Microbiota decussata

Siberian cypress

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

This choice, low-growing evergreen is an admirable grower in the Northwest. Its delicate, lacy foliage sits in graceful layers, Each branch tip turns slightly down, adding a touch of elegance. During the growing season, Siberian cypress is bright green, but with the onset of cold weather its foliage changes to earth-toned purple-brown. Capitalize on this interesting winter color by planting it with the salmon-colored bark of Chinese red birch (Betula albosinensis var. septentrionalis), winter-flowering heath (such as Erica x darleyensis 'Kramer's Rote') or ornamental grasses, with their straw-like winter tones. Siberian cypress is among the few conifers that tolerate shade. It is also useful for slope plantings, growing vigorously and covering large areas. Although it is not a true juniper or a true cypress, it has similar, scale-like needles.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: spreading conifer

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 2 ft. 0 in. (0.61 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 8 ft. 0 in. (2.44 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 2 ft. 0 in. (0.61 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 8 ft. 0 in. (2.44 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 3 to 8

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun to dappled shade

Water Requirements: occasional watering during dry weather

Resistant to: deer

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: silver, white, variegated, burgundy

Great Color Partners: chartreuse, dark green blue

Culture Notes
Siberian cypress grows well in full sun to dappled shade and part shade. It needs a well-drained or sandy soil. It will not tolerate waterlogged sites or clay. Once established it only needs occasional watering during dry weather. Little pruning is needed to maintain its form and hard pruning can ruin its lovely layered habit.