Lemon Cypress Indoors ‘Goldcrest’ (Cupressus macrocarpa)

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Plant Details

Category: Houseplants
Light: Bright Light
Bloom Season:
Height: 2-4' / 
Space: 2-3' / 
Zones: 7, 8, 9
Lowest Temp: 50° to 80°F / 
10° to 27°C
Colors: Grown for foliage

Basic Care

Water thoroughly but allow soil to dry slightly between waterings. Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer monthly during active growth. Prune branch tips to maintain shape and size.


Water thoroughly but allow soil to dry slightly between waterings.


All-purpose potting mix.


Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer monthly during active growth.

plants that grow upright

Grows Upright

Ornamental Foliage



Goldcrest Cypress packs big pizzazz for a dwarf shrub. Its lovely pyramidal form and vibrant chartreuse foliage are a terrific decorative accent indoors or out. As an added treat, the foliage has a refreshing lemony scent that adds a light touch of fragrance to a room. Growing Cypress in a container limits its growth. Repot in the spring to a container 2” (5cm) larger in diameter if a larger sized plant is desired.


Useful for interiors or outdoors on a porch, patio, or balcony. Beautiful when used as a pair on either side of an entranceway. Can be planted in the landscape where it will grow into a tree.

Lemon Cypress Indoors ‘Goldcrest’ (Cupressus macrocarpa) Care Guide

Start with a good quality, commercial potting soil. These are usually lighter in weight than topsoil, sterile and pest-free. Many are available with a mild starter fertilizer in the mix.

Select a container with a drainage hole or be prepared to drill holes for drainage if there are none.

Prepare the container by filling with potting soil up to 2” (5cm) from the rim of the planter. Remove the plant from its pot.

Make a small hole in the soil slightly larger than the root ball either by hand or using a trowel. Insert the plant into the hole and press soil firmly around the roots and just covering the root ball. When all the plants are potted, water thoroughly to settle the soil and give plants a good start. Place plant in a reliably sunny location.

Repot every 2 years in the same container or in a container slightly larger than the diameter of the roots.

Prefers moist but well-drained soil. Check the soil moisture with your finger. If the top 2-4” (5-10cm) of soil is dry, or plants are wilted, it is time to water.

Apply water at the soil level if possible to avoid wetting the foliage. Water the entire soil area until water runs out the base of the pot. This indicates that the soil is thoroughly wet.

Most container plants can be pruned freely to maintain the desired size and shape. Keeping the foliage trimmed also keeps the plants looking neat and tidy, encourages the plant to develop more side-shoots and flowers, and reduces the demand for the plant to develop a larger root system. This is important since the roots are in a confined space.

Fertilizers are available in many forms: granulated, slow-release, liquid feeds, organic or synthetic. Determine which application method is best for the situation and select a product with a nutritional balance designed for foliage plants.

Too much fertilizer can damage plants so it’s important to follow the package directions to determine how much, and how often, to feed plants.

Slow-release fertilizers are an especially good, care-free choice for container plants. A single application can often provide plants with the proper level of nutrition all season long.

Companion/Combination Plants


  1. Amnah Arooz

    Hi there,

    I just want to know that is it ok to keep the plant near a window to get sunlight? or should the window be kept open?

    Thank you.

    • My Garden Life

      Hi Amnah,
      Lemon cypress grows best with bright light, so it is good to keep it near a window. There is no need to keep the window open for air circulation, but if the window has shades or drapes, you would want to keep those open during the day so your lemon cypress can get sunlight.

  2. Choity

    My tree is becoming yellow and lifeless, I have set the pot besides window. However its not getting better.

    • My Garden Life

      Hi Choity,
      Although lemon cypress is often sold as a houseplant, alongside tropical foliage plants (that are better suited to indoor conditions), this is a plant that thrives best outdoors. Placing it near a window was a good decision to try to get it more light. If you live in a region with spring approaching, and have a place you could grow it outdoors, you could try transitioning your potted lemon cypress outdoors for the summer. See our article Hardening Off Plants and Seedlings for tips on how to safely transition a houseplant outdoors for the summer. If your lemon cypress has become rootbound, this would also be a good time to transplant it to a slightly larger pot.

      At the point that your tree is actively growing again, you could give it a boost with a general-purpose liquid fertilizer or slow-release granules (apply according to the product directions). However, lemon cypress is happiest planted in the ground if you have the right climate and a space for it (USDA zones 7-9).


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