Blue Cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana)

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Blue Cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana)

Blue Cypress, also known as Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, is a narrow columnar conifer with bright blue, feather-shaped foliage.

The densely branched conifer makes a fantastic hedge, not to forget the fact that it requires little care. The most attractive feature of this plant is its special color and that’s the main reason why people use it to make hedges.

Cultivating Blue Cypress

The Blue Cypress is one of the most beautiful plants you can use to make a hedge. The plant brings a wide range of benefits to your garden.

Why you should grow a blue cypress hedge

This plant has a striking blue color which can make a dull landscape attractive. It can also tolerate poor soil, making it the ideal hedge plant for growing anywhere. Here are more reasons why you should grow a blue cypress hedge:

  • Growing up to 182 cm tall, blue cypress is a great choice for privacy and screening
  • It is highly resistant to disease and pest, making it the best for hedging
  • The dense foliage makes a great windbreak while reducing the impact of air pollution and noise
  • They create a solid barrier that cannot be broken easily. Once the foliage fills in to create a strong living wall, it becomes the windscreen to your garden. Strong winds won’t penetrate the wall of Blue Cypress, making them the right garden hedge plants for yards that have heavy winds blowing into.
  • They grow well in any type of soil except water-logged soils. So, whether it is loamy or red clay, you can be sure that the plant will thrive
  • They are very beautiful. Their soft, feathery foliage and blue-green hue make them an attractive choice. They could be the most eye-catching feature in your home
  • They also provide shelter to birds during winter so that they will have a place to stay safe and warm during the season
  • They will increase the value of your home. Homes with healthy blue cypress in the landscape will fetch a higher price than ones without

Where to plant

Blue cypress grows well in full sun or partial shade. The ground should be well-drained and moist. The plant dislikes extreme drought. Avoid water-logged soils as this may lead to root rot and other conditions.

How to plant

Planting a Blue cypress hedge is easy. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Choose a planting area with either full sun or partial shade. The plant grows well in both environments, but full sun would be best
  2. For a thick hedge, 2 or 3 blue cypress plants per meter. If you want an extra wide hedge, you can plant a double row
  3. Dig a trench two times the size of the plant’s container. Make sure that you remove grass and any weed around the trench
  4. Loosen the roots on the sides of the root ball so that the roots can penetrate the soil easily when planted. Place the plant gently into the trench
  5. Make sure that that top of the root ball is about a 2 cm below the ground level
  6. Backfill the soil into the trench, gently pressing on it with your feet to secure the plant in place
  7. Water the soil until it is wet. Continue watering as needed until the plant establishes. However, avoid over-watering as this will do more harm than good. It is better to underwater the plant than over water it. 

Tips

  • The best time to plant them is in late winter or autumn as long as the ground is not waterlogged. This conifer is frost proof to some extent and hardy; therefore, they will be able to grow well in cool weather
  • Plant Blue cypress in full sun or partial shade. It can tolerate most soils but it is still advisable to add compost manure into the soil before planting
  • This plant also needs decent draining; therefore, don’t plant them in heavy clay soil, otherwise, they will drown
  • Avoid damaging the roots while planting so that the plant can establish quickly

Spacing

Spacing is very important in ensuring that you get a thick hedge within the standardized period of time. Plant 2 to 3 blue cypress plants per meter.  

Care & Advice

If blue cypress is grown in optimal conditions and taken care of, it can live for so many years, giving your landscape a beautiful look for a very long time.

  • Watering
    Newly planted blue cypress need to be watered carefully during the initial stages. Water every time the first 5 cm of the soil dries. However, you need to remember that sometimes too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, so don’t over water the plant. Once established, they will not require watering until dry summer seasons.
     
  • Weed control
    You also need to remove weeds as soon as they appear. This is important in ensuring that the blue cypress doesn’t compete with other plants for nutrients. Grass is one of the most common weeds that are likely to invade your new hedge plants. Make sure that your hedge has a 50 cm strip that’s completely free of grass. You also need to add a thin layer of mulch around the base of the plant. This will not only reduce the loss of moisture but also discourage the growth of weed.
     
  • Fertilizing
    Fertilizing the blue cypress is only effective when the plant is still young. A plant that’s close to maturity doesn’t need the extra nutrients. Apply an all-purpose fertilizer once in spring and again as you approach the end of summer. Apply the fertilizer according to the recommendations on the package.
     
  • Pruning
    One of the main advantages of growing a blue cypress is that they require very little pruning. If you, however, see branches with variegated or colored foliage, then you need to prune more often. Cut off dead branches from the blue cypress by following the dead branch back to the trunk and remove it at its point of origin.
    Check to see if there are dead branches causing rubbing wounds and remove them. For branches that are under one centimeter in diameter, use garden clippers, and for bigger branches, use a pruning saw. Don’t use a wound sealant on the tree wounds.
    It is important that you space the plants correctly. Young blue cypress plants may appear small but could eventually outgrow their space. This is common with most conifers and they can be replaced. However, their shape and size can be controlled by trimming and pruning them.
    Many conifers, including blue cypress, can be trimmed hard and will still grow. However, they will not grow from old wood if pruned into it; therefore, take care. You can prune blue cypress from spring to late summer.
     
  • Protection from animal damage
    Cattle, horses, rabbits, and deer can damage the trees. Squirrels are also terrible pests on trees when they get to about 609 cm tall.

Potential issues

Water-logging and dry spells, over alkaline and acidic conditions can make it difficult for blue cypress to extract nutrients from the soil. In some cases, the soil doesn’t have enough nutrients to support the plants. Using a spray containing the right nutrients or compost can remedy some of these ailments. You may notice brown patches on the tree. This condition is caused by pests such as scale insects and cypress aphid and can be treated with foliage and removal of foliage.

Establishment problems may also occur in newly planted blue cypress plants. Large plants will have more difficulty establishing and will need more aftercare than younger plants. In addition, don’t plant the tree too deep into the soil to help it establish quickly

Pros

  • They create a strong barrier that cannot be broken easily, making the perfect hedge plant for windy areas
  • They grow large enough to protect your garden from prying eyes
  • They have soft-feathery foliage which absorbs sound from noisy streets and neighbors.
  • They are also beautiful. The blue color is the most attractive feature of this plant.
  • The privacy shrubs are also easy to maintain. You only need to prune this plant once or twice a year, unless you see diseased and dead branches, which should be removed
  • They will also increase the value of your home

Cons

  • It is susceptible to root rot. If the crown of the tree turns golden brown, it may be this serious condition. This condition is characterized by darkening and rotting of the roots. The best prevention measure for root rot is to avoid overwatering and proper maintenance

Conclusion

Chamaecyparis lawsoniana is perhaps the most popular blue, soft-feathered, slender hedging plant. It is strong and dense and maintains its fine color during winter. When grown in optimal conditions, this plant can live for many years. Make sure that you remove dead branches from the plant and avoid over-watering.

If you are looking for high quality and affordable blue cypress, don’t hesitate to contact us. We deliver fresh plants from the ground also offer advice on how to grow blue cypress.