How the Phoenician Juniper is grown
The Phoenician juniper, also known Arâr (Juniperus phoenicea L., 1753) is a shrub species of the Cupressaceae family native to the Mediterranean coasts, where it grows on rocky areas or sandy, rarely forming pure formations; generally it grows with other species of the Mediterranean scrub.
This plant is found from the coast up to 1300 meters on the coastal reliefs.
It is a dioecious species (plant with only male or female flowers) with unisexual flowers: male and female made up of small pendulous spikes, they are carried in catkins on the young lateral and terminal branches.
The fruits are red-brown galbules, globular and pendulous, 0.8-1.2 cm in diameter, arranged near the apex of the twigs that ripen in autumn and persist for a long time on the plant.
For the cultivation of Juniperus phoenicea remember that it is a very long-lived but slow-growing plant.
This plant grows best on calcareous soils, not necessarily deep, as the plant, with its robust root system, is able to penetrate even the most friable rocks; for this reason in nature it is frequently found even on stony or rocky soils and with little land available.
The plant can be propagated both by seed and by cutting. During the first phase of rooting or germination, the plant must be watered constantly, without causing stagnation, which is not very popular.
Once the young plant has taken root or formed it does not need a lot of water; moreover it is a very resistant plant to high temperatures so it can be cultivated in even dry and hot Mediterranean environments.
Phoenician Juniper wood was once used in cabinet-making because it is hard and has a fine and compact grain. Today its use is mainly ornamental.