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The Plant Guide

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Japanese cedar

Cryptomeria japonica

krip-toe-MARE-ee-ah jah-PON-ih-kah Audio

This is a coniferous evergreen with year-round interest and a graceful shape. Young foliage emerges a pale shade of yellow in a herringbone pattern in the spring and is a striking contrast to the deeper green of the older needles by summer. Crinkled brown cones dangle daintily on the ends of the branches in autumn, followed by new developing cones gleaming like little lanterns through the winter.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsOutstanding mid- to deep green foliage and conical or columnar form that vary by cultivar. Larger cultivars can be used as specimens or for screening. Dwarf cultivars are effective accents in rock gardens or conifer collections. Cryptomerias will coppice successfully.

CareGrow in deep, slightly acidic soil in a sunny location. Protect from high winds. Water regularly in spring and give it a deep soaking once a week in the summer months.

PropagationRoot ripewood cuttings in late summer or early autumn.

ProblemsNeedle necrosis, branch dieback, and root rot may occur on young plants. Nematodes can cause stunting.

  • Genus : Cryptomeria
  • Plant Width : 15 to 30 feet
  • Plant Height : 30 feet or more
  • Zones : 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Characteristics : Showy Seed Heads
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
  • Plant Type : Trees
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