• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Cryptomeria japonica

Japanese cedar

Japanese cedar

© RHS 1999

  • Other common names Japanese cedar

    Japanese red cedar

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  • Family Cupressaceae

  • Genus Cryptomeria are large evergreen trees with attractive red-brown bark and dense foliage consisting of short awl-shaped leaves arranged spirally around the branchlets; cones are spherical

  • Details C. japonica is a vigorous evergreen conifer making a large tree with conical habit and distinctive, fibrous red-brown bark. Leaves short, awl-shaped, spirally arranged. Cones 2cm, globose, green becoming brown

  • Plant range Japan


  • Foliage Evergreen

  • Habit Bushy

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Full Sun

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing or East-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • MoistureMoist but well-drained

  • SoilSand, Clay, Chalk, Loam

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral


  • Ultimate height Higher than 12 metres

  • Ultimate spread 4-8 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 20-50 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grows in any moist but well-drained soil. Requires sheltered position. It is one of few conifers that will coppice successfully

Propagation Propagate by seed in spring or semi-hardwood cuttings in late summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types Low Maintenance Architectural Cottage & Informal Garden

How to care

Pruning No pruning required

Pests Generally pest free

Diseases Generally disease free

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