Contact Us Host an Event 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

Plant to stabilize river bank in Wisconsin
July 10, 2011 - We live along the Chippewa River in Pepin County WI and are looking for a blooming plant to help "hold" our river bank and also look attractive..it must be strong enough to take the spring flood.
view the full question and answer

low-growing evergreen shrubs for thin soil
March 05, 2012 - Thanks to the winter freeze, we'll be starting fresh with the plants in the bed along the front of our house. The bed is about 13' long and faces the west, so it gets afternoon/ evening sun but no ...
view the full question and answer

Suggestions for native perennials in Staten Island, NY
April 03, 2008 - My back yard garden has a good base of evergreen shrubs and perennials all doing well in clayish soil and I am ready now to add color and texture in an area with partial sun. Can you suggest hardy...
view the full question and answer

Native Plants for a Steep Slope in TN
July 15, 2014 - Hello, I live in Knoxville, TN and have a very steep slope in our backyard. There is a lot of water erosion causing our grass to be covered with red dirt. I would love to try to plant something on thi...
view the full question and answer

Privacy Screen for Heavy Clay and Full Sun in Louisiana
April 19, 2013 - What would be a fast-growing plant for privacy in Louisiana? I have heavy clay and full sun.
view the full question and answer

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