Taking care of a European Cypress tree
December 19, 2013 1:38 PM   Subscribe

My dad sent me a European Cypress tree in the mail. How do I take care of it? Minnesota edition.

Enclosed instructions with the tree and Google tell me to keep it in a pot that drains well and in indirect sunlight. Then, in spring, plant outside. However, the internet also tells me the cypress doesn't do well in sub-zero temperatures. I live in Minnesota. Sub-zero temperatures are our thing. Killing plants kills my soul, so I would like to give this tree a good life in my home.

My questions:

Is there anything else I should be doing besides keep it moist and in indirect sunlight?

Will it truly die in a Minnesota winter if I plant it well in the spring and take care of it?

And if I can't plant outside, can it be an indoor plant? Or am I just prolonging an eventual plant death here? Reading tells me the tree eventually grows to 15 feet..which, well, wouldn't be sustainable in the house. I don't live in a church.

Thanks for your help. I have a black thumb.
posted by Zosia Blue to Home & Garden (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do not plant it outside. It will not survive a Minnesota winter. Not even close. I have an Italian Cypress where I live (zone 7) and we never have sub zero cold. But I will not plant it in the ground. When it arrives, plant it in an attractive pot. Select a pot that is slightly larger than the one it arrived in. Use a high quality potting mix--not soil from your yard. Fertilize it lightly in spring/summer and water only after soil dries out. Do not move it outside during a hot sunny spring day. Move it outside in cloudy/mild conditions so it can adjust to the great outdoors. Then in the fall, say October, move it back inside. I keep mine near a south facing window. It may need more water in winter more frquently because the relative humidity in your MN home in winter may be extremely low. Don't worry about the plant size. It won't attain its potential height growing in a pot. And you can shear it/prune it to maintain desired size and shape. But it will grow. Mine started as a little thing (less than feet tall). Now--only 4 years later it is about 5 feet.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 2:07 PM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

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