Content Detail

Siberian-cypress is a low spreading, soft-textured evergreen shrub or ground cover. The fan-like, feathery branchlets appear on drooping branches. In late fall the medium green leaves turn a burgundy to bronzy color adding interest to the winter landscape. Can be used as a single specimen, planted en masse, or to help stabilize a slope.

  • Family (English) Cypress
  • Family (botanic) Cupressaceae
  • Tree or plant type Ground cover, Shrub
  • Foliage Evergreen (foliage year-round)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Occasional drought
  • Season of interest early winter, midwinter, late winter, early spring, mid spring, late spring, early summer, midsummer, late summer, early fall, mid fall, late fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Inconspicuous
  • Shape or form Creeping, Weeping
  • Growth rate Slow

Size & form: 

Siberian-cypress is a low spreading evergreen shrub reaching 8 to 12 inches high and 10 to 12 feet wide, with long stems that radiate from the plant’s crown. It can be used as a trailing ground cover. Trailing groundcovers have trailing stems that spread out from a central root system. These stems spread out horizontally over the ground, but do not root to the ground.

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Native to a small, remote, mountainous region of southeastern Siberia.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture: 

Alternate, flattened, feathery, fan-like branchlets are similar to those of the arborvitae. Medium to bright green summer foliage turns a bronzy purple in the winter.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Monoecious, male and female flowers are on the same plant. Neither are ornamentally important.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions: 

Fruits are tiny, berry-like 1/4-inch cones with woody-like scales. Cones are seldom produced.

Plant care:

Full sun to part shade. Prefers light afternoon shade in hot climates. Well drained soil is a must, but it is tolerant of various soil pH. Although it tolerates drier soils once established, an organic mulch of wood chips is recommended to keep the root zone cool and moist. Can be planted on gentle (not steep) slopes, or trailing over ledges. Requires cool summer climate and well-drained soils for successful plantings.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

No serious insect or disease problems. Deer may eat the foliage in winter if plants are not covered by snow. This shrub does not like hot summers. It is best in a cool environment. Root rots can be a problem in poorly drained soil.


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