Growing Hinoki Cypress (Hinokisia purpurea)

The Japanese name for hinoki cypress is “hikigami” which means “tree of death”. This is because it looks like a dead tree when young, but turns into a beautiful living tree with age. Its leaves are edible and its wood used for making furniture, tools, and other objects.

There are many different types of hinoki cypress trees, each with their own unique characteristics. Some have small branches while others grow very tall. All of them are known for their beauty and gracefulness. They all require similar care so they can be enjoyed for years to come!


When growing hinoki cypress, it’s important to keep your plants healthy and happy. Here are some tips to make sure your hinoki cypress will thrive.


You don’t need to water your hinoki cypress every day, but you do want to give it enough water at least once a week. If you’re not watering regularly, then there could be problems with your tree’s health. You can use regular garden hose or rain barrel style watering systems to provide the best results. To help your hinoki cypress stay hydrated and grow to their maximum height, here are some tips for watering.

In the spring, give your hinoki cypress a slow and steady stream of water. This will allow the tree to soak up as much moisture as it needs. In the summer, you can increase the number of times you water your tree as needed. If the soil is dry more than an inch below the surface, then it’s time to water.

In the fall, you’ll want to give your tree less water since it won’t need as much hydration as it does in the warmer months. Try to reduce the number of times you’re watering your hinoki cypress down to three times a week. This will prevent root rot from occurring and cause problems with your tree’s overall health.


Your hinoki cypress is a living, breathing thing that requires just as much nutrition as you do. Without proper nutrients from water or food, your tree will eventually die. To ensure your tree’s survival, here are some tips for feeding it.

Growing Hinoki Cypress: Care For Hinoki Cypress Plants -

With bonsai plant fertilizer, there are a lot of options to choose from. Most of them come in pellet, liquid, or granular form. It’s important to at least have some sort of plan for feeding your hinoki cypress. Here are some tips for feeding your plants.

Using bonsai plant food granules are a good idea since they can be easily sprinkled onto the top layer of soil. This allows for even feed distribution and maximum absorption by the plant.

You can also use fertilizer spikes. These are long spikes that you push into the soil. They slowly release nutrients over time which gives your tree a balanced diet. However, this method can lead to nutrient burn if you’re not careful so don’t overdo it.


As your hinoki cypress gets older, it will need to be repotted every once in awhile. This is done when the root system has filled up the pot it’s growing in. If you don’t repot, the roots will start to grow into the soil and that can cause all sorts of problems.

If you see that your tree’s roots are creeping out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot, or if you just want to give your tree a bigger pot because it’s gotten so huge, then it’s time to repot. Here are some tips for doing this.

Before you do anything, inspect the tree to see how developed its root system is. If the tree’s root system is severely circling the edges of the pot and filling it up, then it’s definitely time to repot. You should also repot your plant if there is no fill in the soil whatsoever. This means that all the soil has washed out and all that’s left is dirt. This usually happens after heavy watering.

First, prepare your new pot. The size should be about two or three sizes larger than the current one. Fill the bottom with gravel, this will help drainage and keep the soil from washing out. Then add the soil on top of that. You should water often so that the soil is always saturated.

Now, water your cypress and let as much water drain out as possible. Then turn it upside down and gently remove it from the old pot. Set it atop the new pot and make sure it’s centered.

Now add your soil, but make sure you don’t pack it down. Just gently place it on top of the soil and water it again. Place a tray underneath to catch any excess water that will drain out.

Growing Hinoki Cypress: Care For Hinoki Cypress Plants at

That’s it! You’ve repotted your hinoki cypress in no time at all! Just remember to fertilize it in spring and summer every couple weeks and it should be fine.


Watering is one of the most important parts of growing a bonsai. If you don’t water it enough, the roots will dry out and your tree will die. But if you water it too much, the roots will rot and it will also die. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that the soil is always wet.

There are some other factors that affect how much a tree should be watered. These factors include: soil type, tree size, and the season. Here are some tips for watering your bonsai.

Water it every day. This really depends on the size of your tree though. If you have a large tree, you’ll have to water it more often than a small one. Watering it everyday is not required, unless you think it needs it.

Water it twice a day. This is what I do because I have so many trees. In the morning and evening, I make sure that each tree has enough water to wet the soil. But it’s not soaked or anything like that.

Watering three times a week is fine too as long as you don’t over water. This means you should wait a few days before you water it again, just to make sure that it doesn’t need anymore water.

There are many ways to tell if a tree needs water. One way is to push your finger into the soil. If it’s dry, then it doesn’t need water. If it’s wet, then you should give it a little bit of water just enough to wet the top layer of soil. Another way is to lift the pot and feel how heavy it is.

If it feels light, then you should water it.

They are all pretty accurate ways to tell if your bonsai needs water or not. However, the best way is to check it every day, water it only when it needs it. After a while you’ll get a feel for when it needs water and when it doesn’t. This is called intuition and is the key to becoming a successful bonsai master.

Feeding your bonsai is also an important part of owning one. There are two types of bonsai food that you can buy from the store. They are either in the form of cakes or in granules.

You can tell which one to use depending on how large your tree is. The cake type is for trees that are at least five years old, while the granular type is for younger trees and shrubs.

Growing Hinoki Cypress: Care For Hinoki Cypress Plants on

You should only feed your bonsai once a week and only using half of the recommended dosage on the package. Over feeding it will kill it just like under feeding it will. It’s a balancing act so make sure you get the right amount.

Fertilizer works by giving your trees nutrients that are good for the health of your tree. However, this does not mean that you should stop giving it water and sunlight. All this does is make sure that your tree grows faster and stays healthy.

Bonsai trees basically grow in three stages. The first stage is called the developmental stage, which is when your tree first grows leaves. The age of your tree does not matter; it can be a seed or even a hundred year old tree. This stage starts six months after you first buy your tree.

The second stage is called the servicing stage. This starts when your tree has fully developed leaves and will last until middle age. During this time, it is very important to never let your tree get dry or stressed.

The final stage is called the maturity stage. This begins when your tree is around middle age and lasts until it dies. During this time, your tree will not need as much attention and can even withstand a few short periods of drought.

Your bonsai will only be in one of these stages at a time, though there are exceptions. For example, if you buy a tree that is in the developmental stage and wait five years before taking care of it yourself, then it will be in the servicing stage for those five years.

These three stages are not set in stone; they just act as a general guideline to help people know what to expect. Even if your bonsai is in one of these stages it does not mean that it needs that type of care. All it means is what kind of care is recommended.

For example, if you have a tree in the developmental stage and it gets dry, then it is at a higher risk of dying. However, this will not always be the case. It all depends on the type of tree, its current health and how much care it is receiving.

It would be very difficult to keep your tree in the developmental stage forever. Sooner or later it will enter the servicing stage regardless of what you do.

Bonsai trees are very fragile and need a lot of attention to stay healthy, but the benefits more than make up for the trouble. Not many people can say that they have lived over a thousand years.

Now that you know more about taking care of bonsai trees, it is time to learn about the history of these fascinating plants.

Sources & references used in this article:

Long-term carbon budget of the above-ground parts of a young hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa) stand by S Adu-Bredu, A Hagihara – Ecological Research, 2003 – Springer

Effects of thinning on leaf-fall and leaf-litter nitrogen concentration in hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa Endlicher) plantation stands in Japan by Y Inagaki, S Kuramoto, A Torii, Y Shinomiya… – Forest Ecology and …, 2008 – Elsevier

RAPD analysis of mutants obtained by ion beam irradiation to hinoki cypress shoot primordia by K Ishii, Y Yamada, Y Hase, N Shikazono… – Nuclear Instruments and …, 2003 – Elsevier

Chamaecyparis obtusa (False Cypress-Hinoki) ID# 982 by T Deppert – 2020 –



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