Japanese Cedar

Cryptomeria japonica

Family: Cupressaceae (koo-press-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cryptomeria (krip-toh-MER-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: japonica (juh-PON-ih-kuh) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:





Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Pensacola, Florida

Honolulu, Hawaii

Louisville, Kentucky

Riverdale, Maryland

Waynesboro, Mississippi

Garner, North Carolina

Portland, Oregon

Brogue, Pennsylvania

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Toone, Tennessee

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 24, 2013, RosinaBloom from Waihi,
New Zealand (Zone 1) wrote:

Cryptomeria is a monotypic genus of conifer in the cypress family Cupressaceae, formerly belonging to the family Taxodiaceae. It includes only one species, Cryptomeria japonica (syn. Cupressus japonica L.f.). It is endemic to Japan, where it is known as Sugi (Japanese: 杉). The tree is often called Japanese cedar in English, though the tree is not related to the true cedars (Cedrus) - a direct quote from Wikipedia)
It is a large evergreen tree which can grow up to 70m (230'). It tolerates poor soils, and cold dry climates.


On Nov 4, 2009, purplesun from Krapets,
Bulgaria (Zone 8a) wrote:

I've had two very different experiences with Japanese Cedars. In Sofia, at 2300 feet AMSL, they grow well in an acidic woodland soil.
At the seaside however, they are one of the worst experiences I've had with any plant. I have planted a specimen there but it just keeps getting browner and browner and hasn't grown an inch. There, the soil is dryish and rainfall is scarce, so this plant is a poor performer.
Otherwise, it is an outstanding tree with much character.


On Jul 13, 2003, Cytania wrote:

Your listing here seems to refer to the wild ancestor which is indeed a big tree but there are around fifty cultivars mostly dwarf conifers suitable for any garden. Most crytomerias are slow growing and have very tight needle foliage which is very attractive. A number have twisted spiderlike branches like 'Spiralis'. 'Compressa' and 'Vilmoriana' are two spherical/mound formers that will give no trouble. Because of their slow growth its easy to assume they are true dwarfs but a trip to Heligan, Cornwall will reveal 'Elegans' can grow to 40 foot or so given a hundred years.