Important Note: The seeds on this page will benefit greatly from using the CAPE Smoke Seed Germination Primer that we use in our own greenhouses. We find we receive significantly better germination results when we use this primer on these types of seeds.
Location: Monterey cypress occurs naturally only in two
groves on Monterey Bay on the central coast of California. A
survivor from an ancient lineage, Monterey cypress is nearly
extinct in the wild. It is, however widely cultivated, and a
very popular landscaping and hedge plant in England, western
Europe, New Zealand and Australia.
Culture: Monterey cypress grows best in areas with mild climates, winter rain and cool ocean breezes. It tolerates acidic to slightly alkaline soils, and does best in sandy soils. It is susceptible to a fatal canker disease in hot, dry regions.
Light: Full sun.
Moisture: Requires regular water.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 - 10.
Usage: Monterey cypress is very salt tolerant and an
excellent choice for seaside plantings where it becomes wind
swept and develops a striking irregular shape. It is often
grown in a group to create a wind break or screen, and it can
be pruned to form a hedge. Under ideal conditions, Monterey
cypress can grow into a dense, 40' tall tree in just ten years.
Many cultivars and hybrids have been developed, especially in
England and New Zealand, where the plant is very popular.
Monterey cypress is used extensively for bonsai. The twisted and gnarled form that makes bonsai specimens so attractive comes naturally to Monterey cypress.
Features: The Native American Costanoans (Californians who were actually born in California!) used a decoction of Monterey cypress foliage to treat rheumatism. The Miwok, from the Sierra Nevada, used a related species for the same thing; maybe there's something to it? It wouldn't be the first time a very rare plant was found to have medicinal value.