Hinoki Cypress (Chamaecyparis Obtusa ‘Lycopodioides’)

Plant: Table of Contents

Plant Profile: Hinoki Cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Lycopodioides’)


The Hinoki cypress, scientifically known as Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Lycopodioides,’ is a captivating evergreen plant that belongs to the Cupressaceae family. This unique cultivar is renowned for its dwarf form and captivating foliage. The Hinoki cypress ‘Lycopodioides’ cultivar is celebrated for its landscape uses, and it is a favorite among gardening enthusiasts for its versatility and ornamental value.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the various aspects of Hinoki cypress cultivation, including culture, uses, water requirements, sunlight preferences, fertilization, soil requirements, pruning techniques, propagation methods, and more. By the end of this article, you will have gained an in-depth understanding of how to care for and appreciate this remarkable plant.

Key Takeaways

  • Scientific Name: Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Lycopodioides’
  • Common Names: Hinoki cypress Lycopodioides cultivar, Lycopodioides Hinoki cypress, dwarf Hinoki cypress
  • Plant Type: Evergreen shrub
  • Growth Habit: Dwarf form, compact and rounded
  • Foliage: Unique and attractive foliage
  • Uses: Landscaping, ornamental garden planting, container gardening

Let’s explore the various aspects of Hinoki cypress cultivation and care in detail.



Hinoki cypress plants require consistent moisture levels, especially during their initial establishment phase. While they do not tolerate waterlogged conditions, they prefer well-drained soil that retains some moisture. During drier periods, regular watering is essential to maintain the health and vigor of the plant. It is important to monitor the moisture levels in the soil and adjust the watering frequency accordingly.


In terms of sunlight preferences, Hinoki cypress thrives in full sun to partial shade. When planted in full sun, the foliage tends to display its best coloration and maintains a compact growth form. However, it can also tolerate partial shade, making it a versatile addition to various garden settings.


Appropriate fertilization is crucial for the healthy growth and development of Hinoki cypress. A balanced, slow-release fertilizer can be applied in the early spring, before the onset of new growth. It is important to follow the recommended dosage and application guidelines to prevent over-fertilization, which can be detrimental to the plant.


Hinoki cypress prefers well-draining, slightly acidic soil with a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5. It is important to avoid waterlogged or compacted soil, as this can lead to root rot and other issues. Amending the soil with organic matter, such as compost or peat moss, can improve its texture and drainage, creating an optimal growing environment for the plant.


Pruning is an essential aspect of Hinoki cypress care, particularly for shaping and maintaining its compact and dense form. The best time to prune Hinoki cypress is in the early spring before new growth emerges. It is important to remove any dead or diseased branches, as well as to shape the plant to maintain its desired form. Using clean, sharp pruning tools is essential to prevent damage to the plant.


Propagation of Hinoki cypress can be achieved through various methods, including seed propagation, stem cuttings, and layering. Stem cuttings are often the preferred method for propagating this plant, as they can yield results relatively quickly. Selecting a healthy and vigorous stem, preparing it properly, and providing the right conditions for rooting are critical steps in successful propagation.

Container Popularity

The compact and dwarf form of the Hinoki cypress cultivar makes it highly suitable for container gardening. Its ornamental value and adaptability to container growth have made it a popular choice for gardeners with limited space or for those looking to add a unique and visually appealing element to their outdoor or indoor spaces.

Common Diseases

Hinoki cypress plants are generally resilient to many common plant diseases. However, they can be susceptible to certain issues, including:

  • Canker Diseases: These fungal diseases can cause dieback, sunken lesions on the trunk, and overall decline in the plant’s health.
  • Root Rot: Excessive moisture or poorly drained soil can lead to root rot, which can be detrimental to the plant’s overall health.

Disease Diagnosis

Early detection and diagnosis of plant diseases are crucial for effective management and treatment. Regular inspection of the plant for any signs of discoloration, lesions, or unusual growth can aid in identifying potential diseases. Consulting with a plant health specialist or horticulturist can provide valuable insights and guidance in disease diagnosis and management.

Common Pests

While Hinoki cypress is relatively resistant to pest infestations, it can occasionally be affected by certain pests. Some common pests that may affect Hinoki cypress include:

  • Aphids: These small, sap-sucking insects can cause damage to the foliage and new growth.
  • Spider Mites: These pests are known to infest the foliage, causing discoloration and webbing on the leaves.

It is important to monitor the plant regularly for signs of pest infestations and to take prompt and appropriate measures to manage and control these pests.

Botanist’s Tips

  • Companion Planting: Hinoki cypress can be paired with a variety of companion plants to create visually captivating and harmonious garden landscapes. Consider planting it alongside low-growing perennials, such as creeping phlox or ornamental grasses, to create contrasting textures and colors.

  • Cold Hardiness: While Hinoki cypress is generally hardy, it is important to consider its cold hardiness when planting it in regions with harsh winters. Providing some protection, such as mulching around the base of the plant, can help insulate and protect it during cold spells.

  • Indoor Cultivation: Due to its compact size and ornamental value, Hinoki cypress can also be grown indoors as a container plant. When grown indoors, it is important to provide adequate sunlight and maintain appropriate moisture levels to ensure its health and vitality.

Fun Facts

  • The wood of the Hinoki cypress is highly prized in Japan for its durability and resistance to rot, and it is often used in the construction of temples and traditional Japanese buildings.

  • In Japanese culture, the Hinoki cypress holds symbolic significance and is associated with purity and longevity. It is often used in traditional Japanese gardens and rituals.

Links to External Resources

To further enhance your knowledge and appreciation of Hinoki cypress, consider exploring the following external resources:

  1. The American Conifer Society: Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Lycopodioides’

  2. University of Florida IFAS Extension: Chamaecyparis obtusa – Japanese Hinoki Cypress

  3. Missouri Botanical Garden: Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Lycopodioides’

  4. Royal Horticultural Society: Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Lycopodioides’

  5. North Carolina State University Extension: Hinoki Cypress

  6. Dave’s Garden: Hinoki False Cypress, Lycopodium Hinoki Cypress

These resources offer valuable information and insights into the cultivation, care, and uses of Hinoki cypress, providing a comprehensive perspective on this remarkable plant.

In conclusion, the Hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Lycopodioides’) is a versatile and captivating plant with unique characteristics and ornamental value. Its compact form, attractive foliage, and cultural significance make it a prized addition to diverse garden settings, from ornamental landscapes to container gardens. By understanding the essential aspects of its care and cultivation, you can fully appreciate and enjoy the beauty and resilience of the Hinoki cypress in your own gardening endeavors.

Picture of Peter Taylors

Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.