Cypress, also known as Chamaecyparis, is a popular plant used for hedging as it is ideal for creating a natural, decorative garden boundary. This variety looks almost like the normal cypress. The plant is not only cut-resistant, but also has a dense, compact growth habit.
It is also hardy and tolerant to most soils, except poorly drained soils. The best thing about this plant is that it has a special color.
Growing a Chamaecyparis hedge
Chamaecyparis is one of the most beautiful hedging plants you can use today. It is a fast-growing evergreen hedging plant. Its small leaves become scale-like as the plant ages. The leaves are arranged in pairs that are pressed tightly to the stems of the branchlets. Pollen and seed cones are also born on the tree.
Why you should grow a Chamaecyparis hedge
As mentioned above, Chamaecyparis has many wonderful features that make it the perfect hedging plant. Here are a few reasons for growing a cypress hedge:
- With a height of up to 10m at maturing, Chamaecyparis is great hedging plant for screening and privacy
- Highly resistant to pests and diseases, making it the perfect choice for hedging in areas where plants are at risk of these factors
- The dense foliage acts as a windbreak while reducing the impact of noise and air pollution at the same time
- Create a compact hedge that cannot be easily broken. The foliage fills to create a compact living wall which serves as a windscreen to your garden. This means that strong wind won’t be able to penetrate the wall, making it the perfect choice for gardens located in windy areas
- Chamaecyparis grows well in many types of soils, except waterlogged soils. You should however water the plant deeply during the first growing season
- It has soft, feathery foliage that make your garden look beautiful. In fact, they could be the most attractive feature in your garden if grown under optimal conditions
- Provide shelter and serve as nesting site for birds, especially during winter; therefore, the plant will bring the element of wildlife interest to your garden
- It improves the value of a home. Homes with Chamaecyparis hedges will fetch more than those that don’t have
- They require little maintenance
- It can be grown to become a large evergreen tree
Where to plant
Chamaecyparis grows well in full sun or partial shade. The soil should not only be well-drained but also moist. Cypress dislikes extreme drought; therefore, you will want to make sure that you water the plant deeply during dry spells. However, don’t grow the plant in poor-draining soil as this may cause root rot.
How to plant
If you are planting Chamaecyparis as a hedge, you have to observe spacing and other factors to ensure that the plants grow into a healthy, compact hedge. Here are the steps to follow:
- Water the plants deeply in their clod
- Choose a suitable planting location for your Chamaecyparis plants. They can grow in full sun or partial shade, but full-sun would be ideal
- Remove grass and others weeds in the area to eliminate competition for water and nutrients in the soil
- Dig a trench two times the width and same height as the clod. Make sure that the sides of the trench are straight
- Loosen the bottom of the trench and amend some soil from the trench with compost
- Place the clod in the trench and ensure that the top of the clod does not protrude above the ground surface level. You should also not plant too deep into the ground as this will make the roots rot
- Backfill the amended soil as you firm with your hands
- Water the soil to settle around the roots of the plant
- Apply a thin layer of mulch around the base of the plant, careful not to touch the trunk of the plant
- Water deeply during the first growing season
Chamaecyparis can be planted throughout the year; however, the best time for planting is in late autumnor winter provided the ground isnot waterlogged. Since cypress is frost resistance to some extent, they can grow in cool weather
Although Chamaecyparis grows in full sun or partial shade, it is a good idea to amend the planting soil with some compost before planting
Cypress also requires good draining, so you shouldn’t grow them in heavy clay soil; otherwise, they will perish
Avoid damaging the roots while planting so that they can establish quickly
Spacing is very important when growing a Chamaecyparis hedge. Planting too close will cause overcrowding whereas planting too far may take a long time before a compact hedge is formed. The recommended spacing distance for Chamaecyparis is two to three plants per meter.
Care & Advice
Aside from growing Chamaecyparis under optimal conditions, you need to maintain them so that they can live for many years and give your garden a beautiful long-term look. Here are a few tips for maintaining these coniferous plants:
Water newly planted Chamaecyparis deeply during the first growing season. Actually, you should water them every time 5cm of the top soil dries. You should however avoid overwatering. Once they are established, they will require little watering.
It is also important that you get rid of weed as soon as they grow. This will eliminate competition for nutrients and water as stated above. One of the most common weeds is grass. Make sure that your Chamaecyparis hedge has a 100cm strip that’s completely free off weed and grass. You can also apply a thin layer of mulch around the plant to reduce the loss of moisture from the ground to the atmosphere through evaporation and also discourage the growth of weed
Fertilizing Chamaecyparis is effective only when the plant is still young. Mature cypress plants don’t need extra nutrients. Feed with an all-purpose fertilizer in spring and the end of summer. Apply the fertilizer according the instructions in the package.
One of the main advantages of Chamaecyparis is that they don’t require to be pruned more often. However, if the branches have variegated or colored foliage, you will have to prune more often. Remove dead branches by following dead branches back to the trunk and cut it off at its point of origin
Check carefully to see if there are dead branches rubbing against live branches causing wounds and cut them off. Use garden clippers to trim branches that are less than 2.5cm in diameter and a pruning saw for bigger branches
Spacing is very important. The coniferous plants may appear dwarf but they are actually not dwarf. They will eventually outgrow their space as they are fast-growing. But you can control the shape and size of these coniferous trees by pruning and trimming
Most conifers can withstand hard pruning and will still grow. They will however not grow from old wood if pruned into it so you will want to take note of this. Chamaecyparis can be pruned from spring to late summer.
Protection against animal damage
Deer, rabbits, cattle and horses can damage your Chamaecyparis hedge. Squirrels are the worst pests on these trees, especially when they reach 600cm
This variety of coniferous tree can also be left to take a more natural look, unless you are growing it as a hedge. If you will be pruning, make sure that you follow the instructions we have highlighted above.
Over alkaline and acidic conditions, dry spells and water-logging can make it difficult for Chamaecyparis to get nutrients from the soil. It could also be that the soil doesn’t have enough nutrients to support the growth of the conifers.
You can remedy some of these conditions by using compost or spray containing the missing nutrients. Brown patches on the tree could be an indication of pests such as cypress aphid and scale insects. This problem can be solved by removing foliage
The plants may also experience problems when it comes to establishing. Large Chamaecyparis will have a more difficult time trying to establish and will require intensive aftercare when compared to young plants.
- Perfect hedging plant for windy locations
- Grow large enough to keep away intruders
- Their soft-feathery foliage absorbs noise
- The blue color (yellow for Ivonne) is the most attractive feature of the plant
- Easy to maintain as they only require pruning once or maybe twice a year
- Increase the value of a home
- Grow in many soil conditions except waterlogged soils
- They have compact growth
- Fast-growing conifers
Chamaecyparis is one of the most popular hedging plants you can grow today. They are fast-growing and will grow into a compact hedge in no time. The fact that it grows in many types of soils is amazing as you can be sure that it will grow in the most difficult conditions. However, it does not tolerate waterlogged soils. The plant’s compact foliage reduces noise pollution, making it ideal for growing in gardens located in noisy areas. With a Chamaecyparis hedge in your home, you can be sure that you will sell the home at a higher price because the hedge increases the value of your home.