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Compacta Japanese Cedar

Cryptomeria japonica 'Compacta'

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Compacta Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica 'Compacta') at Meadows Farms Nurseries

Compacta Japanese Cedar

Compacta Japanese Cedar

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  6 feet

Spread:  6 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  6a

Other Names:  Elegans Compacta Japanese Cedar


A compact version of the species with fine, almost fuzzy foliage, suitable for smaller garden or landscape areas; turns brownish in winter and greens up again in spring

Ornamental Features

Compacta Japanese Cedar has green foliage which emerges light green in spring. The scale-like leaves turn indian red in fall. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant. The peeling indian red bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Compacta Japanese Cedar is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a mounded form. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture to the landscape composition which can make it a great accent feature on this basis alone.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub. When pruning is necessary, it is recommended to only trim back the new growth of the current season, other than to remove any dieback. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Compacta Japanese Cedar is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Vertical Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening

Planting & Growing

Compacta Japanese Cedar will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 60 years or more.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for rich, acidic soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Accent  Articulation  Massing  Screening 
Texture  Plant Form  Bark  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features

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