It often seems that the world of evergreen needle trees is divided into two groups – big trees like spruce and pine, and tiny dwarfs and spreading plants a couple of feet tall and often very slow growing. Sometimes we just want something in between – a medium-sized attractive evergreen for foundation planting and filling our beds with interesting plants. Luckily the Graceful Dwarf Hinoki Cypress fills this slot perfectly. This dwarf form of a Japanese native tree will grow at least 6 inches a year to reach 3 feet tall pretty quickly; eventually top 6 feet and finally mature around 10 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet wide. Throughout that time you will have a charming evergreen with rich-green foliage arranged in shell-like clusters, on a slender upright plant with foliage right to the ground.
This easily grown shrub is the perfect way to bring some all-year-round structure to your planting, sitting nicely either side of a doorway or entrance, standing between two windows around your house, or providing solid form among your deciduous and flowering shrubs, with their comings and goings and seasonal changes. It even makes a great plant for a planter box or a large pot, where its gives some height and can be planted around with annual flowers. This useful and attractive plant deserves a place in every garden – including yours.
Growing Graceful Dwarf Hinoki Cypress Shrubs
Plant your Graceful Dwarf Hinoki Cypress in a sunny or partially-shaded area. It will grow well in partial shade, but it will be more open in from in those locations. It will grow well in most kinds of soil that are well-drained, but it prefers some moisture, especially when young. Older plants will survive average summer dryness with ease. It is happy in winter temperatures down to minus 30 degrees, so it will grow well in all but the very coldest and hottest parts of the country. In the coldest areas plant it with some shelter from cold winds. It has no significant pests and diseases, so little care is needed.
If you want denser, more compact growth, or to control the size, you can clip your bush in spring just before new growth is seen, and again in early summer. The shell-like sprays of foliage will soon re-form on your now more compact bush. Do not cut back into branches that have no foliage on them, as they will not re-sprout. A little fertilizer for evergreen trees given in spring will keep the growth strong and the foliage a healthy, rich green. Water weekly in summer during the early years, but established plants will easily tolerate normal summer dry periods.
History and Origins of Graceful Dwarf Hinoki Cypress Shrubs
The Hinoki Cypress, Chamaecyparis obtusa, grows naturally in Japan, where it is a large evergreen found in forests. There it can grow to over 100 feet tall and it is used as high-quality lumber in the construction of temples and palaces. Overall it has some resemblance to the white cedar found throughout the eastern USA, which is widely seen planted as hedges and specimens. The name ‘Hinoki’ means ‘fire’, because the foliage in winter turns an attractive reddish color. Because this tree is not a true cypress tree in the eyes of botanists, it is sometimes also called ‘false cypress’.
Japanese gardeners have spent centuries collecting special forms of this tree, but the ‘Nana Gracilis’ from is one of the oldest, more enduring and most useful of them all. It was brought to England from Japan in 1867 to W. H. Rogers & Son Nurseries, in Chandlers Ford, an area west of London, England. Its popularity resulted in it being brought to American probably later that century, where it proved equally popular and reliable, and it is still widely grown today. Our plants are grown by experts from pieces taken from the best, correctly named specimens. There are many forms of Hinoki Cypress available, but experts agree this is the best, so avoid cheaper substitutes.
This classic evergreen deserves a place in every garden, and you will have several used for this versatile plant around your own garden. It is always charming to see and attractive at all seasons. We have been able to obtain some first-class plants of this particular variety, but such a popular plant will soon be gone again, so order now to bring permanence and quality to your garden – you don’t want to miss out.