Leyland cyprus, x Cupressocyparis leylandii or Leyland cypress, is a popular evergreen tree grown for privacy or Christmas trees in USDA zones 6 to 10. The Leyland cyprus can grow 3 to 4 feet per year, reaching a height of 50 feet, with a span of over 15 feet. With pruning, the Leyland cyprus makes an ideal privacy hedge. Easy to establish and grow, consideration of its ultimate size is necessary when selecting a Leyland cyprus for your landscaping.
Pick a location in your landscape that receives full sun. Although the Leyland cyprus will grow in partial shade, to maximize growth of 3 to 4 feet a year, plant your Leyland cyprus trees in full sun. Leyland cyprus planted in full shade will only grow a few inches a year.
Keep the soil where you grow your Leyland cyprus moist for the first two to three years. Leyland cyprus trees are drought tolerant when mature, but during the growing period, your Leyland cyprus will thrive if you keep it in moist, not water-logged, soil. The Leyland cyprus is not selective as to the type of soil it grows in, though it prefers a rich, loamy soil that drains well. It does not like its roots too wet. A good way to check whether your Leyland cyprus needs watering is to insert your finger into the soil about 2 inches. If the soil is dry, it is time to water.
Fertilize your Leyland cyprus with an all-purpose, slow-release fertilizer by following the instructions on the package. Choose a fertilizer that is either a balanced blend, like 12-12-12, or one that is higher in nitrogen as extra nitrogen will promote faster growth and fuller and greener foliage. Fertilize in the spring and your Leyland cyprus should be good for the rest of the growing season.
Prune your Leyland cyprus as much as you wish to control its growth and shape or to create a privacy hedge. Harsh pruning does not injure a Leyland cyprus and it will recover.