I. General Information
- Common name: Italian cypress
- Scientific name/Botanical name: Cupressus sempervirens
- Family name: Cupressaceae
- Origin: Persia or Syria
- Growth Rate: Italian cypress trees grow 12 to 24 inches a year, what horticulturalists define as a medium rate of growth
- Species: C. sempervirens
- Growing Zones: 7-10
- Mature Height: 50 ft
- Mature Width: 50 ft
- Sunlight: Full
- Uses: Windbreak, furniture/coffin making, essential oil production and decorative use.
- Leaf: Tiny scale-like leaves that are often dark green in color.
- Bloom period: Non-flowering
- Color: Dark green
Narrow, columnar conifer with upward sweeping branches. Has fissured bark and scalelike, deep green leaves. Bears globular, prickly, woody, brown cones, to 1¼in (3cm) across.
How to Grow an Italian Cypress
If you want to grow an Italian cypress, first determine if your climate will allow these trees to thrive. Italian cypress grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10. Fall is a good time to plant Italian cypress trees. To start growing Italian cypress, dig holes that are three and five times the width of the plant containers or root balls. The holes, however, shouldn’t be deeper than the root ball depth. These wide holes allow Italian cypress trees to expand their roots as they grow. If you try to start growing them in smaller holes, it may cause the roots to circle around the holes, girdling the root balls.
Care for Italian Cypress
Once you have the trees properly sited and planted, it’s time to think about proper care for Italian cypress. The first part of care involves irrigation. You’ll need to water the plants well just after planting. Then make irrigation a part of your regular care routine. These trees are generally healthy but you should keep an eye out for spider mites. If you ignore the presence of these tiny bugs, your elegant trees will soon look in disarray. Inspecting and shaking the tree branches while holding a white sheet of paper will help detect these pests. If tiny red bugs fall onto the paper, spray water on full blast over the tree’s foliage to dislodge them.