How to Care for a Leland Cypress


The Leyland Cypress is a fast-growing evergreen conifer tree that grows to a height of 70 to 100 feet. The tree has overlapping needles that are soft in texture and often sold in containers as a living Christmas tree which can be planted outdoors the following spring. Leyland Cypress is a hybrid variety that was created in Great Britain and is hardy to plant in USDA growing zones 6 through 10. The tree is considered drought tolerant but grows best when given adequate moisture and fertilizer.

Step 1

Select a planting location for the Leyland Cypress that has a well-draining, acidic soil and full sun to partial shade light conditions. A sandy or clay loam soil works well for the tree.

Step 2

Plant the Leyland Cypress tree in a hole that is twice as wide and the same depth as the root ball. Add several inches on organic compost to the bottom of the hole and place the tree so the root ball is one inch above the soil level. Fill the hole with soil and lightly pack in place.

Step 3

Water the tree well after planting to stimulate root growth. Provide supplemental water to the tree to keep the soil moist when the weekly rainfall amounts are less than one inch.

Step 4

Apply 2 to 3 inches of mulch around the tree to assist with moisture retention and weed control. Leave a 6 inch gap between the start of the mulch and trunk of the tree to prevent excessive moisture around the trunk.

Step 5

Fertilize the Leyland Cypress on a yearly basis in spring with a balanced fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer over the root ball soil leaving a 6 to 12 inch gap between the start of the fertilizer and trunk of the tree. Water the soil well after applying fertilizer to assist with absorption.

Step 6

Prune the Leyland Cypress in spring to remove dead and damaged branches. Prune by cutting branches to shape the tree and limit wide growth. Remove internal branches to reduce dense growth and increase air circulation. Leyland Cypress requires little pruning to maintain growth.

Step 7

Propagate the Leyland Cypress tree by taking semi-hardwood stem cuttings in mid-summer through early fall. Semi-hardwood cuttings are taken from current year growth when the stem is beginning to mature and harden.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Organic
  • Water
  • Mulch
  • Balanced fertilizer
  • Pruning clipper


  • University of Florida: Leyland Cypress
  • Arbor Day Foundation: Leyland Cypress
  • FloriData: Cupressocyparis Leylandii
Keywords: leyland cypress care, grow leyland cypress, plant leyland cypress

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.