Cryptomeria japonica “Sekkan-sugi,” commonly known as golden Japanese cedar. (Richie Steffen)

Cryptomeria japonica “Sekkan-sugi,” commonly known as golden Japanese cedar. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Cryptomeria japonica “Sekkan-sugi”

If you love golden foliage, the golden Japanese cedar is for you. When planted against a dark green backdrop, it shines like a beacon.

What: Cryptomeria japonica “Sekkan-sugi,” commonly known as golden Japanese cedar, was introduced to American horticulture around 1970. The foliage is tipped creamy yellow and is most intense when growth is new in spring and early summer. It is a visually dominant tree in the landscape because the foliage color is so intense and shines like a beacon if planted against a medium or dark green backdrop. If you are not a fan of golden foliage this is not the tree for you.

Where: Plant in full sun to light or dappled shade. Well-drained soil is preferred. It goes well with grey-needled or lighter blue lighter blue needled conifers, which temper the shining gold.

Size: Grows to 10 feet high by 4 feet wide in 10 years. It ultimately will be as tall as 30 feet.

Care: Cryptomeria japonica “Sekkan-sugi” requires occasional watering in summer. It needs very little pruning.

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