How to Care for a Pygmy Hinoki Cypress


The pygmy Hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa), also known as false cypress, is a dwarf evergreen conifer with flattened, spreading foliage that's dark green and blue at the edges. This cypress can grow up to 50 feet tall and 30 feet wide when grown outdoors, but it's usually grown as a bonsai and kept at about 12 inches in height. The Hinoki cypress grows best outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 8, withstanding minimum annual temperatures of about -15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 1

Water your pygmy Hinoki cypress deeply once or twice each week during the active growing season in the earlier part of the day. Allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings.

Step 2

Mist your Hinoki cypress every other day between waterings. Mist the foliage with water to supplement its water needs.

Step 3

Provide full sunlight exposure to your Hinoki cypress. Without full sun, the inner and bottom branches will die back and not rebound.

Step 4

Feed your Hinoki cypress once every two weeks throughout the growing season, from early spring until autumn. Apply an all-purpose, water-soluble plant food for acid-loving plants, according to the dosage instructions on the label.

Step 5

Prune your Hinoki cypress throughout the active growing season, if you're growing it as a bonsai. Pinch back all new foliage to keep the bottom and inner branches healthy.

Things You'll Need

  • Water spray bottle
  • All-purpose, water-soluble acid plant food
  • Small pruning shears
  • Epsom salts
  • Insecticide (optional)


  • Hinoki (or False) Cypress -- Chamaecyparis sp.

Who Can Help

  • Chamaecyparis obtusa (Nana Aurea Dwarf Hinoki Cypress)
  • Hinoki Cypress (Chamaecyparis sp.)
Keywords: dwarf Hinoki cypress care, grow Hinoki cypress, Pygmy Hinoki cypress

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Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.