Tall and columnar, the Italian cypress is an impressive living architectural element. This conifer is sometimes slightly wider at the base, while others are uniformly narrow and almost pencil-like.
Italian cypress is an evergreen, growing 40 to 60 feet in height. It has a very narrow footing, rarely spreading more than 5 feet wide. The needles are bright to dark green, finely textured and scale-like. The flowers are small and inconspicuous. After a cool Orlando winter, the flowers ripen into small cones.
Italian cypress grows well in almost any well-drained soil. Very hardy, drought tolerant and frost-resistant, Italian cypress is susceptible to root rot, so avoid heavy soils and overwatering. Plant Italian cypress in full sun, in locations where they won’t interfere with rooflines or overhead wires. Small seedlings may require staking for the first year or two until they develop a strong root structure. Once established, they grow quickly with very little care and never need pruning.
The spectacular size of the Italian cypress makes it best suited to large residential or commercial landscapes where it won’t overwhelm existing structures or as a single specimen tree in areas where space is limited. Planted in rows, Italian cypress grows into imposing green fences. Italian cypress is especially striking when interspersed with palms or with smaller shrubs or annuals planted around the base. Use three to five Italian cypress of varying heights to create an asymmetrical cluster in the center of a large lawn, pair them around entrances, or use them as dividers between driveways.