One of the secrets of a beautiful garden is structure. It is not enough to have flowers, and while deciduous shrubs and trees provide form during the summer, they are mere skeletons in the winter months. Evergreens, however, bring permanence and stability to your garden design, and do that job 365 days a year. They are the perfect background against which the changes of the seasons take place, and they give your garden stability and tranquility in equal measure.
One important shape for that structure is rounded or mounded forms. These act as visual anchors, holding down the landscape, and calming the motion of more upright forms. When that shape is combined with elegance, beautiful soft foliage in changing shades of green, and low maintenance, then we have a plant worth growing in every garden.
Dwarf Japanese Cedar is exactly such a plant, and a very worthwhile addition to your garden, as part of foundation planting, to give structure to your shrubs beds, or as a specimen among rocks or on a lawn. Over time it will form a broad mound of green stems with a slightly weeping form, creating softness and tranquility. If left unclipped – which we recommend – the surface will be wave-like and irregular, and so more graceful and individual than if you clip it into a regular form. The foliage will grow down to the ground indefinitely, without developing a trunk.
The foliage of the Dwarf Japanese Cedar is soft to the touch. Each stem is covered in small, narrow leaves that point towards the end of the stem. The stems are softly curving, so the plant has a rounded outline, but it is not really weeping in an ordinary way. In spring the new growth is bright green, maturing for summer into a darker shade. In winter the cold weather turns the outer foliage a rusty-red, which is an attractive characteristic of all forms of this plant. The plant begins life as a small rounded form, and grows at a moderate pace into a larger, sometimes slightly conical, mound.
After 10 years it may be as much as 5 feet tall, and the same across, depending on the soil and location. Like all dwarf evergreens it continues to grow while it is alive, so it may in time become several feet taller and wider. When choosing a planting spot, don’t make the mistake of thinking it will always be small – allow enough room for it to expand and grow without needing to clip it. Mature specimens are very beautiful (and also very valuable), so leave it to develop naturally.
Dwarf Japanese Cedar is one of the hardier varieties of its species, and will grow well all through zone 6, unaffected by temperatures down to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. It will even grow in slightly colder areas, if you plant it in a sheltered spot. It grows best in moist, but well-drained soil, so regular watering in drier areas is best. Enrich the planting area with organic material, and mulch around its roots every year or two, to keep it healthy. If you have regular watering, it will grow well in full sun, even in hot regions. If your garden is drier, plant it so that it has some afternoon shade, to avoid the risk of leaf-scorch during the dry summer months. If your soil is sandy, some evergreen fertilizer in spring will help it grow better, and be careful to water regularly, especially in the first one or two seasons after planting. Apart from this simple requirement, the Dwarf Japanese Cedar has no significant pests or diseases and needs no specialized care or attention to become a wonderful addition to your garden.
Dwarf Japanese Cedar is a selected form of the Japanese cedar, Cryptomeria japonica. This tree, known as sugi in Japan, grows across the islands, forming forests, as well as growing in several parts of China. It is the National Tree of Japan, and greatly loved by the people there. the wild tree can reach 100 feet tall and is rarely seen outside Japan. The soft, aromatic wood is used for temples and wooden objects such as chests. Although an upright tree, the young branches have the same slightly weeping form that gives the dwarf variety so much charm. In our gardens we grow several selected forms, rather than the wild tree. This variety is called Mitama-sugi in Japan, and it was brought back from there in 1923. We call it ‘Globosa Nana’. Since then it has been introduced across North America and Europe and is a top favorite of gardeners everywhere.
Our trees are produced from stem pieces taken from correctly identified plants. They are guaranteed to develop true to the beautiful form of this dwarf plant. Avoid cheaper seedlings or un-named trees, which will almost certainly become large forest trees, and are not at all what you want for graceful structure in your garden. This very desirable plant is always in high demand, so our stock will not be with us long. Order now and take this opportunity to enjoy the Dwarf Japanese Cedar for years to come.