Cryptomeria japonica ‘Black Dragon’

Japanese cedar

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Great Plant Picks

  • © Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Cryptomeria japonica is one of the most variable conifers you can imagine - with plants ranging from very dwarf rounded shrubs, trees with golden or contorted leaves, and wild forest trees to 80 feet high and 20 feet wide. 'Black Dragon' takes the middle road, neither too small nor too big. It has the deep green, needle-like leaves characteristic of this species. This very dark-foliaged conifer is easy to grow and combines well with plants having larger or variegated leaves.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: pyramidal conifer

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 6 ft. 0 in. (1.83 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 4 ft. 0 in. (1.22 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 10 ft. 0 in. (3.05 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 10 ft. 0 in. (3.05 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 9

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun to light, open, or dappled shade

Water Requirements: occasional watering

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: gold, black, bronze

Great Color Partners: variegated, silver, dark green

Culture Notes
This slow growing Japanese cedar thrives in full sun to dappled shade. It prefers a site with well-drained soil, but it will tolerate sandy or clay soils. During dry weather provide occasional watering. It needs very little pruning. Young plants may grow quickly when first planted but within a few years it will settle into its dense, compact habit of growth.