False Cypress Companion Plants

The wide variety of False Cypress sizes and foliage colors makes this evergreen shrub a great structural element in a garden border or informal hedge planting. The four seasons of color from a variety of foliage textures can pull a garden together and make it look exciting even in the heart of winter when the perennials are dormant. Dwarf False Cypress is perfect for growing in containers as part of a seasonal color display with small herbaceous perennials and annuals. 


The growing preferences for False Cypress are straightforward. Well-draining soil that retains moisture, a neutral to acidic pH, and at least 6 hours of full sun exposure. Look for other perennials, shrubs, and annuals that thrive in the same growing conditions to create a low-maintenance and beautiful garden plan. 

Shrubs To Plant With False Cypress

False Cypress is available in many different sizes from dwarf to full-sized trees. Designing an informal shrub border that focuses on False Cypress will result in four seasons of interest with very low maintenance. Shrubs that grow best in full sun and somewhat moist soil are the best options for planting with False Cypress. Spring and summer blooming shrubs such as roses, Weigela, Viburnum, Oak Leaf Hydrangea, Hebe, and carpet roses will shine with a backdrop of larger False Cypress. Shrubs with stunning fall colors like Sumac, Spirea, and Crape Myrtle will appear even more intense in front of the solid deep greens and yellows of False Cypress.

Create a subtle contrast of shape and color by planting a range of other conifers alongside False Cypress. Dwarf conifers with vibrant foliage colors and mounded or upright growth habits will create a stunning focal point for a small space or a hard-to-manage sloped area in the garden. 

Perennials To Plant With False Cypress

Many perennials pair naturally with False Cypress. Any herbaceous perennial that grows well in full sun and moderately rich soil is a good option. Keep in mind the mature size of your False Cypress. Larger types will look better with plants that have the same general scale. Although perennial ground covers are a great idea to act as living mulch for hedges or shrub borders, they should be thought of as the final element in the garden. Think about layering your plants in zones that go from tall at the back to medium height in the middle and smaller plants up front where they can be seen. Larger ornamental grasses, perennial Verbena, coneflowers, and black-eyed Susan all make great middle-layer plants when False Cypress is the backdrop. The smaller growing blanket flower, Dianthus, and autumn-blooming sedum work well to edge a sidewalk, driveway, or patio where they will be easily seen. 

Annuals To Plant With False Cypress

The smaller varieties of False Cypress can be highlighted in the garden with annuals. Annual plants that thrive in full sun are the best companions for False Cypress. Annual fountain grass and sun-loving types of Coleus have vibrant-colored foliage that complement brightly colored dwarf conifers. Petunias, Portulaca, and Calibrachoa also combine well with evergreen shrubs in a garden bed. 

The flexibility and short lifespan of annuals allow a gardener to change up a color scheme in the garden while still maintaining structure with conifer evergreens such as False Cypress. Annuals also make great filler plants during the later weeks of summer when most perennials have finished blooming and are starting to go dormant for the winter. 

Best Companion Plants For False Cypress in Containers

Dwarf False Cypress grows well in containers for many years. Planters that are large enough to hold multiple plants will look great with the addition of sun-loving annuals that contrast and highlight the vibrant colors of False Cypress foliage. Start with a vertical-growing False Cypress as the focal point. Add filler plants such as Petunias and Coleus with vibrant contrasting colors. Finish the look by tucking in a few Portulaca plants near the rim of the pot for an interesting trailing element. Together, these plants will provide brilliant color and foliage texture from spring to the first frost of fall. 


Plants Not To Grow With False Cypress

False Cypress prefers to grow in full to part sun in well-draining, moist soil. The pH of the soil should be on the acidic side to support the growth and vibrant color of this shrub’s foliage. Planting False Cypress in alkaline soil alongside lilacs, lavender or mock orange shrubs will result in slowed growth and a gradual decline in plant health over the years. This is because False Cypress will not be able to access certain micronutrients in alkaline soil. Adding acidic amendments may keep the plant happy for a short time, but is not sustainable long term. 

Even though False Cypress develops drought tolerance at maturity, it will require consistently moist soil for the first few years of its life. If it is planted in a dry location, it will not establish a healthy root system without regular supplemental moisture and heavy mulching. Avoid planting False Cypress in dry shade under large conifers or deciduous trees. 

Best Plants To Grow With False Cypress

Crape Myrtle

Crape Myrtle







False Cypress provides a pleasing backdrop for vibrant perennial flowers, broadleaf evergreen shrubs, and other dwarf conifers. These shrubs come in a variety of beautiful colors and textures, and once you buy one, you will be hooked. The most successful plant combinations grow well in full to part sun, well-draining but moist soil, and a slightly acidic pH.

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Author Robbin Small - Published 9-06-2023