Along California's wind-swept north coast thrives a gnarly, generally flat-topped giant, the Monterey cypress. Although this stunning tree only grows in the western United States, cultivars exist that can be grown elsewhere. One of the most common of these varieties is the lemon cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa "Goldcrest"), a tree that takes its name from its foliage: yellow to very light green in colour and lemon-scented. As a juvenile, lemon cypress grows in a narrow form. In maturity, however, it spreads out and provides a lovely accent planting. Lemon cypress trees generally don't live long indoors and are hardy outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture Hardiness zones 7a to 10b.
Stick your finger 50 mm (2 inches) into the soil at the base of the lemon cypress tree. If it comes out dry, water the tree. Check the soil more often in hot or windy weather as it tends to dry out faster at those times.
Feed the lemon cypress tree in the spring with a 10-8-6 formula. Use the rate recommended on the label and sprinkle it on the soil at the tree's widest point. Rake the fertiliser into the top half-inch of soil and water after the application.
Check the lemon cypress tree monthly for signs of insect infestations. Most cypress pests can be controlled with an insecticidal soap spray, applied according to label instructions. Make sure you cover the pests completely with the product for optimal control.
Things you need
- Insecticidal soap