Bonsai Cypress Tree Care

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Looking for a stunning bonsai plant that only gets more attractive with age? A hinoki cypress bonsai might be just what you are looking for!

Bonsai Cypress Tree Care

Bonsai Cypress Tree Care

Hinoki cypress has dark green leaves that form fan-shaped layers and grow on fern-like branches, and its trunk is covered in reddish-brown bark.

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Despite the name, the hinoki cypress is a false cypress rather than a true cypress. This plant belongs to the Chamaecyparis family while true cypresses belong to the Cupressus family. False cypresses still look like cypresses even though they are from a different family. The nomenclature is confusing, but don’t waste too much time worrying about labels.

In its native environment in Japan, the hinoki cypress can grow up to 130 feet tall. However, there are many dwarf varieties and these are commonly used for bonsai.

Unfortunately, hinoki is not the easiest tree to care for as a cypress bonsai. However, don’t let that put you off. The main problem with hinoki cypress is that it grows quickly and requires extra maintenance to keep it trimmed. The plant itself is relatively hardy while in the container, so it’s unlikely to kill it. If the bonsai gets out of hand, it may not look as you imagined.

While hinoki cypress is not the ideal choice for those new to bonsai, the care needed to grow hinoki cypress can be provided. You just have to be willing to put in the extra effort.

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Hinoki cypress is an outdoor bonsai and should not be kept indoors. The plant needs full sun during the growing season and in winter if possible.

Place your hinoki cypress bonsai tree in a sheltered area away from frost and wind during the winter months.

Hinoki cypress is hardy, but your bonsai should be protected when temperatures dip below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Strong winds combined with cold temperatures during the winter months can dry out the plant quickly.

Bonsai Cypress Tree Care

When winter weather turns bad, keep your hinoki cypress in an unheated area. This will protect against extreme temperatures. The plant still needs a lot of light and you should avoid placing it near a heater as this will cause the plant to lose too much moisture.

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While it’s important to keep your cypress bonsai out of extreme cold, providing light is just as important. Without enough light, the branch will start to die.

Hinoki cypress bonsai need draining, lime-free and slightly acidic soil. If you live in a warm climate, you may need to add material to help the soil hold a little more water.

Proper soil is especially important because hinoki cypress trees are picky about soil moisture levels. They require a lot of water, but if the soil is too waterlogged, the roots will rot quickly.

To keep your bonsai in peak condition, water regularly during the growing season from spring to fall. The soil should dry out slightly between waterings, but watering should be frequent. While the hinoki cypress is growing, it needs plenty of water; However, if excess moisture is allowed to sit in the soil for too long, its roots can become waterlogged quickly. This is why it is so important to plant Hinoki cypress bonsai in well-draining soil.

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Expect to water once a day during the summer, depending on the climate. Plan to water less frequently in the winter, but don’t let the root ball dry out completely between waterings.

If your climate is dry, you can mist the leaves to add extra moisture. Make sure you only do this in the morning so that the water droplets left on the needles can’t act like a magnifying glass in the sunlight and damage the plant.

Because bonsai trees are grown in containers, they don’t have access to the same range of nutrients as if they were grown in soil. For this reason, fertilizing is recommended to keep your bonsai in peak condition.

Bonsai Cypress Tree Care

When choosing a fertilizer, choose a balanced fertilizer (a balanced fertilizer is something like 15-15-15 or 10-10-10, where the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium levels are equal). Apply fertilizers regularly throughout the growing season. I recommend a diluted liquid fertilizer. Liquid fertilizers make it easier to control the amount of fertilizer applied and can be easily mixed with water.

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Bonsai tree food is a good option. Using a gentle formula helps reduce the risk of burning the plant’s roots.

Whichever fertilizer you decide to use, start by fertilizing once a week during the growing season that begins in spring. You can always fertilize more often if needed, but over-fertilizing once the damage has been done is another matter.

Like all bonsai, the hinoki cypress needs to be repotted regularly. Young seedlings will need to be repotted more often, sometimes every year. Hinoki cypress roots grow rapidly.

Repotting is best done in the spring before growth has begun. About a third of the roots should be pruned when the plant is young. Depending on the growth rate, it is sometimes necessary to remove half of the roots.

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Once your bonsai matures, you can reduce repotting to once every four to five years. This repotting should also be done in spring.

When you’re repotting into a larger container, make sure the container isn’t too large. Too much soil can hold too much water, and as we’ve already discussed, hinoki cypress roots become unhappy if left in water for too long.

Hinoki cypress is not a low maintenance bonsai, but the amazing results are worth the effort. This particular plant requires almost constant maintenance to keep it in bonsai form. But don’t let that deter you from giving Hinoki Cypress a shot. If you are aware of what you are getting yourself into, you will be willing to work hard to reap the rewards.

Bonsai Cypress Tree Care

Hinoki cypress can be difficult to shape as a bonsai. If you’ve never designed a bonsai tree before, it’s best to buy the hinoki cypress you want to keep rather than shape it yourself.

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The wiring of this system is simple, but it takes some time to install the wiring, which can damage the system. The main issues to keep in mind when styling are that this plant grows fast, dies quickly if it doesn’t get enough light, and doesn’t germinate on old wood.

The problems that make hinoki cypress difficult to style should also be considered when pruning and pruning, or more precisely, pinching, because you should avoid carrying scissors to hinoki cypress. The leaves turn brown where this plant is cut, so you should pinch back the new foliage instead.

Without regular pruning, the tree’s inner branches don’t get enough sunlight and those branches soon die.

Make sure you only prune the new growth because the old growth doesn’t produce new shoots. If you prune back the old growth, those branches won’t grow back.

Dwarf Hinoki Cypress Bonsai Tree(chamecyparis

Although this plant requires consistent pruning throughout the growing season, save the heaviest pruning early in the season (late spring or early summer). Prune lightly as needed during the rest of the season to ensure light reaches all branches.

While these directions may seem daunting, many bonsai enthusiasts are able to care for hinoki cypress and transform these plants into beautiful specimens. They are not low effort bonsai, but you get amazing results.

The most common type of hinoki cypress (also known as Chamaciperis obtusa) used in bonsai is the dwarf variety. Dwarf varieties still grow fast, but hinoki cannot grow as fast as regular cypress varieties.

Bonsai Cypress Tree Care

However, not all dwarf hinoki cypresses are used for bonsai. The varieties usually selected are those that also have compact foliage.

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Of the hundreds of dwarf hinoki cypresses, only a few are used for bonsai. Here are three of the most popular varieties for bonsai.

This hinoki cypress has compact dark green foliage. It appears unusual in appearance as its branches grow at odd distances. Some people think this cultivar is too prone to looking like a barber pole, but I’m personally a fan of Chirimen’s unexpected appearance.

The hinoki cypress cultivar is a great choice because it is slow growing and somewhat less high maintenance than other varieties. The natural conical shape of the plant lends itself well to bonsai. You still can’t be short on care, but Yatsubusa is a good choice if you’re not sure how well your entryway with hinoki cypress bonsai will fare.

Another slow growing hinoki cypress cultivar, this bonsai is in great demand. This plant has short needles and develops long branches. Due to the patterns developed in the bark, this bonsai becomes more and more attractive

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