Enjoy mild summer nights in a Mediterranean setting – you can experience exactly this romantic experience with cypress trees in your own garden. The towering conifer not only conveys a touch of Tuscany, but can also easily be left outdoors in our latitudes during the cold season.


The undemanding ornamental plant thrives almost everywhere. However, if you want to meet your few requirements, you should consider the following:

  • Prefers a sandy soil enriched with humus.
  • The weakly acidic pH value of around 5-6 promotes the growth of the plant.
  • A sunny location or at least a light spot in partial shade allows the cypresses to thrive optimally.
Note: The evergreen cypresses are conifers and the annoying removal of fallen leaves in autumn is no longer necessary.

Fertilizing and watering

Like all plants, the cypress family also need sufficient nutrients during the main growing season.

  • Fertilize sufficiently with horn shavings or compost in spring and autumn.
  • Epsom salt is well suited as a fertilizer additive for ornamental trees, it also prevents the needles from turning brown.
  • For better distribution, apply the fertilizer over the irrigation water.
  • Blue grain is unsuitable for cypress trees.

The otherwise easy-care Cupressus make some demands on the watering of their root ball:

  • The substrate around the plant should never dry out completely.
  • Water more often, especially on hot summer days. This protects the cypress from drying out and the needles from being thrown out unintentionally.
  • Even on frost-free winter days, the plants must be supplied with lukewarm water.
  • Cypress plants that stand in a wind lane have an increased need for water.
  • If possible, only resort to stale rainwater.
  • Mulch regularly, this loosens the soil consistency and promotes the absorption of water and nutrients.


The various cypress plants can often be found in home gardens as a “living” privacy fence. But even as solitary plants, the different types of Cupressus are decorative eye-catchers.

  • Cypresses from a height of about 1 meter are frost hardy. Use plants of this size for a new plant in the garden.
  • Plan enough minimum distance between the individual cypress trees and also to buildings.
  • One to two days in advance, the roots should be able to soak up sufficient amounts of water. Place the plants in a container with lime-free water.
  • The planting hole must be twice the depth and width of the root ball.
  • Drainage can also be used in outdoor cultivation. For this purpose, a thick layer of potsherds or coarse pebbles is prepared as the lowest level of the planting hole.
  • Prepare the substrate from humus soil and sand and put a several centimeter thick layer on the drainage.
  • Sink the root ball completely into the planting hole, align it and fill it with soil.
  • Then press the substrate firmly around the cypress and water sufficiently.

Cypress trees in pots

Even if you don’t have a large garden, you don’t have to forego the Italian atmosphere that cypress trees can conjure up on your terrace or balcony. Special varieties of dwarf cypress are ideal for cultivation in pots.

  • Choose an appropriately sized planter. Even if cypresses do not reach 30 meters in pots, enough space should be available for the roots.
  • All cypress trees require large amounts of moisture. Long periods of drought – even in winter – can lead to discoloration and blinding of the conifers.
  • In the cold season of the year, cypresses need special frost protection in their pots. Wrap plant fleece or burlap around the plant and the container. Plastic films are unsuitable as they prevent air circulation and may lead to the formation of mold. The Cupressus can also be stored in a bright room at temperatures between 4 – 8 ° C during the frosty months.

Tips for planting pots

  • As in the garden, cypresses prefer a humus-rich, sandy soil in the tub.
  • To prevent waterlogging, a drainage system made of pebbles, potsherds or lava chippings is also prepared here.
  • Water sufficiently and regularly. Even in winter, the cypress root ball must not dry out.
  • Between April and September, conventional liquid fertilizer is added to the irrigation water every two to three weeks.
  • The roots of the fast-growing plant have to be trimmed at certain intervals – at least once a year.
  • The Mediterranean ornamental wood also has to be pruned regularly at heights.

If necessary, move the cypress into a larger planter with fresh substrate.


In order to bring even more Tuscan flair to the terrace or in your own garden, cypress plants can be propagated without problems using cuttings or seed cultivation.

  • Remove cypress cuttings in late September or October.
  • The shoot must be between 6 and 8 centimeters long.
  • The best chance of success for root formation is when the cuttings and the growing container are stored in a cool room.
  • A mixture of conventional potting soil and small amounts of sand is suitable for the plant substrate.
  • The soil must not dry out completely. Avoid waterlogging at all costs.
  • Preferably pour lukewarm, lime-free water.
  • It can take several weeks for the first root to form.
  • The young plants need special frost protection if the roots take place in the field.
  • You can move the young cuttings in the warm spring.
  • Protect the small cypress trees from frost for the first two to three years.
  • Regular pruning strengthens the lower part of the plant and ensures bushy shoots.

Growing cypress seeds is just as tedious as rooting cuttings. This action is not always successful, but with the right tips you can increase the chances of germination:

  • Cypress seeds need to be stratified. To do this, store the seeds with or without substrate for about three weeks in the dark in the refrigerator.
  • A mixture of earth and sand is suitable as a substrate.
  • Cover the seeds only minimally with soil.
  • Spring is the optimal season for sowing.
  • Cypress seeds are prone to fungal diseases. If desired, you can preventively treat the seeds with a special fungicide before sowing.
  • If the cultivation takes place in the warm months, the vessels do not have to be stored in the house. A sunny place in the open air is sufficient.
  • Water regularly, but avoid waterlogging.
  • It can take two to three months for the first shoot tips to appear.
Tip: only use hardy cypress varieties. The “real Mediterranean cypress”, for example, is only suitable for regions with mild winters in our latitudes.

To cut

Cypresses and false cypresses need regular and correct pruning in order not to grow uncontrollably upwards. However, there are a few things to consider when pruning, because cypresses often do not recover from too strong and incorrectly performed pruning.

  • The right time to cut is before or after the main growing season. This is between April and September.
  • Hardly or minimally cut healthy wood. Because if these areas are thinned out too much, unsightly scaling occurs, which the plant can no longer regenerate.
  • Before cutting, check whether the shoots still have green tips or buds. These sprout reliably and must remain untouched.
  • You can prune back more courageously at the height, as the remaining side shoots close the bare spots again.
  • False cypresses can also be pruned as a frost-resistant wood in the winter months.
  • Plan enough space for the individual cypress plants when you are planting. This gives the plants enough space to unfold and saves you from having to cut in some lateral areas.

The following applies: Dried shoots can no longer recover and can be removed without hesitation. Cut young plants, because the older and taller the cypress trees are, the less it is possible to correct unpleasant growth patterns.


Some cypress species are prone to high sub-zero temperatures. Use hardy varieties to avoid costly protective measures in your own garden.

  • The roots of cypress trees in pots are susceptible to frost.
  • Attach a special fleece around the pot cover in late autumn.
  • Even in winter, all cypresses – regardless of how they are cultivated – need a regular supply of water.
  • Protect young cypress trees from frost in the first few years.

Recognize mistakes in the care of cypress trees in good time

In many plants, discoloration and the loss of shoots can be traced back to improper care or deficiency symptoms. Cypresses, on the other hand, are robust and only need large amounts of water – even in winter. A fungal disease is much more likely with a possible baldness.

Dry and bald spots?

  • The cypress frozen or withered in winter. In autumn, mulch the substrate so that the water can better reach the roots of the Mediterranean plant.
  • As a preventive measure, you can also fertilize with Epsom salt all year round. This does not replace regular watering or the supply of complete fertilizer, but it does harden the cypress.
  • Persistent or frequent waterlogging – especially in places that are too dark – can also lead to withering of the shoots.

Diseases and pests

Gray mold
found often in cypress trees in tubs attitude, is a fungus from the family botrytis. A dense, gray layer forms on the shoots of the plant, which dusts and also gives off a putrid smell. The reason for this is a lack of light and a too humid climate. Cypresses need a constantly moist root ball even in winter, but only the substrate may be watered moderately, never the shoots and needles directly. Avoid airtight plastic sheeting, which also keeps sunlight away from the plant. Effective fungicides against gray mold are available from specialist shops, but if the cypress has been damaged too much, it will no longer recover from the loss. Unsightly bald spots are the result.

Leaf miners
Of the more than 100 leaf miner species found in Central Europe, some of the moths have also specialized in cypresses. The caterpillars of the crepuscular moths prefer to feed by piercing the plant cells. Depending on the caterpillar stage, however, the insects also tend to eat burrows in the shoot tips. A large infestation can cause considerable damage to the host plant. Dry shoot tips can be a first indication of leaf miners.

  • Remove infected shoots and dispose of them with household waste.
  • Special insecticides help with effective control.

Bark beetles
If healthy plants show brown or completely dead shoots in some places, this could be a sign of a bark beetle infestation.

  • Cut open the withered shoot pieces. If there are bark beetles, you can spot the pin-head-sized drill holes made by the damaged insects.
  • There is no effective treatment against bark beetles. The entire plant must be disposed of and destroyed immediately.

Despite their Mediterranean origin, the evergreen plants are relatively undemanding and fit easily into any garden. Whether as a solitary plant or a complete hedge, even beginners can add a touch of Tuscany to their own garden with the robust cypress trees. Some varieties are also suitable for cultivation in pots.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *