Overwintering cypress trees - this way, the Mediterranean plant can survive the cold temperatures


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Cypresses do not like long-lasting and cold winters. Although the plants like to be sold as hardy, frost can damage them severely. With the right protection, hibernation still works.

Overwinter cypress

The cypress is one of those plants that are a symbol of southern Europe for us Germans and generally for Central Europeans. Who does not know them, the images of winding roads that lead through the Tuscan hills and are lined on the right and left by cypress trees, which are stretched outstretched fingers towards the sky. And so many a garden lover has tried to get a piece of Italy, France or Greece in the garden by buying a cypress in the pot on holiday and then planted it at home in the garden.

It sometimes leads to great surprise when the beloved holiday souvenir does not survive the first winter. There are various reasons why a cypress can enter Germany in winter.

Central European climate not suitable for every cypress

In general, a cypress that was pulled in Germany has a better chance of surviving the winter here than a cypress that was bought in a nursery in southern France, Italy or in another Mediterranean area.

Cypresses from Germany are more winter hardy from the start, so they are better able to hibernate because the cypresses from the Mediterranean are simply used to higher temperatures. Of course, there are different types of cypress, each of which also offers a different chance to survive the winter well. The best known types are:

  • Bastardzypresse
  • Cupressus sempervirens
  • Monterrey cypress
  • Kaschmirzypresse
  • Arizona cypress
  • Yellow column cypress

Each of these varieties has a different winter hardiness and can each winter up to a certain temperature minus range.

And of course, there are significant differences in whether a cypress is planted in the field or whether it is kept in the bucket. Depending on which type of cypress you have, how the climate in winter is with you and whether you have a free-range or a cycad cypress, you must pay attention to different things. Here are some tips for a successful overwintering of your cypress.

Proper protection needed for outdoor cypresses

Cypress trees need special protection, especially at a young age, if you want to successfully hibernate them. The older the plants become, the harder they become if you have slowly and successfully introduced them to the cold seasons in Germany during the first few years. First of all, it has to be said that the best conditions for cypresses already prevail in the German wine-growing regions from a climatic point of view. Here you can count on mild winters and not too hot summers. In other regions of Germany, there is a lot to consider in winter.

Not too wet and not too dry

Cypresses dry very quickly because the plants evaporate a lot of moisture when exposed to sunlight. However, cypresses can not stand in the water - especially in winter, when the water could freeze quickly. In addition, there is often the problem in winter in frozen ground that the cypress can not or hardly draw moisture through the roots from the frozen soil. Here you must always ensure sufficient hydration for the plant. The warmer it gets and the stronger the sunshine, the more important the watering becomes. If it does not rain or snow in one day, the cypress should definitely be watered. If the ground is frozen, it makes sense to use warm water so that the water can penetrate to the roots.

Not too cold and not too sunny

Especially in winter, it is important to protect the cypress from too cold temperatures or from too much sunlight. If there are strong minus temperatures, it is advisable to cover the cypress with a simple jute bag. Of course, this is not a permanent solution for the entire winter, but if, for example, for the night temperatures above the minus 10 degrees are expected, you should offer this cypress for the night this protection.

In turn, during periods of prolonged sunshine, the cypress trees should be covered with a thin fleece sunscreen, so that the direct sunlight does not evaporate too much moisture. Dry damage to the cypress, so brown spots in individual areas of the plant, would otherwise be the result.

Location is especially important

When planting a cypress, it is important that you choose the right location. The cypress should be protected above all else. Especially cold east and north winds in winter can cause lasting damage to your cypress.The course should be protected from the wind and warm. The direct proximity to a residential or garden house is particularly suitable if the house gives off some heat to the environment, so that the cypress is protected from direct cold weather.

When it comes to the soil, it is important that there are enough nutrients here - just before the start of winter you should fertilize fresh again. And you should prepare the soil so that no waterlogging can occur. If necessary, it may make sense to lay under the cypress or a drainage of pebbles, so that the water can drain into deeper soil regions quickly and easily.

Care tips at a glance:

  • If the temperatures are too low, protect your cypress with slipped jute sacks
  • Choose a location that is wind-protected and warm
  • Ensure sufficient nutrients in the soil
  • Water well if it is not raining or snowing
  • Protect your cypress from too much sunlight to avoid drought damage

So you overwinter cypresses in the pot

In some areas, cypresses in the pot require different treatment than those that have been potted outdoors. This also applies to the wintering of these plants. An advantage is, of course, that you can change cypress in the bucket in winter. The winter quarters should be between 5 and 10 degrees warm and bright. If the room is warmer, it has to be watered more often, because here too the cypresses should never get completely dry. However, cypresses are never entirely hardy in the bucket - so they should not be exposed to frost. If a bucket completely freezes, it can cause severe damage to the roots and cypress itself.

A sheltered balcony or patio canopy is enough if the area is warm enough and sheltered from the wind. Again, the cypress should be covered with a jute sack at very low temperatures. Near the house wall, the cypress can benefit from the heat emitted by the house. If you want to keep a cypress in the winter on the balcony or on the terrace, you can, to avoid frost in the bucket, wrap it with pimpled foil or with a heating wire. This keeps the soil in the bucket warm and avoids frost damage.

Particulars of wintering in the field or in the bucket

Hibernate in the fieldHibernate in the bucket
Especially young trees need special protectionThe bucket must never freeze because bucket cypresses are not winter proof
For the cypress, a wind-protected and as warm as possible place should be chosenWith bubble wrap or heating wire, frost in the bucket can be avoided
The soil should be sufficiently fertilized again before the winterThe best hibernated cypress trees are indoors
Too much sunlight should be avoided - if necessary you can protect the cypress with a plant fleece from too much sunThe room should be bright and between 5 and 10 degrees warm
The plant must always get enough moisture, but should not be in the water - if it is not raining or snowing is also necessary in winter wateringThe highest possible humidity is good for the plants
A jute sack can protect against too cold temperaturesIf it is too warm in winter quarters, regular watering is necessary
The older a cypress gets, the more it hardens against winter influencesIf the cypress is in the protected outdoor area, special care must be taken to ensure that the soil in the bucket does not freeze and that the plant is protected from the wind
Dulcis can also be hardened if you let the first winter completely freeze-free winter and slowly increase in the coming years, the phases in which the cypress is exposed to cold temperatures. But even with a correspondingly hardened cypress is - a completely frozen bucket always leads to permanent damage

Cypresses belonging to the genus of conifers are mainly native to Mediterranean regions. But even in Germany you can cultivate cypress successfully. When it comes to wintering cypress trees in Germany, you should definitely opt for a cypress from a local nursery. If you stick to the tips above and make sure that the cypress tree is properly planted in your garden or planter, you'll have the best chance of bringing the hint of Tuscan flair that a cypress brings into your garden over the winter to preserve.

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