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How do I care for a small topiary tree in a container?

Posted by DandyLioness CA 9, SZ14 (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 25, 12 at 2:53

I don't know much about this, and before I just go off and kill a plant I figured I would ask for advice here first. I really love these little Lemon Cypress ball topiaries but I'm having a hard time finding information on how to care for them.

-Can these be grown indoors near a well-lit window?
-If not, can they still be in containers outside? What conditions do they require? Would my zone be good for growing these?
-Can these be kept small (~2 ft to top of ball)? How small is the minimum?
-How large of a container do these require?

If it's completely implausible to grow one of these, I'd love to hear recommendations on any similar looking plants that I can try. :)


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RE: How do I care for a small topiary tree in a container?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 25, 12 at 4:42

I grow several examples of a close relative of your plant in containers (Cupressus pygmaea - dwarf Mendocino cypress) and I really like them. I'm sorry to say that I don't think you'll have much luck treating them as a houseplant. The three main reasons are, they like a cold winter's rest; they need full sun, and indoor light is probably not going to satisfy them; and they need air movement to help keep them pest free. I would look at air conditioning and central heating as a disadvantage as well - if those considerations are in play.

Your zone is ideal for growing them outdoors, but I'd give them some protection in winter if the temperature is expected to drop below 25-28*.

The plant can be kept VERY small with regular attention to grooming, and if you learn how to prune the roots when you repot (as opposed to potting up) you can keep them in very small containers for a very long while.

A similar looking plant would be rosemary. You could also try a Shimpaku juniper (Juniperus chinensis/sargentii 'Shimpaku'), which would need no winter protection.


If you're interested in maintaining a woody plant in a container for the long term, see the link below for more help.

Here is a link that might be useful: More about woody material in containers ....

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