Growing Cryptomeria japonica (Japanese Cedar)

Latin Name Pronunciation: krip-toe-mare'-ee-ah 

The Japanese Cedar comes in many sizes, from trees and shrubs to elegant little buns sought by dwarf conifer collectors for their rock gardens and troughs. Fibrous, red-brown bark, twisting branches, and needles that spiral around the stems are attractive features.

Light: Sun to partial shade for the green forms; variegated forms need shade.

Soil: Moderately rich, well-drained soil.

Watering: The key to getting your new shrub or tree off to a good start is moisture. Water thoroughly after planting, and keep a close eye on the plant over the following week. Then, give it a good soaking once a week during summer, unless rainfall is plentiful (more than 1in per week). Established plants can generally get by on less water, but most grow best if the soil remains evenly moist. Please note that more is not better. When in doubt, don't water.

Fertilizer: We recommend against fertilizing at planting time and during the first growing season in your garden. Plants need time to settle in before being pushed to grow. Most established plants grow best if fertilized with a light hand. Here at the Farm, we fertilize our specimen trees and shrubs just once -- in early spring -- with a light but even coverage of a balanced, granular fertilizer (such 5-10-10, 10-10-10, or an organic fertilizer). If a concentrated, water-soluble fertilizer is used, please follow the manufacturers' recommendations carefully.

Continuing Care: Easy to grow; shelter from strong winds. To restore shape, cut back hard in late winter or early spring. Needle necrosis or branch dieback may occur on young plants.

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