A group of elegant evergreen conifers related to the redwood (Sequoia). Although the main species grows far too tall for most gardens, several smaller, slow growing variants are available.
Botanical Name: Cryptomeria
Common Names: Japanese Cedar
Foliage: Evergreen. Glossy green, short needle-like leaves that turn red reddish bronze in autumn. Attractive red-brown bark.
Flowers/Cones: Green female flowers appear at the tips of new shoots in spring. Followed by small brown spherical cones on mature trees.
Soil: Moist but well-drained soil (chalk, clay, sand or loam). Acid, alkaline or neutral pH.
Conditions: Full sun or partial shade. Grow in any aspect, in a sheltered location.
Habit: Tall, cone shaped, columnar or bushy, depending on variety.
Type: Tall tree or small shrub.
Origin: China and Japan
Hardiness: Hardy in the UK.
Container grown specimens can be planted whenever soil conditions allow. Grows well in any reasonable soil and in most situations, but does best in a moist but well-drained, slightly acid, deep loam, in full sun. Tolerates chalky soils.
Makes a good specimen tree or shrub. Ideal for a large woodland garden.
Protect from cold when young and shelter from strong winds.
Not usually necessary. Trim hedges in August.
Can be affected by phytophthora root rot and honey fungus.
Take cuttings in spring or autumn and root in propagator or cold frame. The species can be raised from seed.
Cryptomeria japonica is the main species, producing a broad, tall, pyramidal shaped tree with red-brown, shredding bark and dark-green leaves. Height to 100ft (30m) or more. Cultivars include: