The lemon cypress, or Monterey cypress, is an evergreen conifer with a vigorous growth rate. Reaching heights up to 100 feet in the natural environment, the lemon cypress develops a natural cone-like shape. Its feathery leaves, pliable yet sturdy trunk, and light lemon scent make the lemon cypress a common selection for bonsai.
The lemon cypress bonsai thrives in moderately cool climates and requires full, direct sunlight. This sun-loving cypress prefers acidic, sandy loams, but it can tolerate well-drained, slightly alkaline soils.
The trunk and branches of the lemon cypress develop with natural distortions. As a result, the lemon cypress bonsai requires only little, if any, wiring to develop shape and character. Still, the wood of this cypress is quite versatile and responds well to the wiring process.
Although the lemon cypress bonsai is somewhat drought-tolerant, it should be irrigated deeply and regularly. The bonsai should be irrigated so that the water reaches the cypress' deepest roots. It should also be allowed to dry slightly between irrigations to prevent overwatering and rot.