How to Care for Leyland Cypress


Leyland cypress trees are a fast-growing evergreen that grow best in USDA zones 6 through 10 where the winters are mild. Small container-planted Leyland cypress trees sell during the holiday season as living Christmas trees with instructions for planting outdoors during the spring. The soft needle foliage on eye-catching curved branches makes the Leyland cypress desirable. Plant Leyland cypress trees in home landscapes where there is plenty of growing room and no height restrictions.

Step 1

Plant the Leyland cypress tree in an area that receives six to eight hours of full sunlight and has a well-draining loam type soil. Dig a planting hole and mix even amounts of organic matter, such as compost or peat moss, into the soil to increase the nutrient content.

Step 2

Place 3 inches of organic tree mulch around the Leyland cypress, leaving a 6-inch space between the tree trunk and start of the mulch. Measure the mulch level each year and add more if needed.

Step 3

Apply 1 inch of water to the soil around the Leyland cypress tree when the weekly rainfall amount is less than 1 inch. Do not create a pooling of water around the tree trunk as this promotes root and stem rot.

Step 4

Fertilize Leyland cypress trees with a balanced tree fertilizer each spring. Apply fertilizer to the soil over the rootball area starting 12 inches from the trunk of the tree. Follow the package instructions for an application rate based on the size of the tree.

Step 5

Prune Leyland cypress trees in early spring by clipping off damaged and dead branches. Prune internal branches that cross and rub on each other. The Leyland cypress does not require heavy pruning.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Organic matter
  • Organic tree mulch
  • Water
  • Balanced tree fertilizer
  • Pruning clipper


  • University of Florida: Leyland Cypress
  • Arbor Day Foundation: Leyland Cypress
  • Floridata: Cupressocyparis Leylandii
Keywords: grow Leyland cypress, Leyland cypress care, 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.