Little Champion Japanese Cedar
Cryptomeria japonica 'Little Champion'
Little Champion Japanese Cedar foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 4 feet
Spread: 4 feet
Hardiness Zone: 4b
A compact, dwarf shrub with many curvy branchlets covered with layers of tightly held needles that look woven together; a perfect garden accent shrub; displays a bronze tinge on the outer foliage in winter
Little Champion Japanese Cedar has attractive grayish green foliage. The scale-like leaves are highly ornamental and remain grayish green throughout the winter. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.
Little Champion Japanese Cedar is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.
This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary, such as to remove dieback. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Little Champion Japanese Cedar is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- Rock/Alpine Gardens
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Little Champion Japanese Cedar will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.
This shrub does best in partial shade to 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.
Little Champion Japanese Cedar makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.