The Q&A Archives: Italian Cypress and growing conditions

Question: I would like to plant Italian Cypress trees but am not sure what type of soil/water conditions they need. I live in an area where the soil is primarily clay. I have managed to grow shrubs and trees only by digging a hole and amending the soil with organic matter such as compost. Bald cypress trees grow here in wetlands.

Answer: Italian cypresses are very adaptable and will grow in clay, sand or loam soils, as long as it drains well. Once established they get along with about one-inch of water per week during the growing season. Italian cypress needs exposure to full sunshine for healthiest growth. Amending your clay soil with organic matter will help get these trees off to a good start. Spread 4-5" of organic matter over the entire planting bed and dig it in to a depth of 8-10"; level the area and then dig your planting hole. This will not only loosen the soil to facilitate good drainage, it will also encourage young roots to venture out into your native soil. Water deeply once each week during the growing season and your new Italian cypresses should be happy.


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