mbrad_plantnut101

winter hardiness of C. obtusa and C. japonica 'spiralis' in Zone 5 IL

mbrad_plantnut101
5 months ago

Ended up at Gethsemane Garden Center in Chicago while doing some Christmas shopping. And of course I see Chamaecyparis obtusa "nana lutea" (pictured below) and Cryptomeria japonica 'spiralis' in small pots for $12. Never able to say no to a conifer I picked up 8 obtusa and 2 spiralis. USUALLY I look up the plants on my phone, but I forgot it in the car. I am 35 miles SW of the city in a partially wooded lot.

Questions

1.) I had C. obtusa (green) at the old place and they never got very tall. My plan is to put them in the front of the house where currently there are some knock out roses (they are being moved) around a 10 foot magnolia. The exposure is north, but obviously enough sun for a knock out rose and magnolia to bloom. They wont be under the magnolia, and I think they will have enough sun.. I am worried about the height.. I thought these would be around 2-3 tall and wide, but online sources say more like 5' tall and 3 wide. Since this is supposed to be hedge coming up the front door, I don't want anything too tall and I don't want to trim. Any thoughts on height in zone 5 IL?


2.) Winter hardiness of Cryptomeria japonica 'spiralis' ? Anyone in IL5 with experience? I only paid $12, so I feel compelled to try it, just don't want to put them in the front only to have them die after they've been a staple of the landscaping.


3) Planting, it is supposed to be around 50F Christmas Eve. I could plant them if the ground is thawed. Should I leave them in pots in the garage and plant normally in the spring? My garage has windows in it.





Comments (8)

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
    5 months ago

    and.. with this late season bargain stock.. some level of survival.. might involve how well they were taken care of if they had been there since mid summer ..


    one problem with evergreen conifers ... they could already be dead.. and you wont know it until the brown in spring ...


    and if they were shipped in late.. from God knows where down south.. just another who knows ...


    i hope you win ... but whatever happens.. you will learn something ...


    ken

  • mbrad_plantnut101
    6 days ago

    Well, out of the eight or so C. obtusa 'Nana Lutea' only three or four made it. The C. japonica were toast. Oh well

  • mbrad_plantnut101
    2 months ago

    that's exactly what I did, in the veggie garden next to a S-side facing brick wall. They look ok, but I don't think they are going to outlive me in this zone. The false cypress (Chamaecyparis obtuse) look pretty good.

  • plantkiller_il_5
    2 months ago

    brad I would plant those Cryptos on south side of house , up close to wall. we got lucky with warm winter this year

    if the plants in walnut grove last a year , then yes. ,I would be surprised if they do

    ron

  • mbrad_plantnut101
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    well, as a follow-up we had a brief warm-up shortly after my post and since I had the time off, I planted all of them in the veggie garden (in their pots) with the exception of two. One C. obtusa I planted as a test plant in the black walnut grove (they apparently are immune to the effects of juglone) and another along the foundation to test the sites... all are doing wonderfully.

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    and if you are thinking about the garage ... all it is.. is a wind reduction structure ... if you have a window... thats probably enough light ... once a month or so.. IF THEY NEED

    IT ... put a small snowball.. or a couple ice cubes in each pot ... dormant plants dont need water ... but you dont want the peat based media getting so dry.. it wicks moisture out of the roots ... plus.. they will melt on warmer days ... instead of flooding them on too cold days.. and making a giant ice cube out of the pots ...

    and consider that the garage.. might be a z7 by late march ... retained heat on sunny days with or without windows... it might be an idea.. to drag them out of such around 3/1 and put them against the house on the north side .. so they stay dormant until may or so ... rather than coming out of dormancy in mid march .... and you probably having the same last frost date i do.. around mid may ...

    get them dormant... keep them dormant.. and try not to kill them with too much love ...

    ken

  • mbrad_plantnut101
    5 months ago

    Thanks Ken.

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
    5 months ago

    i would leave them outside ... perhaps bunched together ... and protect them from winter wind ... perhaps all in one burlap cubby.. if you could pound some wood in the ground to attach it to ... leaving the top open is good enough ...


    if your ground is frozen ... its probably too late to plant.. how would you properly water them in... with proper drainage ...


    if you could dig a larger hole.. and just throw all the pots into one hole.. that might be good enough ...


    and if they all get covered with snow .. all the better.. best wind and sun protection ever ....


    so.. in summation.. protect black pots from direct sun ... get them dormant.. and keep them dormant.. and try to avoid freeze drying tissue from drying winter winds ...


    ken