How to Grow or Care for a Lemon Cypress Tree


lemon cypress tree

by Jennifer Poindexter

Are you looking for a new tree to add to your home or landscape? Some varieties of trees work for both indoor and outdoor use. 

Regardless of where you’d like to grow your tree, I have the perfect option.

Have you considered growing a lemon cypress tree? This tree can be grown both indoors and outdoors.

Many people consider it a favorite when used as a Christmas tree. They’re low-maintenance and produce a wonderful fragrance.

If you’re interested in adding this tree to either your yard or home, you’re in the right place. I’ll share everything you must know to grow it. 

Here are the basics to growing lemon cypress:

Growing Conditions for a Lemon Cypress Tree

The lemon cypress is a variety of Monterey Cypress which is also commonly called Goldcrest. It produces a lemon fragrance when the branches are disturbed.

The tree, when grown outdoors, can become as tall as sixteen feet. There are dwarf varieties for indoor use. They typically grow to be about three feet tall.

When growing lemon cypress, it’s important that you get the growing conditions right. Regardless of where you’re growing this tree, it needs well-draining soil. 

It isn’t particular about what type of soil it grows in. Poor quality soil is actually best in most cases . The reason being is this is a slow-growing tree. The fewer nutrients in the soil, the easier the pace for the tree to grow. 

Lemon cypress trees are hardy in planting zones seven through ten. They prefer temperatures below 80-degrees Fahrenheit and above 20-degrees Fahrenheit. 

Anything below 20-degrees Fahrenheit can put stress on the tree which can lead to damage or death. 

When temperatures rise over 80-degrees Fahrenheit, be sure to supply plenty of moisture to the area without oversaturating it. If the tree faces warm temperatures in a dry climate, it’ll place stress on the plant.

When growing this plant indoors, ensure it’s kept at temperatures between 60- to 70-degrees Fahrenheit, even during winter.

This variety of tree should only be grown in full sun as it can’t handle any type of shade. If growing it indoors, the tree should be rotated regularly to ensure all sides receive equal lighting. 

Now that you know what type of lighting, temperatures, and soil this tree needs, let’s discuss how to plant it.

How to Plant a Lemon Cypress Tree

When growing a lemon cypress tree, you have two popular options. The first option is to grow the plant as a purchased seedling.

Pick the right growing method for you (indoors or outdoors) and plant in a location with well-draining soil.

Dig a hole that’s large enough to support the plant’s root system, place the purchased plant into the hole, and cover the roots with dirt. Be sure to water the plant thoroughly at the time of planting.

Again, be sure the growing location has all the appropriate growing conditions. If you’re growing in a container, be sure it’s large enough to support the plant’s root system. You don’t want the roots to become bound in the near future. 

You should also ensure the container drains adequately. This is equally important to having well-draining soil.

If you’re planting lemon cypress outdoors, it’s best to plant in the spring when the soil is workable and warm. This will give the plant enough time to become established before facing winter.

The second popular method for growing this tree is propagation by cutting. It’s best to take the cutting from a younger tree.

However, you don’t want the cutting to be too flexible. The sturdier the cutting, the more carbohydrates it contains.

This should equate to the more roots the cutting can form. Be sure to only remove a cutting from a mature tree during the fall and winter months as this is the time when the plant is dormant.

It’s also best to take the cutting from the middle third of the tree. Ensure you remove it from the end of a branch.

The piece should be between a half-foot and two-feet in length. Once you remove the cutting, dip it in rooting hormone.

From there, place it in a container with well-draining soil. Keep the soil damp until the tree has formed roots. 

Leave the cutting in the pot until the root system becomes established and is ready for transplant into a larger container or a permanent growing space outdoors.

These are the two most common methods for growing a lemon cypress tree around your home. Pick the method which works best for your level of experience when adding this tree to your yard or indoor growing space.

Caring for a Lemon Cypress Tree

A lemon cypress tree is extremely low-maintenance. There are a few things you’ll need to do but not many.

The first thing you should do to care for a lemon cypress tree is water it. In the first year, be sure to water the plant twice a week. This will help the roots become established.

After the first year, only water the tree when the soil is dry. I recommend utilizing the deep watering method.

This is when you apply water to the plant for longer periods of time but fewer days of the week. When you’re doing this, water reaches the roots during the initial watering.

However, it also saturates the ground around the cypress tree (if grown outdoors). As the roots need more water, they’ll push further down to find it.

In turn, this makes for a healthier tree. Be sure to test the soil to ensure you don’t apply water before it’s needed.

You do this by placing your finger into the soil near the tree. When it’s dry to your first knuckle, the plant is ready for another deep watering session.

If not, hold off on applying more water and test the soil again in a day or two. If the needles of the tree begin to brown, you’ve let the soil become too dry.

The next thing you might want to take into consideration is adding fertilizer. This is a personal choice for each gardener to make.

Some think you should leave the soil in as poor of a state as possible (as long as it drains adequately) to help the tree keep a slow growing pace.

However, some find it beneficial to add a slow-release, balanced fertilizer to the lemon cypress right as the tree begins waking from dormancy.

This will give a boost of nutrients as the tree begins to grow. Again, this will depend upon your personal growing experience as to whether you choose to fertilize your tree or not.

Our final tips are mainly for those who grow this tree indoors. First, if growing a lemon cypress in a container, be sure to repot it every three years.

This will give the plant a larger growing area and also supply fresh soil with more nutrients. 

Be sure to supply enough humidity for this tree when growing it indoors. You can place the tree in a naturally humid room of your home such as a bathroom or kitchen.

If this doesn’t supply enough humidity, be sure to mist the tree with a spray bottle of water each day. This will help keep humidity levels up around the tree. 

Finally, you’ll only need to prune a lemon cypress tree if you want it to keep a certain shape or height. 

This is most commonly the case when growing a lemon cypress tree in a container or as a hedge. 

Utilize these tips when growing a lemon cypress tree, and it should help keep your plant healthy and vibrant while in your care.

Garden Pests and Diseases Which Could Impact a Lemon Cypress Tree

As if the lemon cypress tree wasn’t already pretty simple to grow, we’re about to make it even easier.

Though most plants face enemies in their growing locations, lemon cypress trees don’t have many. The biggest issues they face are fungal disease and aphids.

If you spot aphids or signs of aphids on your tree, the best thing to do is treat the plant with an insecticide.

You can also spray the tree, forcefully, with soapy water. This will remove any present pests and any sticky residue they leave behind.

If you spot signs of fungal disease, be sure to treat the plant with a fungicide. The best way to deter fungal disease is to plant in well-draining soil and full sunlight. Also, ensure there’s ample room between plants as this encourages better airflow. 

By removing excess moisture from the growing space and providing plenty of warmth this creates the opposite conditions that fungal diseases typically grow within.

Stay alert to any potential threats and take care of issues immediately to give your plants the best chance of thriving in the face of opposition.

You now know how to grow, care, and protect your lemon cypress trees. You’ve also heard of the plant’s many benefits, such as a wonderful fragrance and being low-maintenance.

If you live in the right planting zone to grow this tree outdoors, or if you must grow the plant indoors, use these tips to help your plant prosper under your care.

Learn More About a Lemon Cypress Tree

https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/hesperocyparis-macrocarpa-goldcrest/

https://landscapeplants.oregonstate.edu/plants/cupressus-macrocarpa-wilma-goldcrest

The post How to Grow or Care for a Lemon Cypress Tree appeared first on Gardening Channel.

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