As one of the most beautiful cultivated forms of the Sawara cypress, the Filifera Nana is twice as wide as it is high. At the same time, the evergreen cypress forms a hemispherical or spherical silhouette, giving the hobby gardener plenty of scope for garden design. After many years it will have reached a height of approx. 80 cm and a width of 150 cm. During this time, she requires little maintenance attention, but does her best to give the garden the structure that the hobby gardener hopes for with her deep green, dense branches. It is therefore not surprising that the most important care component lies in the targeted cutting.

location and potting soil

Native to Japan, the filifera nana is familiar with moist soil of all qualities, infused with copious amounts of nutrients and soil organisms. Their location should be chosen like this:

  • Sunny to partially shaded position.
  • Humic, slightly moist and well-drained soil.
  • The pH of the potting soil is ideally around 7.
  • It is important that there is no waterlogging at the site.

At a young age, creative hobby gardeners tend to cultivate the small cypress with the branch tips hanging like a fountain in the tub. In this case, it is advisable to use special coniferous soil mixed with a handful of sand.

watering and fertilizing

Since it is shallow-rooted and does not dig very deep into the ground for water and nutrients, its moisture requirements should be monitored to cater to the modest needs of the Filifera Nana.

  • Water regularly but moderately.
  • Allow the soil to dry in between.
  • In the planter, the water requirement is slightly higher.
  • If possible, water with collected rainwater.
  • Give a complete fertilizer as a start fertilization in the spring.
  • Work in a dose of garden compost with a handful of horn shavings every 4 weeks.
  • Stop fertilizing from August/September.

A layer of bark mulch or grass clippings on top of the tree grate keeps the soil moist longer and reduces the frequency of watering. As part of a Japanese garden, the cypress gladly accepts a layer of gravel or grit as mulch material.

Note: When mulching, always leave a 30 cm ring around the trunk to prevent rot.

Create the best conditions for growth

As a rule, professional tree nurseries offer the filifera nana in containers and not as bare-root goods. This has the advantage that the plant can be planted all year round. The best time for planting is autumn, because the warm soil allows the sapling to spread its roots quickly and prepare for the coming winter long enough. Before the experienced hobby gardener reaches for the shovel, he puts the root ball of the Greek cypress together with the container in a bucket of water, where it can soak until no more air bubbles rise.

  • Dig a planting pit at the chosen location.
  • Ensure sufficient planting distance of at least 150 cm.
  • The hole is about twice the size of the root ball.
  • Lay out a drainage made of gravel, lava dust or potsherds over the sole.
  • Mix the excavation in the wheelbarrow with compost and horn shavings.
  • Plant the potted cypress, stamp the soil and water it.
  • The Filifera Nana must not go deeper into the ground than it was in the nursery.

In this case, there is no need for a support pole, as wind throw is not to be feared. On the other hand, it is useful if a watering edge is created that slopes slightly towards the middle, so that the cypress can optimally utilize the irrigation and rainwater. A layer of mulch made of organic or inorganic material completes the work.

Tip: Watering abundantly in the weeks following planting will accelerate the growth and spread of the roots.

plants in the bucket

Since the distinctive thread cypress grows very slowly at approx. 6-7 cm per year, it is often found as a container plant on the balcony, terrace or the house entrance before it is then planted in the bed in later years. When purchasing the planter, you should consider that the Filifera Nana grows much more in width than in height. Ideally, there is already an opening for water drainage in the bottom of the pot. Otherwise the garden enthusiast will drill them himself to prevent waterlogging.

  • Lay a drainage over the drainage hole made of small stones, gravel or broken pottery.
  • If an air- and water-permeable fleece is available, it is spread out over it.
  • This will prevent wet substrate from clogging the drain.
  • Spread a first layer of coniferous soil over the drainage.
  • Plant the waterlogged cypress in the middle.
  • Press the substrate with your fist in between so that no cavities form.

Experienced hobby gardeners always leave a few centimeters free up to the edge of the bucket so that no substrate-water mixture spills over after watering. Finally, the Filifera Nana is poured well measured. If it is on a coaster, it will be emptied after 20 minutes at the latest.

Tip: If a handful of horn shavings are added to the coniferous soil, the cypress gets the ideal starting fertilization in the bucket.


Thread cypresses are among the hardy, evergreen coniferous plants and can even withstand temperatures of around -28° Celsius. Newly planted conifers should still receive some light shelter for their first winter outdoors. For this purpose, the tree disc is covered up to the trunk with leaves, brushwood or straw. The crown is given a hood made of jute or garden fleece. From the 2nd year, the Filifera Nana no longer needs winter protection in the bed.

In the bucket, on the other hand, annual precautions against frost damage are necessary because there is a risk that the root ball will freeze through, from which the thread cypress would not recover.

  • Place the bucket on a block of wood or styrofoam.
  • Wrap the jar in bubble wrap or other insulating material.
  • Cover the root ball with straw or pine needles.
  • Put a burlap sack over the branches.

Like all evergreen plants, the filifera nana cypress evaporates water even during the cold season. As a result, on frost-free days, it gets a small dose of water in the bed as well as in the bucket.

As soon as the mercury column is constantly above freezing, experienced gardeners remove the winter protection to prevent mold from forming underneath.

To cut

Although the thread cypress grows very slowly, it still needs regular pruning so that it doesn’t turn brown from the inside and become bald. The ideal time for pruning is from August to October.

  • The hobby gardener decides how long the Filifera Nana is to be shortened.
  • Pick up each shoot and cut with sharp, sanitized scissors.
  • Never cut into the old wood, because the tree will no longer sprout from it.
  • There should always be some green left on the branch, which promotes new growth.
  • Remove any deadwood at the base

In between, the garden lover takes a few steps back and examines the habit of the thread cypress, because it is the spherical shape that gives this coniferous tree its special charm and should be preserved if possible.

Pruning has been successful when all parts of the Filifera Nana are again supplied with sufficient light, air and sun. A lack of these three factors always leads to stunted growth and baldness.

Note: It is more beneficial to prune a few shoots of French cypress each year than to perform a radical rejuvenation pruning every 3 to 4 years.


As part of the pruning, there is a lot of cutting material that is suitable for propagation by cuttings. These are about 15 cm long and half woody. The lower half of the offshoots are defoliated. During the winter they are placed in small pots filled with nutrient-poor potting soil. Keep the cuttings slightly moist in a light, cool room as they eagerly root through the nursery. A slightly perforated transparent bag, which is placed over the cuttings and pot, creates a warm, humid microclimate that promotes rooting. The offspring should be regularly checked for infestation by pests that like to attack the plants during winter, such as spider mites or mealybugs.

Clever gardeners give the cuttings of the thread cypress an additional incentive to make an effort to root through the pot. You put a thin layer of compost on the bottom and fill in the potting soil on top.

diseases and pests

It is perfectly normal for some needles to turn brown and fall off in September and October. On the other hand, if this happens during the vegetation phase, the cause could be a lack of care:

  • light mangle
  • waterlogging
  • over-fertilization
  • dryness

In addition, the cypress reacts with brown branches when it comes into contact with road salt. This seeps into the ground and can still attack the roots years later and cause the sapling to die from below. For this reason, the Filifera Nana should not be planted too close to a road on which the gritting service is on the road in winter.
Otherwise, the thread cypress is largely resistant to diseases and pests.

The cypress Filifera Nana is an enchanting eye-catcher in every garden. Its spherical shape is noticeable even from afar. Whoever approaches the tree recognizes the fountain-like curved, densely needled branches that form an elegant silhouette. If it gets the right location with enough light, air and water, it only rarely needs care. Only between August and October does the hobby gardener reach for the scissors, give the cypress an improved shape and thin it out a bit. Anyone who cares for their Filifera Nana so lovingly will enjoy the evergreen, hardy coniferous tree for many years.

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