Hinoki Cypress (Chamaecyparis Obtusa ‘Lynn’s Golden’)

Plant: Table of Contents

Hinoki Cypress (Chamaecyparis Obtusa ‘Lynn’s Golden’)

As a plant scientist, one of the most fascinating aspects of my job is delving into the diverse and intricate world of plant species. Each plant has its unique and captivating characteristics, from its cultural requirements to its ecological significance. In this article, we will be focusing on the hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Lynn’s Golden’), exploring its culture, uses, care requirements, common diseases, and much more. So, let’s embark on this journey to discover the beauty and intrigue of the hinoki cypress.

What is Hinoki Cypress (Chamaecyparis Obtusa ‘Lynn’s Golden’)?

Hinoki cypress, scientifically known as Chamaecyparis obtusa, is a species of cypress native to Japan. It is a slow-growing, evergreen conifer that belongs to the family Cupressaceae. The ‘Lynn’s Golden’ variety of hinoki cypress is renowned for its striking golden-yellow foliage, adding a vibrant touch to gardens and landscapes.

This cultivar is prized for its ornamental value, and its compact size makes it a popular choice for various landscaping purposes. With its attractive coloration and graceful foliage, the ‘Lynn’s Golden’ hinoki cypress serves as a remarkable addition to both residential and commercial landscapes.

Key Takeaways – Hinoki Cypress (Chamaecyparis Obtusa ‘Lynn’s Golden’)

Before we delve into the specific aspects of caring for the hinoki cypress, let’s take a moment to highlight the key takeaways regarding this captivating plant:

  • Plant Name: Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Lynn’s Golden’
  • Other Names: Golden Hinoki Cypress, Lynn’s Golden Hinoki Cypress
  • Type: Evergreen conifer
  • Foliage Color: Golden-yellow
  • Growth Habit: Slow-growing, compact
  • Uses: Landscaping, ornamental plant, container gardening
  • Cultural Requirements: Well-drained soil, moderate watering, full to partial sunlight
  • Special Features: Eye-catching foliage color, low maintenance, deer-resistant
  • Hardiness Zones: 4 to 8
  • Mature Height: 6 to 10 feet

Now that we have a brief overview of the hinoki cypress, let’s dive into the specifics of its culture, uses, and care guidelines.



Hinoki cypress prefers moist, well-drained soil. It is essential to ensure that the plant’s root zone does not become waterlogged, as excessive moisture can lead to root rot. However, it is equally important to avoid allowing the soil to dry out completely, especially during the plant’s establishment phase. Once established, hinoki cypress exhibits a good tolerance to dry conditions, but regular watering during dry spells is still recommended, particularly in regions with hot summers.


In terms of sunlight requirements, hinoki cypress thrives in full to partial sunlight. When planted in a location with ample sunlight, the ‘Lynn’s Golden’ variety displays its golden-yellow foliage to its full potential, creating a vibrant display in the landscape.


A balanced, slow-release fertilizer can be applied in spring to support the growth and vigor of hinoki cypress. However, it is crucial to follow the recommended dosage and application guidelines to prevent over-fertilization, which can have adverse effects on the plant’s health.


Hinoki cypress prefers slightly acidic to neutral soil with good drainage. It is essential to avoid waterlogged or compacted soil, as these conditions can negatively impact the plant’s root health. Amending the soil with organic matter can improve its overall quality and drainage characteristics, creating an optimal growing environment for the hinoki cypress.


Pruning is generally not required for hinoki cypress, especially for the ‘Lynn’s Golden’ variety, which naturally maintains a compact and tidy growth habit. However, if shaping or size control is desired, pruning can be conducted in early spring before the onset of new growth. It is important to use sharp, clean pruning tools to ensure precise cuts and minimize the risk of disease transmission.



The ‘Lynn’s Golden’ hinoki cypress is a highly sought-after plant for landscaping purposes. Its vibrant golden-yellow foliage adds a unique and eye-catching element to gardens, borders, and ornamental plantings. Whether used as a focal point in a garden bed or as a complementary element in a mixed planting scheme, this cultivar brings a touch of elegance and color to diverse landscaping settings.

Container Gardening

Due to its compact size and striking foliage color, the ‘Lynn’s Golden’ hinoki cypress is well-suited for container gardening. Whether displayed on patios, balconies, or as a feature plant near entrances, this cultivar adds visual interest and a dynamic contrast to container arrangements. When utilizing hinoki cypress in containers, it is crucial to ensure proper drainage and provide regular watering to support the plant’s health and vitality.


Propagating Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Lynn’s Golden’ can be achieved through various methods, including:

  • Cuttings: Semi-hardwood cuttings can be taken from healthy, disease-free stems in late summer. These cuttings can be rooted in a well-draining rooting medium to initiate new plant growth.
  • Layering: Air layering is another propagation technique that can be employed to encourage the formation of roots on a stem while it is still attached to the parent plant. Once the new roots have developed, the stem can be separated and transplanted as a new individual.
  • Seed Propagation: While less common for cultivars, hinoki cypress can also be propagated from seeds. However, it is important to note that seeds may not reliably produce offspring with the exact traits of the parent plant, as genetic variation can occur.


The ‘Lynn’s Golden’ variety of hinoki cypress has gained significant popularity among gardeners, landscapers, and plant enthusiasts, thanks to its distinctive foliage color and compact growth habit. This cultivar’s attractive features and versatility in various landscaping settings have contributed to its widespread appeal, making it a favored choice for adding visual interest and color contrast to outdoor spaces.

Common Diseases

Despite being relatively low-maintenance, hinoki cypress is susceptible to certain diseases, including:

  • Coryneum Blight: This fungal disease can cause browning and dieback of foliage, often resulting in aesthetic decline and potential stress to the plant. Proper sanitation, adequate spacing, and management of environmental conditions can help mitigate the impact of Coryneum blight.
  • Seiridium Canker: Characterized by the development of cankers on the branches of the plant, Seiridium canker can lead to dieback and decline. Pruning out affected branches and promoting overall plant health can aid in managing this disease.
  • Root Rot: Excessive soil moisture and poor drainage can contribute to the development of root rot in hinoki cypress. To prevent this disease, it is essential to ensure proper soil drainage and avoid overwatering.

Disease Diagnosis

When observing potential signs of disease on hinoki cypress, it is important to pay attention to the following indicators:

  • Discoloration or browning of foliage
  • Premature needle drop
  • Cankers or lesions on branches
  • Overall decline in plant vigor
  • Wilting or dieback of branches

If any of these symptoms are present, it is advisable to consult with a plant health specialist or a horticulturist to accurately diagnose the issue and implement appropriate management strategies.

Common Pests

Hinoki cypress may face infestations from certain pests, including:

  • Spider Mites: These tiny arachnids can cause stippling and discoloration of foliage, impacting the aesthetic appeal and overall health of the plant. Regular monitoring and early intervention can help prevent widespread damage from spider mite infestations.
  • Bagworms: Caterpillars of the bagworm moth can feed on the foliage of hinoki cypress, potentially leading to defoliation and stress to the plant. Physical removal of bagworms and the use of biological controls can be effective in managing this pest.
  • Scale Insects: Scale insects can attach themselves to the needles and stems of hinoki cypress, feeding on plant sap and potentially weakening the plant. Implementing targeted control measures and promoting natural predators can aid in preventing scale infestations.

Botanist’s Tips

Here are some valuable tips for cultivating and caring for Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Lynn’s Golden’:

  • Soil Quality: Prioritize well-drained soil with good aeration to support the health and longevity of the hinoki cypress.
  • Watering Practices: Strike a balance between adequate moisture and good drainage to prevent water-related issues such as root rot.
  • Sunlight Exposure: Position the plant in an area that receives sufficient sunlight to enhance the vibrancy of its golden foliage.
  • Routine Inspections: Regularly monitor the plant for signs of pests, diseases, or environmental stress, allowing for timely intervention when necessary.
  • Pruning Considerations: Exercise caution when pruning, as hinoki cypress typically maintains a naturally compact form and may not require extensive shaping.

Fun Facts

To further appreciate the unique attributes of Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Lynn’s Golden,’ here are some fun facts about this captivating cultivar:

  • The golden-yellow foliage of ‘Lynn’s Golden’ hinoki cypress provides a stunning contrast and visual focal point in garden settings.
  • Hinoki cypress has a rich cultural significance in Japan, where it has been traditionally used in garden design and timber production.
  • The aromatic foliage of hinoki cypress adds an additional sensory dimension to its ornamental appeal, emitting a pleasant fragrance when touched or brushed against.
  • As a slow-growing conifer, ‘Lynn’s Golden’ hinoki cypress exhibits a remarkable longevity, often gracing landscapes with its vibrant presence for many years.

Links to External Resources

For further exploration of hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Lynn’s Golden’) and related topics, consider the following external resources:

  1. American Conifer Society
  2. Royal Horticultural Society – Chamaecyparis
  3. University of Florida IFAS Extension – Conifers for Florida
  4. Missouri Botanical Garden – Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Lynn’s Golden’

Thank you for joining me on this exploration of the captivating hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Lynn’s Golden’). From its cultural requirements to its ornamental allure, this remarkable plant continues to enchant and inspire gardeners and plant enthusiasts around the world. As we continue to appreciate and steward the natural world, the hinoki cypress stands as a testament to the enduring beauty and resilience of plant life.

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.