1. Place your juniper seeds in a plastic container of water and leave them to soak for at least 12 hours.
2. Remove the seeds from the water and make a tiny nick in each seed, using a sharp knife. This process is termed scarification and is an important step towards germination.
3. Plant the seeds in trays. Place each seed in a 3/4-inch deep depression in the soil. Cover the seeds with potting soil, but don't compact the ground over them. Keep the soil in the potting trays moist.
4. Place mulch over the seedlings.
5. Cover the mulch with grit to dissuade moss and algae from growing over the potting soil.
6. Keep the seeds at a temperature of 39F (+2-+4C) for 3 months and then transfer them to a room with a temperature of 70F/-+20C. This process is termed stratification and the seeds will begin to germinate at this warmer temperature.
7. Keep the seedlings in a shaded area for the first year of their lives. There will be sporadic germination of these seeds over a two to three-year period. It is important to realize that each individual seed from the same pod has its own degrees of embryo viability. Certain seeds will germinate at once, while others will go into a dormant state. Seeds also have "chemical locks" that degrade to allow germination at different times. These mechanisms afford the tree the best chance at survival, so don't be concerned if not all of your seeds germinate at the same time.
Info source: eHow.com
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