Caring for Dwarf Cypress Trees

By Shannon C , last updated May 3, 2011

The Dwarf Cypress tree, also known by its botanical name of Chamaecyparis obtusa, and by its common name of Dwarf Hinoki Cypress, is native to Japan. This miniature evergreen Cypress tree is considered to be a member of the bonsai family, and is growing in popularity in the arena of miniature gardening.

Learning how to grow and care for these lovely and delicate miniature Cypress trees can be both an art and a true joy. Dwarf Cypress trees are often called by the initials "J.R.,"a moniker derived from their creator, Joe Reis, a bonsai artist who first developed the Dwarf Cypress. There is also a second varietal of Dwarf Cypress known as Sawara or Chamaecyparis pisifera. Use these simple tips to care for the Dwarf Cypress tree at home.

Growing the Dwarf Cypress Tree

The Dwarf Cypress tree prefers a protected location as it is grows very slowly (as little as one inch per year with some varietals) and will often reach only one foot high at full maturity. Dwarf Cypress trees prefer a location with nutrient rich soil that receives a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight on a daily basis. It can be a good idea to add sphagnum peat moss and a water soluble fertilizer in a 10-10-10 solution to the soil regularly to enhance its nutrient base.

Caring for the Dwarf Cypress Tree

Dwarf Cypress tree does require regular watering. A good rule of thumb when deciding when to water a Dwarf Cypress is to insert a finger one inch below the soil surface. When soil feels dry to the touch, it is time to water. While the Dwarf Cypress tree, as a bonsai, is amenable to pruning and shaping, it will not be required very regularly other than to remove any damaged or diseased growth as the tree is a very slow grower.

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