False Hiba Cedar
Subtle sophistication! This uncommon conifer has a wonderful texture. The Mini Hiba Cedar is a low, spreading mound made up of olive-green foliage that looks like tiny elk horns. It is sometimes called the Elk Horn Cedar. Growing at a restrained pace, it never gets out of control, but makes a nice, rounded patch of greenery. Mini Hiba Cedar is a part of our Added Definitions program and will give you color and structure all year long. Use it in your foundation beds, entryway garden, patio plantings, or anywhere a low, tidy evergreen is needed.
Although the Mini Hiba Cedar is seldom seen in ordinary gardens, this choice plant has been grown by avid gardeners for a very long time. Native to Japan, it was first brought to the West by John Gould Veitch in 1861. J.G. Veitch belonged to a family of plant explorers from the U.K.; his family’s nursery introduced almost 1,300 previously undocumented plants to the West. J.G. Veitch sailed to Japan, the Philippines, Australia, and Fiji collecting plants—an endeavor that was fraught with danger. In the end, it was tuberculosis that took his life when he was only 31.
Got shade? Mini Hiba Cedar can handle some shade, and there aren’t a lot of conifers you can say that about. In fact, in hot climates, Mini Hiba Cedar prefers to be in the shade and out of the sun’s direct rays, at least during the hottest part of the day.
How to Grow
A lightly shaded position is ideal for Mini Hiba Cedar, with more shade necessary in hot climates. Deep shade will promote scraggly growth, however. Well-drained soil is essential; being a forest dweller in its native Japan, this plant also appreciates soil with a high organic matter content. Water regularly and mulch with shredded bark, wood chips, or pine straw to moderate temperatures in the root zone and conserve moisture. Little pruning is needed, and overzealous pruning can ruin the pleasing natural shape of this plant. With proper irrigation and care, pests and diseases are normally a non-issue.
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