Moffat Blue Juniper, Rose Care


1. I planted two moffat blue rocky mountain junipers three weeks and am watering them every other day. I am noticing some greying of leaves at lower bottom. Can you please guide me on if this is an issue and also what’s the best way to care for these plans through the year

2. Can I trim and keep New Dawn, Graham Thomas and Alexander Mackenzie roses to around 4.5 feet every year? What’s the best way to care for these roses through the year?
Thanks so much


Hello – Your Moffat Blue Rocky Mountain Juniper (Juniperus scopulorum ‘Moffat Blue’ is a relatively low maintenance shrub with tolerance for poor soil, heat and drought once established.  It does require a full sun location and well drained soil. I suggest you stop watering your junipers every other day.  Your juniper should only require regular watering in it’s first season.  The Toronto based LEAF organization recommends a twice weekly deep watering for the care of new trees/shrubs using approximately 6 gallons of water each time.  This amount is equivalent to 3 full watering cans or using a hose with a very slow trickle for 15 minutes.  Never over water your juniper.  If the soil looks at all wet, reduce the amount and/or frequency of watering.

Be sure to continue your watering till a hard freeze.As junipers and other evergreens do not drop their leaves, they continue to transpire and must absorb enough moisture to support this process before the ground freezes.  In subsequent years, your juniper should only require watering during drought conditions.  In terms of other care, adding a one inch layer of compost or composted manure will help to improve your soil health.  No other fertilizer should be necessary. If pruning is required to maintain the shape of your shrub, late winter is the best time to do it. Hopefully, the greying leaves you’ve observed is a short term issue as your juniper establishes.

You should be able to keep your roses at your desired 4.5 feet.  Alexander Mackenzie is a modern shrub rose from the Explorer series which is a bushy shrub that naturally grows to 4-6 feet.  The other two roses are both climbing roses.  Typically, they grow to 12 feet and require a trellis, wall or other support to maintain their upright growth.  I did find sources for both roses that indicated they could be heavily pruned and grown as a shrub.  The Canadian Rose Society has some good information on pruning shrub roses and on ongoing care.  I’ve included their link below.  Look in the ‘How to Grow Roses’ section. Note that Graham Thomas is a David Austen English rose which is less hardy than the other two and will require some winter protection.

You’ve selected some beautiful plants.  I hope they all thrive!

June 29, 2021