How to Landscape with Blue Atlas Cedar


Blue atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica) is a show-stopper in the landscape. With its blue-gray needles and sparse branches, it provides welcome color and texture in landscapes otherwise replete with ordinary plants. Hardy in U.S. zones 6 to 9, it is easy to grow and to incorporate into the garden. Blue atlas grows 40 to 60 feet tall when given space, but usually grows to half that in most gardens.

Step 1

Choose a well-drained site in full sun that has enough room for the tree to grow to its fullest.

Step 2

Dig a hole as deep as the rootball and 1 1/2 times as wide.

Step 3

Amend the excavated soil with one-third finely shredded bark or compost. If the soil is already drains well, there is no need to amend it.

Step 4

Remove the plant from its container and place the rootball in the hole. If the rootball is wrapped in burlap, cut the twine from the base of the trunk to prevent girdling as the tree grows.

Step 5

Backfill the hole with the excavated soil. Tamp it gently to eliminate air pockets.

Step 6

Water the tree to settle it into the soil. Using a liquid plant starter with the water encourages healthy root growth. Don't let the water overflow the hole.

Step 7

Mulch the planting area 2 inches deep with your favorite mulch or the same shredded bark you used as soil conditioner.

Step 8

Water the tree throughout the first season when the top of the soil becomes dry to help the plant become established.

Tips and Warnings

  • Blue atlas cedar is evergreen, so don't plant it where it will shade the house in winter.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Finely shredded bark or compost
  • Mulch
  • Liquid plant starter


  • University of Maryland Cooperative Extension: Plant of the Week
Keywords: blue atlas cedar, landscape with cedar, weeping blue atlas

About this Author

Robert Lewis has been writing do-it-yourself and garden-related articles since 2000. He holds a B.A. in history from the University of Maryland and has training experience in finance, garden center retailing and teaching English as a second language. Lewis is an antiques dealer specializing in Chinese and Japanese export porcelain.