Golden Mop False Cypress

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Golden Mop'

Family: Cypress

Type: Shrub

Other Common Name: Japanese False cypress, Sawara False cypress

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The Golden Mop Cypress is a distinctive, evergreen shrub known for its unique appearance. It boasts thread-like, golden-yellow foliage, creating a striking visual impact in gardens.

This plant is a slow-growing, dwarf variety, making it ideal for small spaces. Its unique texture and color add year-round interest, especially in winter landscapes.

Resistant to deer and other pests, the Golden Mop Cypress is a low-maintenance choice. It thrives in full sun to partial shade, and well-drained soil, making it versatile for various garden settings.

Needs & Preferences

Hardiness Zone: 4a-5a

Pet Friendly: Yes

Moisture Preference: Average to moist

Sun Needs: Full sun to partial shade


Growth Rate: Slow

Average Height (feet): 7

Average Spread (feet): 6

Average Life Span (years): 50

Form: Round


Foliage Color: Yellow

Leaf Fall Color: Green

Foliage Shape: Threadlike

Landscaping Your Yard With Golden Mop Cypress

Incorporating Golden Mop Cypress into your landscape offers a splash of color. It’s perfect for borders, rock gardens, or as a focal point.

This plant pairs well with darker greens or purples, enhancing its golden hue. Its compact size allows for creative placement in smaller gardens.

Regular pruning isn’t necessary, but shaping can maintain its mop-like appearance. Its adaptability to soil and sun conditions makes it a reliable choice for many gardeners.



Suitable Garden Styles

Cottage Garden

In a cottage garden, the Golden Mop Cypress adds whimsy and color contrast. Its fine, flowing texture complements traditional cottage flowers, like roses and lavenders, creating a picturesque and inviting scene.

Contemporary Garden

For contemporary gardens, this plant offers a bold, architectural element. Its bright foliage stands out against minimalist designs, adding a touch of warmth and organic form to modern landscapes.

Japanese Zen Garden

In a Japanese Zen garden, the Golden Mop Cypress symbolizes tranquility. Its golden tones and unique form bring a sense of harmony and balance, contrasting beautifully with rocks and water features.

Golden Mop Cypress Landscaping Ideas

Grouping multiple Golden Mop Cypresses creates a stunning, cohesive look. They work well in symmetrical designs or as repetitive elements in a garden.

Use this plant to highlight garden pathways or entrances. Its golden color guides the eye and enhances the overall aesthetic of the space.

Consider underplanting with low-growing perennials. This adds depth and variety, making the Golden Mop Cypress stand out even more.

Seasonal Interest


In spring, the Golden Mop Cypress's foliage brightens, symbolizing renewal. Its vibrant golden hue is more pronounced, contrasting beautifully with spring blooms and fresh greenery.


During summer, the plant maintains its vivid color, offering a constant visual treat. It becomes a focal point among the lush greens typical of the season, standing resilient in the heat.


In fall, the Golden Mop Cypress's color deepens, complementing autumn's earthy tones. It remains a standout feature in the garden, contrasting with the changing leaves around it.


Winter reveals the true charm of the Golden Mop Cypress. Its golden-yellow needles contrast starkly against snow and gray skies, adding much-needed color and interest to the winter landscape.

Planting Tips

Where to Plant

Golden Mop Cypress thrives in areas with good air circulation and not too much shade. Ideal locations are open garden beds, along driveways, or as standalone features in lawns, where its unique form and color can be fully appreciated.


This plant prefers full sun to partial shade. In full sun, its golden color is more vibrant, while in partial shade, it maintains a slightly more muted tone. Avoid deep shade, as this can diminish its color and vitality.


Well-drained soil is crucial for Golden Mop Cypress. It can tolerate a range of soil types, from sandy to loamy, as long as there is good drainage. Overly wet or waterlogged soils can lead to root problems.


Space Golden Mop Cypresses about 3 to 5 feet apart. This allows each plant enough room to grow to its full size and shape, ensuring adequate air circulation and reducing the risk of disease.

When to Plant

The best time to plant Golden Mop Cypress is in early spring or fall. These cooler periods allow the plant to establish its root system without the stress of extreme heat or cold.

How to Plant

Dig a hole twice the width of the root ball and just as deep. Place the plant in the hole, fill it with soil, and water thoroughly. Mulching around the base can help retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.

Plant Care Tips


Water regularly after planting until established. Once mature, Golden Mop Cypress is quite drought-tolerant but benefits from occasional watering during prolonged dry spells.


Feed with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring. Over-fertilizing can lead to excessive growth at the expense of color and form.


Pruning isn’t usually necessary, but if desired, trim in late winter or early spring. This helps maintain shape and encourages new, colorful growth.

Spring Care

In spring, remove any dead or damaged branches. This is also the time to fertilize and mulch, preparing the plant for the growing season ahead.

Summer Care

During summer, ensure adequate watering, especially in periods of extreme heat. Monitor for pests and diseases, although Golden Mop Cypress is generally quite resilient.

Fall Care

In fall, prepare the plant for winter by reducing watering. This helps harden off the plant, making it more resilient to cold weather.

Winter Care

In winter, protection is rarely needed, but in very cold climates, a light mulch can help protect the roots. Avoid heavy watering during this dormant period.


How Fast Does Golden Mop Cypress Grow?

Golden Mop Cypress is a slow-growing plant, typically adding only a few inches per year. This makes it ideal for smaller gardens where space is limited.

Can Golden Mop Cypress Be Grown in Pots?

Yes, it can be grown in pots, making it a great option for patios and balconies. Ensure the pot has good drainage and monitor soil moisture levels more closely than in-ground plants.

Is Golden Mop Cypress Deer Resistant?

One of its notable features is its resistance to deer. This makes it an excellent choice for gardens in areas where deer browsing is a problem.

Products That Feature This Plant

Beatific Border

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