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How to grow Baldcypress as bonsai

Larry Morton

Posted on February 08 2019

 Baldcypress, the native Taxodium disticum, grows into a columnar form with a broadly domed canopy; a rather cool looking flat topped appearance with a buttressed trunk at the bottom. Short irregular horizontal branching grows with ascending ramification. In nature, you'll find very few lower branches. The "knees" seen on some old swamp baldcypress are for support and have not been proven to exist for gaseous exchange. Common gravely substrate will not hold enough water. The bright yellow green foliage color darkens to sage green. Then they change to pumpkin brown in Nov. and stay on till Dec.  Baldcypress are actually a deciduous conifer with short stalked purple cones. It has spirally arranged leaves and alternate buds, drooping purple panicles and reddish brown exfoliating bark. Be aware that if you grow it in the ground to thicken the trunk baldcypress produces a thick taproot.  

  • Full sun.
  • Can be grown indoors with supplemental light until dormancy.
  • Responds well to water and fertilizer. Include iron if chlorotic.
  • Takes heat and dry spells well.
  • Takes pruning well and buds back. Use directional pruning and bud selection. Possible deadwood features and hollows. 
  • Looks great in groupings or as a large accent specimen. 
  • Good first choice for a beginning bonsaist as baldcypress are very forgiving.

 

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