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Gold Mop Cypress – How to Keep it Small(Pruning) | Care Guide

If you search for gold mop cypress care guide, how can pruning is done in this small to medium sized cypress before that let me explain gold mop cypress is a unique shrub plant that looks very bright & shiny, they are long lived small version of tress. If You are looking for a plant that grows small and fits to your garden then Phoenix roebelenii would be your number one choice. These shrub plants grow to a limited height and its branches can be seen hanging downwards & when the wind flows it looks like a mop cleaning the ground with its leaves touching the ground. This one looks bright when you put them in full sun and its stunning gold color makes it stand out among other trees.

Gold mop cypress care including what soil you used, how many times in a day water can be given to this shrub and there are other things if what type of fertilizer it needs to fulfill its overall requirements. Even you need to cut some of the stems and branches to make it short as these cypress tree grows quite bushy & if its overgrown then it looks not good and also cutting is done to make sure it can again grow healthy branches again. Below you can check my care guide.

These mop cypress Bush belongs to Japan’s Kyushu and Honshu islands and are grown in central and southern parts of japan. These bush come from the Cupressaceae Family and have been called by the name Sawara cypress and Sawara Japanese. These trees are slow growers so you need to be patient with them during their care.

They grow about 2 feet to 5 feet high and spread 2 to 5 feet wide and they at least need 3 to 6 feet space if you are planting 2 or 3 shrub combines.

Leaf color is either you can say Gold or yellow & they form conical or round shapes. These didn’t produce any flowers. The Binomial or Scientific name of this plant is Phoenix roebelenii. It is popular in Japan, Europe and the United States as a decorative tree in gardens and parks.

Plant Specification:

Family Cupressaceae
Scientific Name Phoenix roebelenii
Native South-East-Asia
Other Names Miniature date palm, Robellini
USDA hardiness Zone 5-7
Height Above 6 feet
Width 4-5 feet
Light Full sun/partial light
Soil Well Fertile
Fertilizer Liquid Based
Toxicity Non Toxic to cat , dog

Here is the Link to Buy Gold Mop Cypress :

Chamaecyparis pisifera

Gold Mop Cypress 

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(Phoenix roebelenii) Gold Mop Cypress Care

To grow  gold mop cypress bush you need to give them proper sunlight but yes they do grow in partial light as well. Secondly they don’t like poor soil so you should have well drained soil , you can mix clay sand and silt that can make the soil drainage perfect. They can be grown in rock gardens , hill stations and any landscape which gives direct sunlight on that area. When this shrub is young it requires water in a way which makes the soil moist only. It might get infected with juniper blight so  I will explain everything below how you can prevent this from happening. Lets know how do you care for Golden Mop Cypress?


They like full sun and It is recommended to grow them where they can receive more than 6 hours of sunlight per day. It can also grow in a partial shade area where it at least receives some sunlight for 2-4 hours. 


Well drained soil and enough holes to drain out extra water. You should use fertile soil to make its root boost with macro nutrients and also the soil mix above I talk about will give it good drainage. So that roots can get infected. Soil pH should be between 5.6 to 7.4.


One’s every 7 days water it fully so it need not require much. Make sure don’t do over watering as this will make roots rot and also get fungus. Water the shrub whenever necessary if you see its soil dried out.


It can tolerate many different climatic conditions , Many have grown in  full sun to cold areas , Mostly they like warm place. The USDA hardiness zone for this shrub plant is 5a,5b,6b,6a,7a ,7b. 


Use organic compost for this purpose or what i talked about above to provide plant all macro nutrients they need. I have also suggested a better fertilizer for this shrub and it maintains the green foliage for the plant.

If you want to buy gold mop cypress here is the link for .

Pests and Diseases

These are basically tolerant to most pests but it can be affected by some problems like root rot that is common so Water should be limited in winters, another issue is juniper blight that can be solved with proper pruning of diseased stems and wood.


It has not been reported to be toxic and the variety false mop cypress which is known by the name Chamaecyparis pisifera has foliage that can cause irritation on the human skin. Same can be expected for mop cypress.

How to Care Gold Mop Cypress
How to Care Gold Mop Cypress

Also Read : China Doll PlantHow to Care, Benefits, Propagation, Pests

Also Read : Golden Mop False Cypress : Info on Golden Mop Shrubs

(Phoenix roebelenii) Gold Mop Cypress Propagation

To Propagate this Cypress Bush/Shrub you need good cutting tool to basically cut it and before that disinfect and clean it so it doesn’t have any sort of virus or infection. Propagation is easy and I have made full step by step procedure so you can follow it. Here are the step on how to propagate gold mop cypress

1. You need to cut its stem or branch.

which at least be 4-7 inches long using a sterile shear or scissor.

2. Don’t cut the top leaves 

only remove leaves from the bottom 3 inch.

3. The best time to take the cutting.

is in late summers, when it can grow the root successfully.

4. It is important to note.

that your gold mop cypress should be at least one year older. 

5. After taking the cutting.

Prepare well drained soil using peat moss and sand , Take these in equal amounts. 

Optional : You can vertically cut the base about 45 degrees , so it can grow more root faster.  

6. Take cutting and plant it

in your soil mixture pot.

7. Moisture the soil by sprinkling water.

until it leaks out from the pot holes.

8. Cover the pot using a plastic bag.

make 2 holes in the plastic , this way it can get humidity and it can boost the root forming process.

9. Keep them moist in some days or weeks.

until you see good leaves coming up.

Then you can take them out for full sunlight for further growth.

Here is the Link to Buy Gold Mop Cypress :

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Also read : Polka Dot Plant – Care Guide, Benefits, Pests, Leaves Curling

Golden Mop Cypress Pruning

Gold Mop Cypress Pruning is easy and basically you need good tool to trim its branches so that it should look good and trim it up to how much you want it to be. Cypress shrub will regrow so don’t worry about pruning. I have made a step by step procedure so that you can understand and follow. Here are steps on how to trim golden mop cypress

1. Pruning can be done in early spring.

as it was suggested so that the shrub can remover from pruning spots faster.

2. To Prune it you just need good cutting tool.

that can be used to cut its needles starting from top.

3. If you have large shrub.

then you can even trim it about 1/3rd part of its branches it can be done on mature shrubs.

4. Don’t over prune your shrub.

as this can affect its overall growth. Make sure you sterilize your pruning tool so that disease won’t get transferred to any new bud.

5. You can cut the branches that are connected to strong branches.

You can also prune the overgrown branches to make sure it looks the shape according to what you desired. As you know these shrubs require pruning when they are overgrown or you want to give it a nice cut, make sure your job is to trim it and not do heavy cutting.

If They are foliage is too much then do 2/3 and also check if there is a woody branch, just cut down that, as they will not regrow and only spoil the beauty of your golden mop cypress. After heavy pruning give them lots of water and it will reduce the shock they get when they pruned.

At the Time of Pruning Here is the Step I Didn’t Mention That Will Help you shape it. What You need to do is start making training cuts , from there a new branch will form that result in a good proper shape which you want.

After Some Months You may find that it forms some new growth , now trim those who are making the shape ugly , again prune those and make a nice shape which you desired back. Cutting always gives a chance for new branches to form. You can also fill those holes or space with the new stems, By Pruning every year little by little from all sides and shaping it well will make it perfect.

After Care Tips: Some Mulching on the 2-3 inch can work to keep the moisture intact and help them grow, Use shredded bark or straws as mulch. Gold Mop Cypress Grow in USDA hardiness zone 4 to 7 and it also tolerates winter cold and heavy storms so doing good care is necessary.

If You Live in an area where heavy Snowfall Occur then you need to clean the top and mid portion of shrub as branches might find issue here. Use protecting walls when heavy winds and storms occur, but wait where to find it. Actually you can make it with metal stakes and few feet of burlap, Use these and make it round and wrap them on the shrub , this will create a wall for wind.

How big does a gold mop cypress get?

Gold mop cypress can get upto 2-4 feet when it receives good care, as this is a slow growing shrub that requires caring on young cypress trees. My Neighbor has a golden mop that reaches to 3 feet tall so yes it  takes time to grow like 9-10 years. Even in some cases gold mop becomes bigger with 4.5-5 feet tall.

How to keep a gold mop cypress small

Can you trim Golden Mop Cypress? Yes, you need to prune or trim it every year before spring and do trim according to your shape in mind and also prune can be done on overgrown leaves and branches. Make sure clean the pruning shears before cutting.

How to keep a gold mop cypress small? To Keep the gold mop cypress small you should cut the old one , that’s how the natural growth cycle resumes. You can even cut the maximum greens and it will grow back soon. Spring is  best time advised for trimming golden mop cypress but these can be prune cypress shrub anytime in the year. Make sure to place them in sunlight and give plenty of water. After prune, the inner branches can receive the light because before that they are covered by bushy foliage. When cutting , focus on reducing the green. Cut 2/3 part of the shrub, if it has not been pruned for 2 years. Read More.

As you may find out after you have experienced with gold mop cypress, that there will be no new leaf growth or any foliage once the branches become woody or dormant, but there are other trees that do produce it like weeping cherry trees and many more. This is the reason why we cut down all drought branches and for those branch with little bit of foliage then its an indication it will grow back.

How do you shape a gold mop cypress? If your cypress shrub is too big to handle , cut it to 2/3rd or maybe if you’re a beginner go with 1/3rd pruning, make sure to repeat it next year and another year so it keeps on healthy and thriving make sure before pruning always clean the shear or cutting tools as we don’t want any fungal or bacterial infection to grow please refer to pruning guide above I have explained many things like before and after prune how do you care and doing a good shape will make it more beautiful. I have added more knowledge to make sure everyone understand it in simple words.

Gold Mop Cypress Fertilizer

Many people use fertilizer as major component to maintain gold mop cypress growth and its green foliage. Here we have suggested the best fertilizer for gold mop cypress. Click here to buy this shrub fertilizer

  • Maintain colorful green foliage
  • Organic ingredient for plant growth
  • Works in all trees and shrub plants
  • Increase Soil Strength and health

Here is the Best fertilizer for your golden mop cypress:

mircale gro fertilizer gold mop cypress

Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed

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Also Read : Purple Heart Plant – Care GUIDE, Pruning, Fertilizer(Full Info)

Gold Mop Cypress Companion Plants

What can I plant with gold mop cypress? Gold mop cypress companion plant is Oakland holly , Alberta spruce Tree, Orange rocket barberry and Dwarf Alberta Spruce Tree etc. There are also some trees and plant that look very attractive with cypress shrub, check out the list of companion plants. Also I have used Ultra Violet Buddleia. And it was my favorite with the purple blooms and yellow mop cypress combination. Most of the time the gold mop cypress not available because of the demand just shift to its variegated Dwarf version.

Did you know the Dwarf gold mop cypress price is $29 to $70 for 1 gallon , it has golden yellow foliage and looks very good. This one is the variegated version of gold mop cypress and everything is same from growing, care and propagation to pruning and repotting. If you want to buy here is the link – Check Price. check cypress below article we have mention fertilizer for its healthy growth.

Golden Mop Cypress Bonsai Bonsai is a great form of miniature of original golden mop cypress. Many have tried to make it , and it shows that it’s not easy to make its branching, also it is advice not to prune heavily. Just give it time and leave it outside for sun , it’s shrub or tree based so it will survive.

Buy Bald cypress tree


Landscaping with golden mop cypress Golden mop cypress is used to plant in any landscape to make it more beautiful and colorful. Choose a place where it can get plenty of sunlight and many people grow small shade plants just below this shrub to grow them in shade area. 

Gold mop cypress size According to North Carolina State university , the size of gold mop cypress is 5 feet high and it spreads the same as how much it grows in height which is 5 feet, Its growth can be around 3-5 feet in both height and width. make sure to read article for more such information.

Gold mop cypress tree This is a shrub plant , when we call it a tree means it should be bigger , shrubs are short trees or plants. Often gold mop cypress is termed as a plant and not a tree because of its height.

Overgrown Golden mop Cypress

By trimming gold mop cypress to remove overgrown leaves , What you need is to prune down 1/3 part of your shrub, If its heavy grown then I suggest to start cutting top layer & move to sides stems, Make sure when pruning Golden mop cypress give it a specific shape so that it look good to view. Here check how to limit overgrown golden mop cypress.

Kings gold mop cypress

King’s Gold Cypress is one of the false cypress varieties, its height is around 5 feet and can spread 7 feet long. They are slow grower so its growth rate is 2-3 feet in 10 years after that it will enhance the size to much bigger height. The USDA hardiness zone it can grow is 4b, and they have common names like Sawara False cypress & Japanese False cypress.

This variety shows golden yellow color throughout the season and does not fade even in winters and shows this consistent color make it a very good choice to the gardeners out there. Its care is also low and you don’t have to worry about them all the time.

Good water , soil, sun condition can boost its foliage and it will grow full season.

grow care guide (Chamaecyparis pisifera)
grow care guide (Phoenix roebelenii)

Also Read : Cast Iron Plant – How to Grow, Care, Types, Pruning, Propagation[Guide]\

Yellow cypress bush

Yellow cypress bush is the name called by people if they are not familiar with golden mop cypress and these yellow bush have yellow foliage(golden). These yellow cypress bush are hardy to zone 4-8 and have a mature height of 5ft and same 5ft spreads. These are one such bush shrubs that grow the whole year and you can comfortably place them in partial to full sun. They don’t shy away from direct sun.

This yellow cypress bush has yellow foliage even in winter months, making your garden landscape more attractive by adding this cypress tree.

Yellow cypress bush can be watered weekly or when it feels dry you can check if there is too much heat giving water twice or thrice a week is preferred. Caring is very simple and does not require much knowledge, just focus on water needs fulfillment.

Weeping cypress bush

Weeping cypress bush is originally called weeping Nootka cypress and they have quite unique foliage that looks like they were drooping even the whole branch can be seen as droopy but weeping cypress bush has its own growing technique and it looks amazing with most landscapes. Weeping bush has a pyramidal tree-like shape and most leaves are darkish green. This cypress bush grows throughout the year and even winters can be tolerated by this tree. 

Weeping cypress bush generally grows in full sunlight or partial shade. This weeping Nootka cypress has a height of over 24 feet tall and can spread about over 13 feet or more. This bush first grows to the top with the branches curve up and make a pyramidal shape. All leaves droopy which is its unique feature and you can indicate that this is weeping nootka cypress.

Weeping cypress bush is hardy to usda zone 5 to 8 and water should be given weekly or twice depending on the summer heat. Nootka cypress is used for Woodland garden, mass planting of trees in a large area, Privacy screens and for water gardens. The growth rate is slower that’s why it is priced high. Best companion plants for this type of cypress bush are Oak leaf hydrangea and Japanese maple.

The fertilizer needs for weeping nootka cypress can be fulfilled in the growing season with all purpose fertilizer. It can easily adjust to poor soil , wet area soil and caring is still easy. It is an evergreen bush so growing them is an easy task. Mostly if there is rain then these plants adjust and grow beautifully there.

Gold thread cypress vs Gold mop cypress

Gold thread cypress Gold mop cypress
Scientific name of Gold thread cypress is Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Filifera Aurea’. Scientific name of Gold mop cypress is Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Golden Mop.
Gold thread cypress is 6-20 feet tall while gold mop cypress is smaller. Gold mop cypress is about 3 to 5 feet tall and is smaller than gold thread cypress.
Golden thread cypress spreads more than 6 to 7 feet. Gold mop cypress spreads about 3-5 feet and is the same as its height.
USDA hardiness zone for gold thread cypress is 4 to 8 while gold mop cypress is less hardy. Gold mop cypress is hardy to USDA zone 5 to 7 and it is less hardy compared to gold thread cypress.

Both these cypress trees have similar care guides like they both enjoy full sun to shade while water can be given according to their size as the tree which is bigger needs more water compared to that one which is smaller. Both are colorful evergreen bushes and are able to grow in well draining soil. And shorter one need pruning while the gold thread cypress growth rate is slow, it doesn’t require pruning and it is basically to fill the space in garden areas or landscapes.

gold mop threadbranch cypress

Gold mop threadbranch cypress is a smaller shrub tree and it is compact and fuller by looking at them. It is grown in mass planting, borders, Woodland and garden areas. Gold mop threadbranch cypress has yellow thread-like leaves and they grow normally at 2-4 feet tall but as golden mop cypress matures it grows over 5 feet. It is best grown in full sun with a watering schedule that can be weekly or twice based on the heat outside or climatic conditions. The companion plants for gold mop threadbranch cypress are maiden grass, boxwood and black eyed susan and many more. It is hardy to zone 4 to 8 and its bright golden foliage makes this shrub more attractive.

Gold mop cypress spacing

Gold mop cypress spacing can be 4-5 feet if the plant you are pairing it with is large. Generally gold mop cypress widen itself to 4-5 feet so planting another plant with 5 feet spacing can be helpful. We know that the rooting can spread wider so based on what we can grow only by taking proper spacing. 

For smaller size plants I don’t think you need much spacing; it can grow 2-3 feet apart as well.


How big does a gold mop cypress get?

These evergreen gold mop cypress grow about 2-4 feet tall with same width but as they grow bigger and get mature it eventually starts to grow more than 5 feet tall and wide. Chances are golden mop cypress stays same height for 10 years like 2-3 feet tall and 3 feet wide but after that it will grow over 5 feet. This stoppage is still a mystery like we don’t find an answer why they stays the same height but they definitely grow slower in those first years. May be this might be a reason. It reliefs us as you don’t need much pruning and can grow them. Some people believe that they are shrubs so it fit in the garden and stay smaller in heights to make the area more fuller. While in Farm area you may expect to see bigger gold mop cypress that are healthy and have gorgeous yellowish leaves.

You shouldn’t compare its size to other shrubs as every tree or plant has its own shape. Even our gold mop have different gold colored foliage which made it to the popularity of many households.

How do you shape a gold mop cypress?

You can shape gold mop cypress easily , a sterilize cutting tool is needed. To trim this shrub you need to prune it from the top or outside layer which has been showing. Trim its branches and make sure not to over cut it.

If you have a big tree you can cut it about 2-3 inches, else lightly reduce the leaves by cutting its branches and not cutting the main stem or well grown branches.

How big does a false cypress get?

According to University of Florida , the false cypress can be big as much as 50 to 75 feet tall in height and 10-20 feet wide , it has very attractive green foliage and can easily tolerate the drought conditions. It can be used as a screen or bonsai making.

Why are my golden mops turning brown?

The evergreen golden mops only turns brown when it has shortness of water in its roots. Drought condition is the biggest reason for brown foliage. Give them proper water every week and in winters it can retain water so give it only once a month.

They can sun loving shrubs and require well drained soil to grow perfectly.

Can you prune a gold mop cypress?

According to Missouri Botanical Garden these shrubs rarely require pruning and when you do prune it makes sure you cut lightly and shape it according to your choices. Don’t Cut the main stem and much greener branches as they are maintaining the plant’s growth.

Cutting them leads to the plant to fade and eventually die. I have a full pruning method written above you can read it.

What can I plant with gold mop cypress?

They can be planted with some blue atlas cedar trees, wichita blue juniper and Japanese blood grass and camellias. These shrubs can add extra beauty to any landscape and make it more colorful. It can evergreen natural appearance to any location

you will love it when you have it.

Are gold mop cypress deer resistant?

According to Washington State University ,  Yes Gold mop cypress is deer resistant and they will only graze and go don’t harm. These shrubs are easy to grow and can withstand dry days, and also tolerate full sun easily. gold mop cypress and many conifer trees (juniper, pine, false cypress, deodar cedar etc.) that are resistant to deer browsing. They can also tolerate hot days and like the sunlight more that’s why they are easy to care for. 

Why is my golden cypress turning brown?

The reason for golden cypress turning brown is because of drought and if they don’t find water it makes them from brown patches. You can protect them by giving them sufficient water and don’t over make its soil wet for longer as it also creates root rot, using burlap and wrapping it so it can protect golden cypress from the harsh wind in fall. Also You can trim down those brown woody unhealthy growth and feed fertilizer in winters so it can recover from pruning. Read more.

Dwarf Gold Mop Cypress

Dwarf variety of gold mop cypress can grow in more zone than the other variety and it is also beautiful and can require no additional care once established. Read More about the Dwarf.


To tell you exactly about why you should have this plant, there are many reasons you already know if you read the full article. These evergreen shrub are drought , pests, disease , wind resistant and once a week watering , once a month in winter watering , use as a screen to hide a private location. These are in one shrub plant now it’s your choice to choose. Happy Planting 🙂

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