Care of Italian Cypress Trees


Italian cypress trees are fragrant evergreen trees that thrive in varying soils and full sun. With narrow, columnar growing habits, Italian cypress trees can reach up to 80 feet tall with dense, compact foliage. The dark-green foliage is needle-like with a fine texture and grows no longer than two inches. Cypress trees have a moderate growth rate and, like most cypress trees, are quite easy to nurture.

Step 1

Irrigate the Italian cypress tree deeply and infrequently to promote a strong root system. Water the tree about once each week, adjusting for rainfall and hot, dry conditions. Use a slow irrigation system or trickle system for best results.

Step 2

Limit fertilizer applications to one time each year. Apply a well-balanced, slow release fertilizer in the spring. Ensure that the fertilizer includes high amounts of phosphorus to promote a strong root system, such as an 8-8-8, 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 combination.

Step 3

Keep the area under the tree's canopy free of clutter and debris. Remove weeds from the area immediately. Pull the weeds by hand and make sure to remove the weed's entire root system.

Step 4

Protect the soil moisture of the tree. Apply a two- to three-inch layer of mulch around the tree's diameter. Use organic mulch and refresh the layers each season.

Step 5

Prune the Italian cypress tree to maintain health. Remove any dead or dying needles or branches to redirect the tree's energy. Use sharp, sterile shears and complete the cut at an angle to promote rapid healing.

Step 6

Inspect the Italian cypress for signs of adverse health. Look at the needles, branches and twigs for signs of wilting, foliage discoloration, dieback or growth stunt. Treat the Italian cypress immediately to avoid permanent damage or injury.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer
  • Water
  • Pruning shears


  • US Department of Agriculture: Cupressus sempervirens Figure 1. Middle-aged Italian Cypress. Italian Cypress
  • Backyard Gardener: Cupressus sempervirens
  • University of Florida Extension: Cupressus sempervirens 'Glauca': 'Glauca' Italian Cypress
Keywords: Italian cypress care, growing Italian cypress, irrigating the cypress

About this Author

Charmayne Smith is a business professional and freelance writer. She has worked in management for successful organizations since 1994. Smith draws on her business background to write articles, and her work has appeared in a variety of online outlets. She holds a degree in business from Cleveland State University.