How to Care for a Hinoki Cypress


The Hinoki cypress tree, also called false cypress, is a small evergreen conifer used as a bonsai plant. Training the Hinoki cypress as a bonsai will stunt the growth to a height of 12 inches. The tree has flat fanning foliage that and produces pea-sized cones. Hinoki cypress will grow outdoors in the summer months in USDA growing zones 5 through 8 as long as the plant is in a location protected from heavy wind and has full sunlight.

Step 1

Plant the Hinoki cypress in a container with bottom drainage holes and filled with well-draining potting soil. Place the tree in a location offering full sunlight. The tree will turn brown and die without adequate sunlight.

Step 2

Water the tree once the top layer of the soil dries several inches. Water the tree in the morning and do not allow the roots to stand in water for extended periods. Monitor the moisture level of the soil more frequently during hot summer months or when drying winds are present.

Step 3

Feed the Hinoki cypress tree a solution of 1 tsp. Epsom salt per gallon of water twice a month from spring through the fall. This will supply the plant with magnesium. Hinoki cypress trees do not require chemical fertilizer applications.

Step 4

Prune the tree frequently by pinching new growth to shape the tree. This will prevent death to lower and inside branches. Do not prune with a scissors as this will turn the foliage tips brown.

Step 5

Propagate new trees by taking young wood stem cuttings in the months of July and August. Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone and stick it into a tray filled with moist rooting medium. Place the tray in a warm location in indirect light until the stems produce roots.

Step 6

Repot the Hinoki cypress every two to four years once the tree becomes root bound. Remove 1/3 to 1/2 of the roots to keep the tree trained in a bonsai size. Plant the tree in a container that has 1 inch of growing room between the root ball and the edge of the container.

Things You'll Need

  • Planting container
  • Well-draining potting soil
  • Water
  • Epsom salt
  • Rooting tray
  • Rooting medium
  • Pruning clipper


  • Bonsai Gardener: Hinoki Cypress
  • Hinoki or False Cypress
  • Nursery Trees: Hinoki Cypress
Keywords: Hinoki cypress care, grow Hinoki cypress, plant Hinoki 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.