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An evergreen groundcover that’s a picture of grace! Siberian Cypress fills in blank spaces with refined, feathery foliage that’s soft to the touch. Lacy leaves radiate outward to form low swaths of lush greenery. Tolerant of part shade, this uncommon conifer is particularly useful in places that aren’t sunny enough for Junipers. In the cool climates it prefers, it is also tolerant of moderate drought, so it isn’t as delicate as it looks! Siberian Cypress spreads slowly but steadily to make a wide patch—give it room. Put it to work in your garden as a weed-suppressing soil stabilizer or an unusual underplanting.
- Hardiness Zone: 3-7
- Spacing: 8-10 ft
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Super-hardy! As you can guess from the name, Siberian Cypress is a cold weather–lover. It is indeed native to Siberia and can survive temperatures down to -50ºF. (It likes fire, too—fire is how stands are regenerated in the wild!) Siberian Cypress was first spotted in 1921 near Vladivostok, way up in the mountains above the tree line. However, the Soviets didn’t share the plant with the rest of the world until some 50 years later. When American gardeners finally got their hands on it, it caused quite a stir.
Siberian Cypress provides unique winter interest. When the weather turns cold, the bright green foliage changes, taking on intriguing mocha tones. In spring, the evergreen leaves regain their vivid green color.
How to Grow
The name says a lot—Siberian Cypress likes cool summers and is at home in areas with frigid winters. It performs best in New England, the Upper Midwest, alpine regions, and the Pacific Northwest, and it will sulk and suffer in the Deep South. Excellent drainage is important; heavy clay soils spell trouble. Siberian Cypress enjoys a cool but bright site (like in its high-altitude homelands), although it can handle part—but not deep—shade. Regular moisture promotes the fastest growth, although some dryness is tolerated, especially in light shade. Given what it needs to thrive, this rugged Accent is normally pest- and disease-free. Deer tend to ignore it, too.
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