How to Grow Italian Cypress in Containers

Known for its narrow columnar form, the Italian cypress is commonly used for landscaping accents and privacy screens. This evergreen produces grayish-green, feathery foliage that creates a whorled and dense canopy. A tolerant tree, the Italian cypress responds well to the container environment when grown in loamy, well-drained soils and kept in sunny, well-ventilated locations.

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The tall, columnar form makes the Italian cypress easy to spot.

Step 1

Select a deep, well-drained container for your Italian cypress tree. Elect one with several drainage holes at the bottom, instead of just one, to promote a well-drained soil environment. Affix fine, wire mesh over the surface of each drainage hole. Fill the container about halfway with a loamy, nutrient rich soil and set the container aside.

Step 2

Remove the Italian cypress from its binding and inspect the root system carefully. Remove some, but not all, of the excess soil from around the roots to get a better look, if necessary. Prune away any dead or wilted roots from the root system. Cut the damaged roots back to the root mass. Trim the tips of the entire root system.

Step 3

Place the Italian cypress tree in the center of its prepared container and fill the container the rest of the way with soil. Irrigate the newly potted Italian cypress with tepid water. Pour the water evenly around the base of the cypress until the water begins to run from the drainage holes. Allow the cypress's soil to dry slightly between each irrigation to avoid overwatering.

Step 4

Position the newly potted Italian cypress in a warm, well-ventilated location. Select a location that receives at least eight hours of full to partially shaded sunlight each day. Choose an outdoor location, as opposed to an indoor one, if possible, as the Italian cypress thrives best in the outdoor environment.

Step 5

Fertilize the potted Italian cypress monthly throughout the growing season, from early spring through midsummer to early fall. Feed the tree with a well-balanced, slow release fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 combination. Cease all fertilizer applications by early fall to allow the Italian cypress time to harden before the dormancy period.

Step 6

Allow the Italian cypress to grow freely in its container. Avoid pruning this potted tree as it may stunt its growth. Feel free to pinch back the Italian cypress tree's new growth to control shape, though this is rarely necessary.

Step 7

Repot your Italian cypress tree every one to two years, during the mid-summer, to replenish the soil's nutrients. Complete the repotting process in the same manner in which you completed the initial repotting. Replant the Italian cypress in a clean container and never reuse old soil.