Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Sunday - October 26, 2008

From: Branford, CT
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Planting, Watering, Shrubs
Title: Repotting of lemon cypress for drainage
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi, I bought a lemon cypress tree in a nice tin, It is in Plastic and the bottom has about 1.5" of water with no drainage in the plastic or tin. It will be kept inside. Does the plant need to be in a conventional planter with a hole on the bottom for drainage, or does this plant have water on the bottom that stays? Should I replant it? and is plant soil from the bag OK to use alone or with other mixture? Hope this question makes sense.

ANSWER:

Because we're really lazy, allow us to quote from an earlier answer on lemon cypress:

"The Lemon Cypress is a cultivar called Goldcrest, or Golden Crest, of Cupressus macrocarpa (Monterey cypress). 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.  It is a native of California and tremendously susceptible to a canker that kills the tree, especially if it is planted away from cool, coastal breezes."

From the Plants for a Future website, above, we finally found the hardiness zone for this tree. It is only hardy to Zone 8, so it's doubtful it would have a chance outside in Zone 6a, where Branford is located, so it's good you're planning to keep it inside.

Now, that we've covered that, go quick, quick, and get those lemon cypress roots out of that water. Yes, it needs drainage, yes, it needs to go into another pot, and yes, plant soil from a bag is fine. Some of the websites mentioned above have more specific plant and watering needs. What it does NOT need is for its roots to drown. 

Pictures of lemon cypress in pots.

 

More Shrubs Questions

At what age should a Mountain Laurel bloom?
March 13, 2009 - At what age should a Texas Mountain Laurel bloom? I saw your response about feeding and about how high nitrogen fertilizers can diminish blooms but is there anything that will help, eg. "super bloom...
view the full question and answer

Non-blooming Tecoma stans in Fredericksburg, TX
June 30, 2008 - We have an esperanza plant purchased last year from Walmart and planted outside before winter. It flowered excellently last year. Just before winter we cut it back to about a foot. So far this summer ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen tree for planter in Sherman Oaks CA
November 11, 2010 - We have a large cinder block planter, 6ftx6ftx6ft,in the back of our building and would love to find a good evergreen accent tree (but not pine like). Planter is near a building so preferable it shoul...
view the full question and answer

How to prune a Lantana tree
October 02, 2015 - I have a potted Lantana tree that will come indoors for the winter. It is quite large and should I prune it back for the winter? If yes, how do I prune it?
view the full question and answer

Protecting hibiscus from cold in Eastern Washington State
July 28, 2006 - I recently purchased a Hibiscus Brilliant Red. I planted it in an area of my garden that will give it full sun for most of the day. In the Pacific Northwest where I live (Eastern Washington) it can ge...
view the full question and answer

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