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Black Dragon Cryptomeria for Sale - Buying & Growing Guide

  • Black Dragon Cryptomeria
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Cryptomeria japonica 'Black Dragon'

The Black Dragon Cryptomeria is a small, slow-growing shrub with a conical form and dense, dark green foliage. The consistent texture of this plant, Cryptomeria japonica 'Black Dragon,' is sure to impress you, but what you may like even more is how easy this plant is to care for. The Black Dragon Cryptomeria is not only resistant to pests and diseases, but it also resists deer browsing and requires essentially no pruning to look great and grow healthily. 

  • The mature foliage of this plant is a deep, dark green with a beautiful texture. 
  • The Black Dragon Cryptomeria has great pest and disease resistance. 
  • Pruning is unnecessary for this plant.
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Plant Care



Full sunlight exposure is ideal for the Black Dragon Cryptomeria, but this plant may survive in partial shade too.



The Black Dragon Cryptomeria should receive water weekly during establishment. Following establishment, this plant will only need water during the height of summer.



Feed this plant with a nitrogen-rich acidic fertilizer in spring and or fall.

Planting and Care

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by John Haryasz | Horticulture Writer and Landscape Designer – last update on November 10, 2022

Planting instructions

Although the Black Dragon Cryptomeria can survive in partial shade, it will perform better when it grows in full sunlight. It can also survive in a wide range of soils, including dry soils. Plant this small shrub by digging a hole that is as deep as the root ball is tall and about twice as wide. At times, it can help to tie this tree to a stake during establishment to ensure that it grows straight throughout its life.

Watering and nutrients

The Black Dragon Cryptomeria will need water once per week or more during establishment. After that time, this plant will need very little water and will survive most moderate droughts. In summer, you should water this plant about once per week, but otherwise, the water needs for a Black Dragon Cryptomeria will remain quite low. You can feed this plant twice per year, once in spring and once in fall, using a fertilizer that has plenty of nitrogen and will help acidify the soil.


The Black Dragon Cryptomeria carries sets of both male and female cones and relies on wind to conduct its pollination. This bisexual nature means that, in theory, it is possible for the Black Dragon Cryptomeria to reproduce either by self-pollination or by cross-pollination with another plant. However, the cultivation of this shrub has led it to be sterile, meaning that it cannot grow new plants from its seeds. Anyone who wants to create more Black Dragon Cryptomeria plants will need to do so via cuttings.


You’ll find that the Black Dragon Cryptomeria is very easy to please when it comes to pruning. In fact, this plant will remain healthy and develop a neat conical form with no need for pruning at all. This means that during most years, your pruning tools won’t be necessary for maintaining your Black Dragon Cryptomeria. Occasionally, if you find dead, damaged or diseased limbs, you should remove them, but your pruning work won’t extend beyond that.

Pests, diseases and animals

Another very convenient aspect of the Black Dragon Cryptomeria is that this plant is resistant to both pests and diseases. In most cases, you won’t need to worry about infections or infestations for the entirety of this plant’s life. Additionally, the Black Dragon Cryptomeria is also resistant to deer browsing—an issue that can cause defoliation on many of the most attractive plants in your garden. This lack of pests, diseases and animal issues contributes to the overall low maintenance needs of this plant.

Achieving maximum results

It is true that the Black Dragon Cryptomeria is not too picky about where it grows. However, there are some growing conditions that will help ensure that your plant not only survives but thrives. Mainly, you should ensure that your Black Dragon Cryptomeria grows in acidic, well-draining soils with good nutrient content if you wish to achieve maximum results. However, regardless of the growing conditions, it will remain a slow-growing plant throughout its life—a fact you cannot change no matter how you care for this plant.


Can you grow the Black Dragon Cryptomeria in a container?

Since the Black Dragon Cryptomeria has a small mature size, reaching about 6 to 10 feet tall and about four to five feet wide, it can live in a container for much of its life, especially when it is young. Growing one of these shrubs in a container is just as easy as growing it in the ground. Ensure that your plant receives full or partial sunlight and that your container and the soil within allow for great drainage.

Where does the Black Dragon Cryptomeria come from?

The parent species of the Black Dragon Cryptomeria is a plant called the Japanese cedar, or Cryptomeria japonica. This species is native to Japan, as the name implies, and can grow to more than 200 feet tall. Unlike its parent, the cultivated plant known as the “Black Dragon Cryptomeria” is far smaller and grows to be about 10 feet tall at most. This cultivar came into being before the 1990s and is known for having great disease resistance.

How do you propagate a Black Dragon Cryptomeria?

The most reliable way to propagate a Black Dragon Cryptomeria is to take a cutting from a living plant. The cutting should be about four inches long with plenty of leaves. Remove some of the bark front the cutting and about half of the leaves. Then, apply a root hormone to the cutting and store it in moist soil in a warm area for a few weeks. After that time, your cutting should have developed roots and may be ready to plant in your garden.

Compare Similar Products

Mature height
6-10 ft.
Mature width
4-5 ft.
Sunlight requirement
Full Sun
Growth rate
Botanical name
Cryptomeria japonica 'Black Dragon'
Shipping exclusions
Grows Well In Zones
Growing Zones: 5-9 i Growing zones help determine if a particular plant is likely to grow well in a location. It identifies the average annual minimum winter temperatures across the U.S. provided as a map by the USDA.
(hardy down to -10°F)

Black Dragon Cryptomeria

Cryptomeria japonica 'Black Dragon'
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