Gardening

Weeping Blue Cedar

Weeping Blue Cedar

Photo Compliments of Jim

Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca Pendula’ or weeping blue cedar is one of my all-time favorite evergreens; it is truly a unique plant, it is uniquely eye catching. Its branches feature a flowing effect, sometimes described as cascading like water over a bed of rocks. It can be trained, trellised, espaliered and even grown as a bonsai to fit the need and size desired in the garden. It’s normally trained twisted; weeping branch habit gives it year-round interest. The tree is best located as a lawn specimen, in an uncrowded location, away from walks, streets, and sidewalks so branches will not have to be pruned. This wonderful weeping conifer has the same evergreen, bluish-gray needles as the common deodar cedar. The weeping, twisting, long branches are crowded with bright blue-gray needles that fall down around the trunk. When it reaches maturity it will reach a height of 6 of 15 feet and a width of 15 feet. It is somewhat difficult to transplant so it is best to plant container-grown trees. The time for staking and training this tree when for the desired form is when it is young.

The weeping blue cedar is hardy in Zones 6 to 8; it prefers an acidic-slightly alkaline well-drained loam soil and location in full sun (6 to 8 hours of sunlight). They are tolerant of many soil types but will not fare well in soils with poor drainage such as clay. The weeping blue cedar is resistant to serious pest and disease problems. It does need to be protected from strong winter winds since cold temperatures which can injure or kill tops of established trees.

If you need to prune it is best to wait until late October-early November (mid-Fall) to clip off any weak or bent branches which are resting on the ground to an inch or two above the soil. The branches look best when cascading to the ground but it is recommended to perform this routine pruning in order to prevent any fungal disease that may result from the branches resting on soil. Branches that reach out beyond a desired point can also be pruned back to give fullness and strength to the structure of the tree.

Weeping Blue Cedar: Culture

Weeping blue cedars are best grown in deep, moist but well-drained, acidic loams in full sun. They are drought tolerant once established, but intolerant of poorly drained wet soils. Site trees in locations protected from wind. Habit and height can be controlled by how the central leader is trained. If supported, the central leader will slowly (one foot per year) grow upward. If unsupported, the central leader will cascade downward. Central leaders can be supported to a predetermined height (10 feet) and then allowed to cascade.

The weeping blue cedar does benefit from an early spring feeding and should be protected from strong winter winds. If you have clay soil break up the soil and add gypsum, which will help to improve drainage or if the clay is very compact use a post-hole digger to dig down and add gravel to help water flow. When planting, allow this specimen plenty of room to grow so that it can reach its full potential.

weeping Blue Cedar: Pests & Diseases

No serious insect or disease problems. Tip blight may occur. Be watchful of heavy snow in winter that can break branches.

Garden Uses

Use as a specimen plant.

Additional Information

Family: Pinaceae

Common Name: Weeping Blue Cedar

Type: Needled evergreen

Hardiness Zones: 6 to 8

Height: 10 to 15 feet

Spread: 6 to 15 feet

Bloom Time: Non-flowering

Sun: Full sun

Water: Medium, drought tolerant once established

Maintenance: Medium

Tolerate: Drought

Resistant: Deer

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One Comment

  1. Wow, this is pretty odd looking!! I like odd things =-)

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