How to Care for a Cypress Lemon Plant

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Cypress lemon plants are simple to care for and are often recommended for beginners or those looking who are looking for easy-care plants. While the basics of care are the same, the needs of cypress lemon plants, also known as the Monterey cypress, depend on whether they are grown indoors or outdoors. Both have only simple needs, but plants kept indoors require slightly more care.

Things You'll Need

  • Sand
  • Peat
  • General purpose fertilizer

Outdoor Plants

  • Plant your cypress lemon plant in well-drained soil. It should also be in a sunny or partially sunny location. Although they are simple to care for, cypress lemon plants require even less maintenance if they are given the right start. They are not picky about the type or acidity of soil, but do need a spot where they are sheltered from high winds, which will easily tear branches and leaves from the plant.

  • Water regularly, making sure the soil is always moist. Do not overwater, or let the plant sit in soggy soil, but do not allow it dry out. Depending on temperature and weather, young cypress lemon plants may need to be watered daily. Well-established examples will not need watering quite as often, but still should not be allowed to dry out.

  • Fertilize your cypress lemon plant once a year in the spring with an all-purpose fertilizer. Be careful not to over-fertilize, which could be more harmful to the plant than not fertilizing at all. Avoid fertilizing in the fall. Fertilizing at the end of the growing season could cause the plant to continue growing when it should be strengthening its root system over the winter.

  • Prune only as necessary to retain the proper shape. Cypress lemon plants do not require regular pruning, but can be trimmed into desired shapes, cut at the top to limit height, If possible, pruning should be limited to new growth. Use clean, sharp pruning tools to limit the plant's exposure to disease.

Indoor Plants

  • Plant in a container filled with well-drained soil that contains some peat to help retain moisture and prevent compaction. Adding sand to the soil will help with drainage. The type of soil is not as important as making sure it is well-drained.

  • Place in a sunny location. Although easy to take care of, cypress lemon plants require plenty of sunlight to thrive. Avoid direct sun, however, which can easily overheat the plant.

  • Fertilize twice a year with an all-purpose fertilizer designed for indoor plants. Most common times for fertilizing are in the spring and again in the fall. Be careful not to overfertilize. Cypress lemon plants grow well without any special fertilizers, but can be harmed by too much fertilizer.

  • Prune as needed to maintain the desired shape. Cypress lemon plants are often grown as small topiaries indoors, and new growth can be cut just about any way you like. Pruning, however, is not required. If growing as a topiary, trim new growth as it appears, to avoid shock, damage or disease.

Tips & Warnings

  • Plant several Cypress Lemon plants in a row outdoors to create a hedge or privacy screen.
  • Over-watering and over-fertilization will do harm. A tiny bit of neglect is better than the damage done by too much "care."

References

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