Everyone loves gorgeous blue evergreens – they are so striking in our gardens, and make sure fantastic specimens. The most popular are the numerous varieties of blue spruce, and these perennial favorites certainly are gorgeous. But there are many other evergreens with blue foliage, and often we don’t want the stiff look of blue spruce. Instead something softer, both to the eye and to the touch, is needed. As well, spruce do best in cooler areas, but gardeners everywhere love blue. So for a softer look, both in foliage and visually, and especially useful in warmer zones, there is nothing that can beat the Baby Blue Sawara Cypress – soft and blue, just like a baby.
Growing Baby Blue Sawara Cypress Trees
The Baby Blue Sawara Cypress is a beautiful broad, upright evergreen, with a moderate growth rate, which will reach between 4 and 6 feet in height within ten years, and be 3 to 5 feet wide, with a broad, conical form. Instead of the stiff, horizontal branches of sharp needles, seen in spruce, this plant has a more casual form, with soft, mossy foliage that is a delight to touch. The leaves are an intense blue made even more intense by unique small silvery-white spots on the underside of the leaves, which brighten and lift their blue color, creating a more intense, silvery-blue tone than is found in other blue forms of this plant. In cold winter weather the foliage can develop attractive purple shading, which turns back into steel-blue in spring as the new growth returns.
Uses on Your Property
Plant the Baby Blue Sawara Cypress as a specimen plant on a lawn, or in a courtyard. Its smaller size makes it perfect for smaller gardens, or in more enclosed parts of larger ones. Plant a group near each other on a larger lawn. It is a terrific addition to the foundation planting around your home – small enough to fit between windows, bringing bright color all year round and interest among the typical green plants used in that section of the garden. Plant it among a collection of other colorful dwarf evergreens, or among flowering shrubs in beds. Wherever you use this gorgeous plant you will love it.
Planting and Initial Care
In the cooler zones 5, 6 and 7, the best place to plant your Baby Blue Sawara Cypress is in full sun. That will give you the brightest coloring, and the strongest, densest growth. In hotter zones some afternoon shade, or even light, filtered shade most of the day, will be best, as the foliage could burn, especially during dry periods. This plant is comfortable in many different types of soil, just as long as it is well-drained, so that its roots are not always sitting in water. It grows well in urban areas, so with its small size too it is ideal for town gardens.
The Baby Blue Sawara Cypress appreciates fertile soil, and you can help that by blending rich organic materials like compost into the ground when preparing the planting spot. A spring mulch with more is very beneficial. Use evergreen fertilizer in spring and summer, especially while your tree is young. Once established, your tree will tolerate moderate periods of dryness, and in winter it is very unlikely any visiting deer will be interested in tasting it. Pests and diseases are rare, and with its naturally attractive conical form you don’t need to trim it either. It’s an easy plant that asks very little from you.
History and Origins of the Baby Blue Sawara Cypress
When you touch the Baby Blue Sawara Cypress you will be surprised. Instead of the bristly, harsh feel that so many conifer evergreens have, the plant is soft and mossy. This is a great advantage around children, or where you might often be brushing past it. The leaves are soft because it belongs to a special group within the original species. The parent of this plant is a Japanese tree, which grows across the mountains of those islands, reaching 100 and even 150 feet tall. Called the Sawara cypress (chamaecyparis pisifera), this tree has three different forms with widely different foliage. One of them has soft, mossy foliage, and is called by botanists ‘squarrosa’.
The Boulevard Cypress is a mossy form with blue foliage, found in a nursery in Rhode Island in 1934. It is one of the most popular of the many forms of the Sawara Cypress, and widely grown around the world. Around 1990 a sharp-eyed worker at Andrews Nurseries, in Sydney, Australia, spotted an unusual branch on a plant of the Boulevard Cypress. It was more intensely blue than the main plant, and when it was removed and rooted it grow to become ‘Baby Blue’. The nursery released the plant to the public and other growers in 1993, and since then it has become a big favorite with lovers of beautiful evergreens. Our plants are grown from stem pieces taken from the exact variety, and carefully grown into healthy young plants. Everyone loves blue in the garden, and if you do too, then order now, before our stock is all gone.