How to Care for Cryptomeria


Cryptomeria japonica, or Japanese cedar, with its feathery needles, subtle scent and pleasant pyramidal shape, is a winner in the home landscape. Cryptomeria is a fast-growing evergreen that will keep its impressive, dark green color all year round. Cryptomeria is available in several different sizes, ranging from four to six feet varieties that do well in containers to giants that can reach 50 feet at maturity. A tough, sturdy tree, cryptomeria can tolerate cold winters with temperatures down to -10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 1

Plant cryptomeria in full sunlight or partial shade. Choose an area where the soil drains well. If water tends to puddle five to six hours after a heavy rain, choose a different spot. Although cryptomeria requires plenty of water, the tree won't do well in soggy soil.

Step 2

Locate cryptomeria where the tree will be protected from harsh winds. Avoid planting the tree too near buildings or other trees, as cryptomeria benefits from plenty of air circulation.

Step 3

Water cryptomeria regularly and never allow the soil to dry out. As the tree matures, it will gradually become more drought tolerant and will only need water during hot, dry periods.

Step 4

Prune cryptomeria lightly, only if necessary. Cryptomeria rarely needs pruning, but may need to be trimmed if the graceful, droopy branches hang too low over a walkway.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears (optional)


  • Floridata: Cryptomeria japonica
  • North Carolina State University: One Evergreen Replacement of Leyland
  • University of Florida: Cryptomeria japonica--Middle-aged 'Yoshino' Japanese-Cedar
Keywords: Cryptomeria japonica, Cryptomeria care, Cryptomeria plant maintenance

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.