Begineers Ultimate Guides Lemon Cypress Tree Care and Grow

Are you curious about your lemon cypress tree care. In this post, we are providing complete information how to grow and care for a lemon cypress tree. Although it’s called the Lemon Cypress Tree, it doesn’t have anything to do with lemons or cypress trees! The lemon part refers to the strong lemon scent the tree gives off, while the cypress refers to the conical shape of its leaves. If you want to grow this fragrant tree yourself, these are some of the most important steps in cultivating and caring for it.

What plant is the lemon cypress tree?

Monterey cypress, Bald Cypress Tree, Goldcrest cypress, lemon cedar, lemon pine, and lemon pine are all names for the same species of lemons.

It’s a southern California tree with the name evergreen conifer, and it comes from Monterey Bay, which is where the name comes from.

It was introduced to the Canary Islands as an ornamental feature, and it thrives in wooded regions and pine forests, so it is common in coastal regions.

The fact that this subspecies of cypress has a strong lemon scent, which is apparent when the leaves are touched, is the most noticeable feature of it.

It is also characteristic for its pyramidal shape and scaled leaves 1-2 mm long, yellowish-green. Its fruit is compared to pineapples, and its leaves are perennial. It grows at a rate of 1.5 meters each year.

This species adapts well to a variety of climates, making it ideal for both indoor and outdoor cultivation.

Of course, they will prosper better in climates with average temperatures, in which it is not excessively hot or excessively cold.

It is widely used for ornamental purposes, but in a row, they also serve as a concealment system against prying eyes and as protection against the wind.

Although the lemon cypress tree is already a subspecies of the cypress, the truth is that you can find it in its miniature or dwarf versions.

They do not reach a high temperature and their care is the same as normal. It can also be found as bonsai.

Characteristics of lemon cypress Tree

One of the characteristics by which you will differentiate the lemon cypress, whose scientific name is Cupressus macrocarpa, from other species of cypress is the characteristic citrus aroma that its leaves give off, especially to the touch.

Likewise, another of its differentiating elements is its pyramidal shape and yellowish-green leaves, between 1 and 2 mm in size. It is a perennial tree that offers fruits similar to pineapple, but with a more rounded shape. It grows about 1.5 m high –if it is planted in the garden– and can reach 30 meters. 

The lemon cypress is also known as Monterey cypress, because it is native to Monterey Bay, southern California, in the United States.

It is also called Goldcrest cypress, lemon cedar, or lemon pine. It is also very common to see it in coastal areas of the Canary Islands, where it was introduced as ornamental. 

Variety of Monterey Cypress Tree or Lemon Cypress Tree

In this section we will present information about several species of pine, including characteristic details that make them distinguishable from each other and important data for their care:

Dwarf Pine

It is a kind of Pinaceae, which can be planted in porrones, its height is 1.5m, It requires sunlight all day, it can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, it should be watered in the summer, and the branches are chopped large.

Pine Sylvestris

It is very dense, which is why they use it a lot like a Christmas tree, care is necessary now so that it does not develop in a disorderly way, it is necessary for it to carry the sun’s rays, retain moisture, put a little mulch on it, water it in the summer-time, fertilize it with granulated fertilizers, cut the dry branches.

Stone pine

This one has a straight and very strong trunk, its crest is different from the other pines because it has a flat crown. It must be exposed to the sun in order to cure it.

Because they are found in parks and gardens, it requires little care and tolerates high temperatures while resisting cold, water while leaving good drainage. Lemon Pine is a bright green color.

It is very decorative, it has a conical shape and a yellow branch and with an excellent aroma of lemon, it has to be exposed to sunlight, it supports any type of climate and it has good resistance to strong winds, it does not need a special fertilizer that adapts to any soil, cuttings the branches make the tree grow faster.

Norfolk pine

It does not grow much, so it can be easily kept indoors. This tree is watered monthly and the dry branches are carefully removed with gardening shears. It is usually kept near the windows at a cool temperature and maintained in humid soil.

These trees develop in an ecosystem that is different from the others, hence they grow differently.

Read More : 10 Best Bonsai Pine Trees

How to Grow Lemon Cypress Tree

For grow of the Lemon Cypress Tree, the fulfillment of the following conditions must be taken into account:

Light requirement:

The lemon tree needs a perfect location that gets sufficient light. It’ll do well in a location with a minimum of 5-6 hours of sunlight each day. So, if you’ve placed it in a pot or container inside your house, then keep it near a large south window facing that gets plenty of direct sunlight.

As a result, the leaves will not lose their color if you get five hours of sunlight through the window.

In addition, I recommend that you rotate the pot so that the plant receives even light from all sides and the trunk grows straight.

Temperature: It’s worth noting that if this evergreen grows in areas with rough temperatures, there may be complications. If the plant is grown indoors, less care is required. In chilly, bright settings, this plant thrives.

The ideal temperature to grow a cypress tree outdoors is around 20 degrees C.

When placed indoors, this pine prefers cooler temperatures. Preferably 15-18 C

Soil preference:

Soil pH from acidic to alkaline is tolerated by this tree. The soil can be sandy, loamy, or calcareous. It can even grow on clay. It will not survive in poorly drained soil, despite the fact that it may grow in all forms.

Prefers moist, well-drained soils. To prevent the roots from being affected by root rot due to the accumulation of water, I recommend you plant in a mound and if your soil is very clayey, add enough organic material to improve its structure.

Read More : How To Make You Own Bonsai Soil Mix for Beginners Bonsai Lovers


Although the soil should be moist, it should not be saturated with water. You’ll have to water the plant at least twice a week during the first growing season. To find out whether the soil is dry, wet, or moist underground, dig a hole with a stick or skewer.

It’s a good idea to check that the soil doesn’t get dry between watering. If the soil has dried out, water the tree. During the winter, irrigation frequency might be lowered.

Read More: How often Do You Water a bonsai tree


This plant requires a fertilizer before new shoots appear in the spring. Once a month, fertilize with a slow-release organic fertilizer that contains an equal amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Read More:  The Ultimate Guide To Best Bonsai Tree Fertilizers


In case this plant is used as a fence, you should prune it routinely. It must be cut to maintain the required height. Use sharp pruning shears to push out any branches that are forming off the base or making the tree difficult to access.

Its fruits are similar to pineapples, and when they are green they are reddish in color, when they grow they obtain a gray color, and the trunk is brown.

It measures approximately half a meter in outline, it is regularly corrugated during its youth, and it grows at least an annual approximate 1 .5 meters high.

After 40 years it reaches a size of 30 meters, there are even trees that measure 50 meters, and there are also dwarfs, this is due to the ecosystem where they are planted.

Read More: The Ultimate Guides How to Trim a Japanese Maple

Lemon Cypress Tree Care

Although the lemon cypress is a very easy plant to care for, when it is outdoors it requires even less care, as it adapts very well to the weather.

Lemon Cypress Tree Location

The ideal temperature range is 50 to 80°F (10 to 27°C), even though it adapts well to most climates. It is suggested to protect the cypress or keep it in a pot if temperatures drop more and frost occurs.

Potted Lemon Cypress Tree Care

Mulch, perlite, and clay should be used in equal proportions to care for potted Lemon Cypress trees. Unless the weather meets the requirements stated above, we may keep the lemon cypress outside in a pot.

How should the lemon cypress substrate and fertilizer be? 

As we mentioned, the lemon cypress is a plant that does not support excess humidity, so it is essential to provide it with a substrate with good drainage

For this, the most appropriate thing is that it is made up of a mixture of soil and sand that prevents water from stagnating around the roots. To enhance drainage, you may also add a little gravel.

As for the fertilizer, the lemon cypress prefers a fertilizer for acidophilic plants approximately every three months and is always applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions

The Light

If you want to enjoy the green color with yellow tones of its leaves, it is preferable to place the lemon cypress in a sunny area.

Although it is better if it is not exposed to the sun during the central hours of the day: excess heat can cause the lemon cypress to dry out.

It will also thrive in shady areas, but it is best that it receives at least 5 hours of light a day.

Read More: Do Bonsai Trees Need Sunlight? When and How Much


The idea is to keep it between 10 and 27 degrees Celsius, despite its adaptability to any climate. It is recommended to safeguard the cypress or shelter it if it is in a pot when temperatures drop more or there is frost.

Irrigation: a key factor in the care of the cypress bonsai

Like most plants, the lemon cypress suffers when it is subjected to excess water, which could cause the appearance of fungi. Sometimes due to overwatering, your bonsai may die. If it is happen you should learn how to revive your bonsai tree.

Now, is a plant that likes moisture, so frequent watering is ideal, but with little water, so that the substrate always has some moisture, but the plant does not suffer from waterlogging. With your finger inserted into the soil, you can guess how much moisture there is.

If you have your lemon cypress in a pot, a very effective way to water it is by pouring water into the saucer, so that the plant absorbs moisture when it needs it. 

In this manner, the plant’s foliage will not be excessively wet, which may harm it.

In its adult state, if the climate in your area is temperate and you have it in the garden, it will not need more irrigation than that provided by rainwater. 

How to Prune Lemon Cypress Tree?

Although it is not a plant that requires pruning, when it is kept as an ornamental element in the garden, it is common to subject the lemon cypress bonsai to a training pruning to give it the desired shape.

It is common to maintain its conical shape, but they are also usually pruned in a ball or spiral shape, with very attractive results that will enhance the elegance of any garden. 

Likewise, the lemon cypress, because it is a perennial and very leafy plant, is usually used as a hedge, with several specimens together that, over time, form a natural barrier with a pleasant aroma and color. 

If you have your lemon cypress in a pot, you will need to prune it from time to time to maintain its shape and prevent it from overgrowing. Autumn is the ideal season to do it.

One piece of advice: whenever you prune a plant, disinfect your tools beforehand. You can do it with a fungicide – for which the use of latex gloves is also recommended – or bleach. 

Read More: How to Repot a Bonsai for Beginners

When to Prune Lemon Cypress Tree

Lemon Cypress trees can grow up to 30 feet tall in full maturity. While it’s not usually required, pruning should be done annually if your Lemon Cypress tree is planted in soil.

Prune no later than early spring after new growth has formed, but before the growing season starts. If pruning is done during other times of the year, Lemon Cypress bonsai will still grow well, just not as vigorously as they do at their peak season of growth.

How to transplant lemon cypress

When you get hold of a lemon cypress tree – and this goes for any plant you buy at a nursery or garden store – leave it in the pot it came in for at least a month until it acclimatizes to its new situation

Plants suffer stress when their habitat is altered. 

To transplant your lemon cypress to another container, choose a clay bonsai pot, as they are more resistant and will protect the roots from high temperatures. 

Then add a layer of one or two fingers thick gravel. Since the lemon cypress needs soil with good drainage, you can make a mixture of soil with gardening sand, universal substrate, and earthworm humus, which will provide the plant with nutrients and beneficial microorganisms for its growth. 

Take the root ball out of the pot being careful not to damage the roots – you can give it small taps on the sides and bottom to loosen it. 

Read More: The Ultimate Guides on How to Trim a Japanese Maple 

Diseases and Pests Lemon Cypress Tree Care

Although the lemon cypress is a very resistant plant, it can be affected by certain pests and fungi:

  • Aphids hedge: to solve the attack of this plague, it is advisable to spray with insecticides, especially in spring. If the lemon cypress is attacked by this pest, it may not recover afterward. 

Phytophthora: this fungus appears when the lemon cypress has excess water. It attacks the root and covers the stem with thick algae, so it is very important to water it sparingly.

Seiridium: this fungus affects the cypress through pruning cuts (it usually happens if the pruning tools are not properly disinfected), small cracks, or insect bites.

If the bark of your cypress begins to turn a reddish-brown color, cracks, and releases resin, you can be sure that this fungus has infected it. Prune the affected parts and apply a fungicide if the plant is affected.

Most common lemon cypress tree problems

When a plant is sick, it will give you signs that something is wrong. Check the leaves, stem, and roots to find out where the problem is coming from: 

– My lemon cypress leaves are falling off: it is most likely due to a lack of sunlight. Find a location that receives at least 5 hours of light per day. 

– Brown tips of the leaves: it is usually indicative of an excess of water, a shortage of it, or of some nutrient. Check the condition of the substrate and remove the motifs until it is resolved. 

– The base of the plant is brown: this is synonymous with fungi due to excessive irrigation. The fungus that most attacks lemon cypress is Phytophthora.

Apply a conifer-specific fungicide according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You can also apply it preventively.  

How to Grow and Care for a Lemon Cypress Tree

Although it’s called the Lemon Cypress Tree, it doesn’t have anything to do with lemons or cypress trees! The lemon part refers to the citrusy smell the tree gives off, while the cypress refers to the conical shape of its leaves.

If you want to grow this fragrant tree yourself, these are some of the most important steps in cultivating and caring for it.

Understanding the signs of poor health

Lemon cypress trees are susceptible to many of the same ailments that afflict other deciduous trees, such as aphids, spider mites, scale insects, fungal diseases like leaf spot or crown rot, and damage from rabbits or deer.

There are some indicators of poor health which might be specific to lemon cypress: yellowing leaves indicate nitrogen deficiency or age; wrinkled leaves indicate too much water; brown leaves that fall off during dry spells mean your tree is being over-watered.

 Lemon cypress tree care is not very difficult, but it does require regular maintenance. If you observe yellowing leaves or wrinkled leaves on your tree, consider adjusting your watering schedule.

Lemon cypress trees need at least an inch of water per week; misting with a spray bottle can help increase humidity, which many lemon cypress care tips recommend as a way to reduce wrinkling in dry weather.

Lemon Cypress tree Care in winter season

Properly storing your Lemon Cypress bonsai tree can help it flourish during warmer months. To properly store your tree, first be sure that all of its leaves have dropped from its branches.

Once it has dropped all of its leaves, you will want to cut off any dead roots and then place them into a clay pot filled with soil mixed with peat moss or leaf litter.

Then you will want to put it in a cooler area with very little light exposure so that it does not lose as much moisture.

 During cooler months, keep your Lemon Cypress in these conditions until it begins to show signs of new growth. At that point, you will want to transplant it into an area with full sun exposure and then water it once per week.

How to propagate Lemon Cypress tree

Lemon cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) is a slow-growing evergreen tree that has cone-shaped leaves, creating scale-like foliage. Lemon cypress produces small, white flowers in late winter or early spring that are attractive to bees and other pollinators. Because it does not grow well in cold temperatures, lemon cypress is best grown in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 10.

 How do you propagate lemon cypress? It is easily grown from either seeds or seedlings. The easiest way to create new lemon cypress trees is by using stem cuttings.

In mid-spring, use sharp, sterile pruning shears to take 6-inch long cuttings with three or four nodes on them. These will root readily in water.

Leave them outside in indirect sunlight until they form roots that are at least 1⁄4 inch long before planting them in a growing medium indoors.

Read More : How To Propagate a Jade Plant?

When to propagate Lemon Cypress Tree?

Lemon cypress can also be propagated from seed. Late winter or early spring is optimum for sowing lemon cypress seeds. Place them about one-quarter of an inch deep into moist, well-drained potting soil and keep them warm (but not hot) until germination occurs.

Once germinated, it takes about two years for lemon cypress trees to reach 3 feet tall and wide; after that growth slows considerably as it matures into an adult tree.

Lemon Cypress Toxic for Cats or Dogs

Lemon cypress trees (Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Nana’) are prized in Japan, where they are often used as bonsai trees. The plant grows at a steady pace, reaching a height of 100 feet. It can also survive with little water and is tolerant of a variety of soil types.

However, like all bonsai trees, lemon cypress bonsais should be kept indoors during cold weather and provided with plenty of bright light year-round.

 Lemon cypress is toxic to pets, especially cats. The National Animal Poison Control Center says that it can cause gastrointestinal problems, seizures, and death in animals who ingest it.

Since lemon cypress bonsais can be used as décor items or Christmas trees, keep them out of reach of pets at all times.

As with any houseplant, check your lemon cypress tree regularly for bugs or pests.

Read More : 20 Non Toxic Indoor Plants For Cats


The Lemon Cypress tree is a beautiful, sturdy addition to any landscape.  Lemon cypress tree Care is fairly easy, but they do need some TLC when they’re first planted. Make sure you water your tree sparingly in its first year so that it doesn’t get root rot from too much moisture. This slow growth period will help your tree become stronger, more resilient, and ultimately happier. With proper care, you can expect lemon cypress trees to live for hundreds of years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Seraphinite AcceleratorOptimized by Seraphinite Accelerator
Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.