Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Tuesday - September 29, 2009

From: Eagan, MN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Container Gardens, Shrubs
Title: Wintering a Lemon Cypress tree in Eagan MN
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I Have a 2 1/2' Lemon Cypress Tree. I'm wondering if I can leave it outdoors for the winter, if not, how would I winter over indoors?

ANSWER:

We just had a similar question from Michigan, so we're just going to quote ourselves, with changes as appropriate:

Lemon cypress is a cultivar of  Cupressus macrocarpa (Monterey cypress) called 'Goldcrest.' According to this USDA Plant Profile, the parent plant is endemic to California, growing nowhere else naturally but the Monterey Peninsula of California. The Growing Conditions of this parent plant are:

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Description: Well-drained soil.
Conditions Comments: Tremendously susceptible to a canker that kills the tree, especially if it is planted away from cool, coastal breezes. Tolerant of salt spray. Older trees are drought-tolerant.

In searching further for information on the cultivar, we learned that it is hardy from USDA Hardiness Zones 7 to 9, or can be grown indoors in a cool, sunny window. However, since it grows in an upright, conical shape with good yellow foliage and can get to be 30 ft. tall, you would need a pretty big house for that. Dakota County, Minnesota is in Zone 4b, with an average annual minimum temperature of -30 to -25 deg. F. Unless you have a greenhouse for wintering this plant over, or want to preserve it in a sunny indoor space, putting it out in the summer, we don't see how you can leave it outside in the winter.

From another previous answer, here is information on caring for the Lemon Cypress indoors:

"You can read more about the tree from Plants for a Future, Floridata.com and from the Florida Cooperative Extension Service. Here are some intructions for outdoor care from ShootGardening and you can find care instructions for indoor Cupressus macrocarpa at indoor-plant-care.com and from the TopiaryShop

Pictures of lemon cypress from Google.

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Smarty Plants on mockoranges
May 25, 2005 - I live in Colorado where it is common to have 1 or 2 late frosts. I planted 4 littleleaf mockoranges (Philadelphus Microphyllus) 2 years ago and they are pretty much in full sun most of the day. I h...
view the full question and answer

Sunny and shady lawns from Austin
April 28, 2012 - My front yard has a large bed surrounded by a mix of St. Augustine and Bermuda grass. Last summers heat killed off about 90% of the St. Augustine, which we would like to replace anyway to conserve re...
view the full question and answer

Living fence of native plants for Ojai, CA
September 20, 2008 - I would like to build a "green fence" about 10-15 feet tall. I live in Ojai, CA where we have VERY hot summers and it goes below freezing every winter. The soil does not seem to drain well..it is e...
view the full question and answer

Recommendations for native plants for Dallas Co., TX
May 12, 2007 - Looking for a Recommendation: Can you suggest a plant that meets the following requirements? ENVIRONMENT -- - I live in Garland, in Dallas County, TX. - The soil is primarily clay. - Full sun...
view the full question and answer

Picture in newspaper from Austin
June 02, 2012 - Your gardening story for the Jan 21,2012 in the Austin American Statesman pictured a pale green bush with purple flowers, however the plant was not identified. Can you tell me what it is? Thanks
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.