How To Gardening Plant Portraits Dwarf Irish juniper

Dwarf Irish juniper

By Pat Hayward | December 22, 2023

An upright and narrow juniper

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Latin name: Juniperus communis ‘Compressa’
Common name: Dwarf Irish juniper
Category: dwarf conifer
Needle color: blue green
Growth rate: 1″-3″/yr.
USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-9
Cultural needs: sun and well-drained soil

Dwarf Irish juniper
Pat Hayward photo

This upright and very narrow form of common juniper is a perfect complement to garden-railroad designs because of its distinctive form and small-scale features. Narrow, sharply pointed, blue-green needles are less than 1/2″ long. Often referred to as a garden “exclamation point,” this unique dwarf conifer adds a striking vertical accent when placed in small groups or in contrast to mounding or spreading railroad plants. ‘Compressa’ grows very slowly in most areas, and will stay tight and narrow when growing in full sun. Shaded sites may lead to faster growth and a more open habit. ‘Sentinel’ and ‘Pencil Point’ are two more similar cultivars that can also add verticality to a garden railroad.

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