The Q&A Archives: Italian Cypress

Question: I need to know where to find seeds to grow Italian cypress trees and what zone will they grow in.

Answer: Italian Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) will grow in your gardening region, but seeds are difficult to find except commercially. You may have to collect your own from cones. The seeds require pre-germination cold treatment prior to sowing, and even under perfect conditions the standard germination rate is only about 30 percent. Mix the seeds together with moistened growing medium, seal in a plastic bag and refrigerate for for 30 days. Then remove the seeds and sow on the surface of moistened seed starting mix, just barely pressing the seeds into the surface. Cover the trays or pots with plastic wrap to help retain moisture, then keep at a constant temperature of 70F - 72F degrees. Seeds will sprout in 30-90 days and most cypresses can be planted outdoors when they're 1-2 years old.

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