How to Grow X Cupressocyparis leylandii Plants in your Garden

X Cupressocyparis leylandii, better known as the Leyland cypress, is a popular garden plant in the Cupressaceae (Cypress) family that is found widespread across the United States and Europe.

This evergreen conifer was originally created in England in the middle of the nineteenth century, when Monterey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) and Nootka cypress (Cupressus nootkatensis) trees were crossed together and bred to create the Leyland cypress.

Leyland Cypress trees
Leyland Cypress tree, image by F. D. Richards; CC.

This crossbreeding has resulted in the Leyland cypress being sterile, meaning it must be propagated and grown from cuttings.

This evergreen tree has a conical growing habit, and carries dense sprays.

Leyland cypress 'Castlewellan'

X Cupressocyparis Leylandii photograph by Cob Lands.

It can be grown in hardiness zones 6-10 (UK H6, hardy to about –20°C /-4°F), and can typically reach a height of 60-70 feet (up to 21 m) at maturity, with greater heights of up to 100 feet (30 m) being recorded. It is capable of growing 24 inches (60 cm) per year.

For this reason, the Leyland cypress is best grown in a garden or lawn with plenty of space to stretch out.

Its fast-growing nature can easily make this tree a nuisance, so be aware of its growing potential before considering growing it in your garden.

Many people grow x Cupressocyparis leylandii, as barrier plants as large hedging because of their bushy and evergreen nature.

Leylandii Hedge
Leylandii Hedge photograph by Roger Eavis; CC.

They are also popular on Christmas tree plantations and carry attractive, but small spherical cones.

X Cupressocyparis leylandii cone
X Cupressocyparis leylandii cone photograph by S. Rae; CC.

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Leyland cypress 'Castlewellan'

The Leyland cypress can thrive in a range of soil types, but ideally, one should grow it in well-drained soil.

It grows best with full sun, as it needs at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.

Ideally water a young Leyland Cypress twice a week in the spring and summer, and twice a month in the fall and winter.

As it matures, one should set lawn sprinklers to water it sparsely: only once every couple of weeks in the spring and summer, and once a month in the fall and winter.

Trim Leyland cypresses annually to preserve the desired shape. If left untrimmed, Leyland cypresses will naturally take on a pyramid-like form.

They can be trimmed into a hedging plant, ideally prune young shoots three times per year when growing. Do not trim older material as it will not regrow.

X Cupressocyparis leylandii Growing and Care Guide

  • Scientific Name: X Cupressocyparis leylandii (Cupressus × leylandii)
  • Common Name: Leyland cypress 'Castlewellan'
  • Growing Zone: USA: 6 to 10 / UK Hardy: H6
  • Life Cycle / Plant Type: Tree

Plant Details

  • Plant Height (Inches): 300 to 600
  • Plant Spread (Inches): 179 to 300
  • Time of Bloom:
  • Flower Details:
  • Leaf Foliage: Blue, Green
  • Fruit:
  • Growth Form: Columnar, Oval, Pyramidal

Ideal Growing Conditions

  • Best Light Conditions: Partially shady to full sunlight
  • Rate of Growth: Quick
  • Suitable Soil Types: Acidic, Alkaline, Clay, Loamy, Neutral, Sandy, Slightly alkaline, Well drained
  • Soil Moisture:

Caring Conditions

  • Care:
  • Level of Maintenance: Medium
  • Propagation: Propagate from semi-hardwood cuttings
  • How to Prune: Not needed, but can be trimmed and shaped
  • Pests: Conifer aphids, scale insects
  • Diseases: Canker

Further Information

  • Can Attract:
  • Tolerant of:
  • Best Garden Use: Border, Christmas tree, Hedge, Screen, Seashore, Specimen
  • Family: Cupressaceae
  • Closely Related Species: Cypress.

  • Miscellaneous: Is not a native plant of N. America, Does not bloom
  • Genus Detail: Cupressus and leylandii
  • Further Reading and References: Here and Here

Leylandii Hedge
Leylandii Hedge photograph by Roger Eavis; CC.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow X Cupressocyparis leylandii. You may also enjoy the following growing guides: How to grow Cypress Vine and Kochia.