Gold Mop Cypress
Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Golden Mop'
Gold Mop Cypress are one of the easiest to grow and one of the most underused ornamentals available today.
Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Golden Mop'
|Mature Height:||3 to 3.5 feet|
|Mature Width:||3 to 4 feet|
|Flower Color:||Non flowering|
|Soil Condition:||Any well drained soil|
|Water Requirements:||Water well until established|
|Uses:||A truly deer proof shrub|
We suggest when planting your newly purchased Gold Mop Cypress plants that you dig a hole twice as wide as the root system but not deeper. Depending on the quality of your existing soil you may need to add a locally sourced compost or topsoil to the back-fill soil. We do not recommend using straight topsoil or compost as a back-fill soil for Blue Pacific Juniper because more times than not these products will retain entirely to much moisture and will cause the root system to rot. Adding compost or topsoil will help the young feeder roots of Gold Mop Cypress to spread through the loose, nutrient rich soil, much easier than if you used solely the existing soil which more times than not will be hard and compacted. The most common cause of plant death after transplanting is planting the new plant to deep. That is why we do not recommend planting in a hole any deeper than the soil line of the plant in the pot. A good rule is that you should still be able to see the soil the plant was grown in after back-filling the hole. Bio-tone starter fertilizer is a great starter fertilizer that provides plants with mycorrhizae fungus. It is a naturally occurring beneficial fungus that colonizes on the new growing roots of plants. It creates a barrier between the roots of the plant and fungus and pathogens that can cause root rot. We love this product and use it on all plants we install in our own gardens. Bio-tone is a gardeners best friend and can help guarantee your success.
After back filling and lightly compacting the 50/50 mix of existing soil and compost give the Gold Mop Cypress a good deep watering. This is not to be rushed. Most of the water you put on the plant at first will run away from the plant until the soil is soaked. A general rule of thumb is to count to 5 for every one gallon of pot size. For example a one gallon pot would be watered until you count to 5 a three gallon pot would be 15 and so on. Check the plant daily for the first week or so and then every other day there after. Water using the counting method for the first few weeks. Gator bag Jr. can be used to help aid in this process and also provide plants with a good soaking due to the slow release of the water into the root-zone of the plant. Soaker Hoses can also be used to water when planting a long hedge.
Gold Mop Cypress are one of the easiest to grow and one of the most underused ornamentals available today. In order for Gold Mop Cypress to give their maximum performance, certain fertilization requirements must be met. Despite their medium growth patterns, Gold Mop Cypress are considered to be light feeders. Although many well established Gold Mop Cypress perform wonderfully in the garden without being fertilized, they will do even better with a regular fertilization program. Apply an early spring fertilizer with a product such as Espoma Tree-tone or Plant-tone at the recommended rate this will give the plant a boost of nitrogen that will be needed for healthy abundant foliage. Follow this up with a early summer application of Espoma Holly-Tone, this will provide the necessary nutrients and raise the acid level in the soil which conifers favor. Espoma products are easy to use, just sprinkle around the base of the plant and water it in. Be careful with products such as miracle-grow as these products can burn newly planted plants when not used at the recommended rates. Slow-release fertilizer can help prevent rapid sucker growth that is vulnerable to diseases and insects. In choosing the basic type of fertilizer for your Gold Mop Cypress needs, it is important to determine what you need your juniper to do. If your plants are well established, and you are not concerned about more growth, choose a fertilizer that has a smaller first number, and a larger second and third number. For example, a 4-8-8 fertilizer with minor elements included would be a good choice for a well established juniper. If your cypress are younger plants, and you want them to concentrate their energies on growing for a few years, you may wish to choose a fertilizer that has a higher first number such as 12-4-8 or 10-10-10. Be sure that these fertilizers have minor elements as well. No matter what fertilizer you choose, “Always Read the Label”. Do not apply more fertilizer than is recommended on the label. Organic fertilizers such as Dehydrated Cow Manure or Milorganite may provide an excellent source of slow release nutrients in addition to your primary fertilizer. In the southeastern United States, three fertilizer applications per year are usually adequate to supply your Gold Mop Cypress nutritional needs. Generally, an application sometime during the first part of March, followed by a second application during the first part of May, and a final third application during the first part of July should be sufficient for you Gold Mop Cypress fertilization needs. Always consult your Extension Service and your local nursery experts as to specific recommendations of fertilizers for your area. If you do not have acid soil, soil tests may be necessary followed by ph adjustments. Gold Mop Cypress generally do well in acidic soils with ph readings from 5.5 to 6.8. If the ph of your soil is not correct, it may affect the ability of your cypress to absorb the fertilizer that is applied. It would not be a bad idea to have a soil sample checked with your local Extension Service before applying fertilizer. When you have selected your fertilizer and are ready to apply it, be sure to rake your mulch back to the drip line of each plant. Apply the fertilizer according to the label directions immediately on top of the soil, and be sure to water the plant thoroughly after the application. You can then rake the mulch back around the base of the Gold Mop Cypress. Although it is tempting to spend less time by not raking the mulch back during fertilization, the results will be less than desirable, if the fertilizer is applied on top of the mulch. Proper fertilization of your Gold Mop Cypress will lead to healthier and more disease resistant plants, as well as provide you with many more enjoyable blooms. Always, read the label on your fertilizer bag, and follow the instructions.
We highly recommend that you mulch your Gold Mop Cypress with either a ground hardwood mulch or a ground cypress mulch depending on your local availability. Any type of mulch will do but cypress or hardwood mulch will be of a higher quality and provide better nutrition overall as they breakdown. Mulching helps to keep weeds away which will compete with your new investment for water and nutrients. A 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch is sufficient but remember to take care not to cover any part of the stem of the plant with mulch. Its better to leave a one inch gap of space between the mulch and the stem or trunk of the Gold Mop Cypress.
In general gardening terms, pruning is probably the most misunderstood gardening chore, and certainly, the chore that is most likely neglected. When we specifically look at pruning with regards to Gold Mop Cypress, this misunderstanding and negligence can be magnified. Pruning has been described as a “combination of art and science.” Pruning a specific plant to look a specific way, involves art in creating a unique definition for a specific plant, and it involves science in understanding the physical growing habits of the plant to be pruned. They can be planted to create a low hedge or used in the border as specimens or en masse to create a wave of color. Being a dense evergreen shrubs they can even be employed to disguise ugly areas, such as dustbin or bicycle stores. And they can be extremely effective grown in pots, perhaps alongside some flowering heathers, placed in a prominent position when they come into flower in the winter, to brighten up the front of a house or patio. The most important reason for pruning Gold Mop Cypress is to improve the overall health of the plant. Many times, Gold Mop Cypress that have not been pruned in a few years will develop dead or degenerative twigs. Removing the dead and dying limbs will minimize the possibility of diseases such as “dieback” and will also allow the plant to re-concentrate its energies. In many instances, Gold Mop Cypress that have been neglected for a number of years will become infested with insects such as scale. Severely pruning such infested Gold Mop Cypress will not only re-invigorate the plant, but will also reduce insect problems and minimize corrective treatments necessary to eliminate such problems. Another reason for pruning Gold Mop Cypress is to re-define the plant’s definition within the landscape. Many times, a plant may outgrow its intended size in the landscape, and must be pruned to re-define its purpose. Pruning should always be associated with re-invigorating a plant by allowing it to focus its energies on producing more vigorous branches, foliage, and flowers. It is also important to understand the specific growing characteristic of a certain plants when pruning that particular plant. When pruning established Gold Mop Cypress where no labeling is present on a variety to identify it, you need to look at the general growth patterns of the plant to be pruned. These observations should give you a good idea of how the plant tends to grow, and also how you should prune the plant. Many times, gardeners inherit a wealth of shrubs in their gardens when they purchase a previously owned residence. Although these plants may have been lovingly cared for by the previous owner, it may be necessary to severely prune these plants to restore vigor or to create a different definition in the landscape for the new owner of the property. Severe pruning should be done just after the plant has finished blooming. In some instances where the required pruning would be drastic, the pruning may be done towards the end of summer even if the plant has not finished blooming. Severe pruning of Gold Mop Cypress is generally thought to involve the removal of one third to one half of the existing plant. However, in some instances, this severe pruning could be even more drastic. In most cases, the plant should have no problem recovering from such a major pruning, and the pruned plant should quickly begin to grow with vigor. It is important to always use sharp tools when pruning plants. Knives, hand cutters, saws, and shears should be sharpened if necessary before pruning any plants. A sharp cut will heal quicker than a jagged cut, which will also minimize the likelihood of disease investing a cut during pruning. It is generally recommended to not use power equipment such as gas hedgers to prune Gold Mop Cypress. Prune limbs flush to the feeder branches without leaving "nubs". These leftover branches could eventually provide host for disease to enter your Gold Mop Cypress. Many gardeners apply a pruning sealant or paint to all cut surfaces after pruning, but that practice is generally not necessary. Small, evergreen, groundcover type shrubs are hard to find in the landscape, but this Gold Mop Cypress fits the bill with its cooling blue foliage in the summer. This plant may also be used as a ground cover. Gold Mop Cypress grows best in full sun locations protected from hot afternoon sun. It prefers a rich moist to well-drained soil, but will tolerate sandy locations and clay if the drainage is adequate. Once established it is drought tolerant. It is slow to become established, often taking a couple of years to settle in. Little pruning is needed other than the occasional removal of dead or broken branches. In severe and sudden cold snaps it can defoliate, but it will leaf out in spring. Prune in spring after flowering to maintain attractive shape.