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Care of a Lemon Cypress Tree

By Heide Braley ; Updated September 21, 2017

The lemon cypress is called a cupressus macrocarpa in Latin. You can grow it indoors to add a fresh scent of lemon to your home every time you brush up against the needles. The lemon cypress tree will add color to a room without needing much care. You can place it outside when the weather is warm and it will change color to a yellowish tint. Caring for it only takes a few steps during the year.

Set your lemon cypress tree inside by a sunny window. It needs three to five hours of direct sunlight a day and that is typically all it will get from a window. You don't have to provide extra heat for it as it seems to prefer cooler temperatures while indoors. Once the weather warms and all chance of frost is passed, you can move it outside to get partial sun during the day.

Water your lemon cypress tree only when the soil feels dry to the touch. Make sure the water runs out from the bottom of the pot so all the roots get water. During the winter, you can water a little less frequently. A couple of times during the year, you may want to spray the leaves with a very mild solution of soapy water (such as dish soap) and then rinse them clean.

Fertilize your lemon cypress tree once a month with a liquid fertilizer for acid-loving plants or a slow-release formula. If you plant the tree directly into the soil, it can get its nutrients from the ground and will not need such frequent fertilizing.

Trim the sculpted trees as you see new growth appear. Because the plant tends to grow quickly, you may have to do this once a week during the summer. You can trim it into interesting shapes, like spirals or curves, to add interest to your garden or room. If the tree has no unusual shape, you can let it grow naturally without any pruning for an even more carefree plant.

Repot the lemon cypress tree every couple of years by tipping the plant over and removing it from the pot. Shake off the soil around the roots and set the plant aside. Fill a new plant pot that is an inch or so wider with some good quality potting soil, but only about 2 inches full. Set the lemon cypress in place and then slowly add the soil in around the roots until the pot is full. Water it thoroughly and then care for it as normal.


Things You Will Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Fertilizer (for acid loving plants)

About the Author


Maryland resident Heide Braley is a professional writer who contributes to a variety of websites. She has focused more than 10 years of research on botanical and garden articles and was awarded a membership to the Society of Professional Journalists. Braley has studied at Pennsylvania State University and Villanova University.