How to Plant Italian Cypress Trees


The Italian cypress tree (Cupressus sempervirens) is a pencil-shaped evergreen that reaches a height up to 80 feet with a spread of up to 8 feet when left to grow naturally. The tree produces cones in the winter months, which can be used for propagating new trees. The Italian cypress is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture growing zones 8 to 10 where the winters are mild. Italian cypress prefers full sun and fertile soil, but will grow in partial shade and most soil types.

Step 1

Select a planting location for the Italian cypress tree that has full-sun to partial-shade conditions. Italian cypress trees prefer at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. The tree will grow in most soil types and conditions.

Step 2

Dig a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball and slightly shallower. Rough the inside of the hole with a shovel so the roots will easily penetrate into the surrounding soil.

Step 3

Place the tree into the hole and gently spread the roots out. Place the tree so the top of the root ball is 1 inch out of the ground.

Step 4

Verify the tree is standing straight in the hole and fill half of the hole with soil. Fill the remaining area with water and let it absorb into the surrounding soil. Continue to fill the hole with soil and gently pack to prevent air pockets.

Step 5

Water the newly planted tree generously to moisten the soil to a depth of several inches. Continue to water the tree when the weekly rainfall is less than 1 inch or during periods of drought. Do not over water or allow standing water as this will cause root rot.

Step 6

Fertilize Italian cypress trees with a high-phosphorus fertilizer to stimulate root development. Mix the fertilizer into the soil at planting time or apply to the top of the soil and water well to initiate absorption.

Step 7

Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around the tree to assist with moisture retention. Do not place mulch within 2 inches of the trunk.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Water
  • High-phosphorus fertilizer
  • Mulch


  • FloriData: Cupressus sempervirens
  • Backyard Gardener: Cupressus sempervirens

Who Can Help

  • U.S. National Arboretum: USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: plant Italian cypress, grow Italian cypress, Italian cypress tree care

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.