The Cryptomeria is an evergreen conifer very slow growing but of great beauty that can be found wild in Japan, where it is endemic, and so grown in any temperate or cold temperate region of the world.

It is not a plant that can be had in small gardens; not in vain, it needs a lot of space to grow, but it is worth knowing .

Origin and characteristics

Our protagonist is an evergreen conifer endemic to Japan that can reach a height of up to 70 meters with a trunk thickness of up to 4m in diameter. The bark is brownish red. The leaves are needle-like, growing in a spiral, and are 0.5 to 1 cm long. These do not fall every year, but remain in the plant for a long time until their life is exhausted, and thus give way to new ones. The fruit is a globular cone, 1 to 2cm in diameter.

It belongs to the genus Cryptomeria, which is composed of a single species: Cryptomeria japonica, popularly known as Japanese cryptomeria or sugi.


It has all of these:

  • It is the national tree of Japan.
  • It is used to reforest Japanese and Chinese forests.
  • As an ornamental plant in large and botanical gardens in temperate regions, including Europe and North America.
  • A specimen located on the island of Yakushima, in Japan, called  Jōmon Sugi has been declared a World Heritage Site because it has been discovered that it is twinned with the great Tane Mahuta (a giant kauri) from the North Island of New Zealand.

What are their cares?

Image – Wikimedia/ Crusier

If you want and can have a copy, we recommend that you provide the following care:

  • Location: outdoors, in full sun or in semi-shade.
  • Land:
    • Garden: grows in slightly acidic soils, rich in organic matter.
    • Pot: it is not a plant to grow in a pot, although as its growth rate is very slow, it can have a few years with substrate for acidic plants (you can get it here ).
  • Watering: 3 or 4 times a week in summer, and somewhat less the rest of the year. Use rainwater or lime-free.
  • Subscriber: from the beginning of spring to the end of summer, with organic fertilizers.
  • Multiplication: by seeds in winter (it needs to be cold before germinating).
  • Rusticity: it resists freezes down to -20ºC, but does not tolerate heat (from 30ºC onwards).

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