How to Grow Lemon Cypress Trees

Overview

The lemon cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) is a shrub native to California. This tree enjoys warm climates, lots of sunshine and good, moist soil. These beautiful evergreens can be grown both indoors or outdoors. The lemon cypress forms a triangular shape on its own but you can prune it to maintain a smaller size to grow in pots. Lemon cypress trees produce a wonderful lemon scent and grow well in USDA zones 7 through 10, with zone 8 being ideal.

Step 1

Test the soil where you will be planting your tree. A lemon cypress can handle soils of almost any type but you still want to take measures to ensure your tree will get the best start possible. Sandy soil in a location suitable for good water drainage is best. The soil ideally should have a pH balance from 5.6 to 8.5.

Step 2

Plant the lemon cypress in an area that receives full sun at least four hours per day. Depending on environmental factors such as the level of humidity in your area, you may need to water your cypress regularly. Feel the soil daily with your finger to check for moisture. If the top soil is dry and doesn't leave a trace amount of moisture on your fingers, you will need to adjust your watering schedule accordingly.

Step 3

Fertilize the lemon cypress no more than on a monthly basis. Too much fertilizer will damage the plant and cause its foliage to wither. Periodically add extra soil around the tree to encourage growth.

Step 4

Spray the lemon cypress with a pesticide at the start of the spring season to avoid infestations. Aphids are a particular problem for the lemon cypress and will ruin it quickly. Make sure the pesticide is designed to target aphids.

Tips and Warnings

  • Be sure to keep the cypress well-trimmed, particularly near the ground, so that fresh water can easily reach the root system.

Things You'll Need

  • Lemon cypress seedling
  • Fertilizer
  • Soil testing kit

References

  • Plants For a Future: Cypress
  • Floridata: Cupressus macrocarpa

Who Can Help

  • The University of Texas, Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center
  • Lab Safety Supply Soil Test Kits
  • University of Massachusetts Extension: Plant Culture and Maintenance
Keywords: lemon cypress tree, cypress tree care, grow lemon cypress

About this Author

Yvonne Ward began her professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of "Pickin' Cotton Sure Is Hard Work" in the book "Golden Short Stories Volume 1" for the Dahlonega Book Festival. She has since written a true crime book published in 2010, with contracts for two more. Ward is pursuing a Master of Arts in history and culture from Union Institute and University.