Plant Encyclopedia

Soft Serve® False Cypress

Chamaecyparis pisifera

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soft serve false cypress

Discover More Information On Soft Serve® False Cypress

Meet the Soft Serve False Cypress: a compact evergreen with soft, fern-like branches sporting bright green leaves on top and silver-blue undersides. It stays attractive all year, adding fall colors and winter interest, and can handle salty soil. It's a great alternative to the dwarf Alberta spruce, low-maintenance, and sure to beautify your garden with its simple charm.

Plant Attributes

The Soft Serve False Cypress is a tall evergreen shrub, reaching 72 to 120 inches in height and width, with an upright habit. Its distinctive blue and green foliage, tinged with silver-blue, adds aesthetic appeal, though its inconspicuous brown flowers are less noticeable. Thriving in part sun to full sun conditions within hardiness zones 4a to 8a, this shrub requires moderate maintenance, preferring moist, well-drained soils. Minimal pruning is needed, and a slow-release evergreen fertilizer in early spring is recommended. Versatile in landscape use, it fits well in shrub borders, hedges, as a specimen, in perennial borders, and containers. Resilient against harsh winter conditions, it's a slow-growing, enduring addition to your garden.

Landscape Use

The Soft Serve False Cypress is a versatile landscaping choice, perfect for serving as a striking focal point, forming neat borders or hedges, or standing alone as a captivating specimen. Its blue-green foliage with silver-blue accents adds year-round visual appeal, making it a lovely addition to perennial borders or container gardens. This adaptable shrub's graceful form and dense growth also work well in Japanese-style gardens and rock gardens. Plus, its resilience makes it ideal for stabilizing slopes or creating wildlife-friendly spaces. Whether you seek aesthetics, functionality, or both, the Soft Serve False Cypress proves to be an excellent landscaping asset.

Planting & Care

Planting and caring for the Soft Serve False Cypress is straightforward. To begin, select a sunny location with well-draining soil for planting. Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball and place the shrub at the same depth as it was in its container. Fill the hole with soil, ensuring it's well-packed, and water thoroughly to remove air pockets and help the plant settle.

In terms of care, it's important to maintain consistent soil moisture, especially during the first year after planting. Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the shrub to retain moisture, control weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Pruning requirements are minimal, primarily for shaping or removing dead branches. Fertilize in early spring using a slow-release evergreen fertilizer, following the recommended rate. Protect young shrubs from harsh winter conditions with burlap or windbreaks, and be vigilant for pests and diseases, addressing them promptly if detected. With these simple steps, you can ensure the health and longevity of your Soft Serve False Cypress, allowing it to enhance the beauty of your garden for years to come.

Additional Information

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Soft Serve® False Cypress


Plant Features

Watering Needs: Moderate.

Botanical Pronunciation: Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Soft Serve' (kuh-MEE-sip-uh-ris pi-SIF-er-uh).

Plant Type: Tall evergreen shrub.

Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen.

Growth Rate: Slow.

Average Landscape Size: 72-120 inches in height and width.

Special Features: Dramatic blue-green foliage with silver-blue accents.

Foliage Color: Blue-green with silver-blue flecks.

Blooms: Inconspicuous brown flowers; mainly grown for foliage.

Flower Color: Brown.

Flower Attributes: Inconspicuous.

Garden Style: Adaptable to various garden styles, including traditional, contemporary, and Japanese.

Design Ideas: Ideal as a focal point, in shrub borders, hedges, specimens, perennial borders, and containers.

Companion Plants: Pair with other evergreens like boxwood or dwarf conifers, and complement with perennials such as heuchera and hostas for a well-rounded garden.


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