Japanese Cedar Cryptomeria japonica 'Golden Promise'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Japanese cedar 'Golden Promise'


Cryptomeria japonica 'Golden Promise', commonly known as Japanese cedar, is adorned with a unique foliage that displays striking coloration. This evergreen conifer showcases needle-like leaves, which possess a soft, almost feathery texture. The visual appeal of the plant is enhanced by the golden-yellow hues of its foliage, which can vary in intensity depending on the amount of sunlight it receives; the golden color may be more pronounced when the plant is in full sun. The leaves of the Japanese cedar are arranged spirally around the branches, creating a fairly dense and textured appearance. This cultivar often develops a somewhat rounded or conical shape, contributing to its ornamental appeal. Additionally, the bark on the Japanese cedar has a rugged, reddish-brown character that peels off in long vertical strips, providing further visual interest. During certain times of the year, the Japanese cedar may bear cones which are small and globular. These seed cones are relatively discreet, often blending in with the color and texture of the foliage. The cones might add a subtle contrast to the foliage with their more muted, brownish tones. Overall, 'Golden Promise' is prized for its year-round color and textural qualities that make it an attractive choice for garden landscapes.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Japanese Cedar, Sugi, Golden Promise Japanese Cedar

    • Common names

      Cryptomeria japonica 'Golden Promise'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant commonly known as Japanese Cedar is not known to be toxic to humans. However, sensitivity can vary and some individuals may experience an allergic reaction to the pollen, but ingestion of the plant typically does not cause poisoning or toxic symptoms.

    • To pets

      Japanese Cedar is not considered to be toxic to pets. It is not common for pets to ingest this plant, and there are no well-documented cases of toxicity from ingestion in domestic animals. As with any plant, indigestion could occur if a pet eats a large amount of foliage, but this is due to the physical nature of the plant material rather than its chemical makeup.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Height

      3-4 feet (0.9-1.2 meters)

    • Spread

      3-4 feet (0.9-1.2 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Cryptomeria japonica 'Golden Promise', commonly known as Japanese cedar, provides year-round ornamental interest with its golden-yellow foliage, adding a splash of color to the landscape.
    • Compact Size: It has a compact growth habit, making it suitable for smaller gardens or tight spaces where larger trees cannot fit.
    • Low Maintenance: This cultivar is relatively low maintenance, requiring minimal pruning and care once established in the appropriate conditions.
    • Adaptability: Japanese cedar is adaptable to a wide range of soil types, though it prefers moist, well-drained soils and can tolerate some drought once established.
    • Privacy Screen: Due to its dense foliage, it can be used as an effective privacy screen or hedge, providing seclusion and reducing noise pollution.
    • Erosion Control: Its root system helps stabilize soil, making it a good choice for slopes or areas prone to erosion.
    • Habitat Support: Japanese cedar can offer habitat and food for a variety of wildlife, including birds and insects.
    • Seasonal Interest: It exhibits seasonal color changes, with its foliage taking on different hues throughout the year, which enhances seasonal interest in a garden.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • The wood from Japanese Cedar can be used to make lightweight, water-resistant barrels traditionally used in sake production, as its wood does not affect the flavor of the sake.
    • Japanese Cedar foliage can be shaped into bonsai, creating miniature landscapes for aesthetic appreciation and contemplation.
    • The wood is soft and easy to work with, making it suitable for manufacturing wooden toys and puzzles which are safe for children.
    • The lightweight and durable wood of the Japanese Cedar is excellent for crafting traditional Japanese instruments, such as koto or shamisen.
    • Japanese Cedar sawdust and shavings are often used as natural mulch for gardening, providing soil health benefits and weed control.
    • Fiber from the tree is sometimes used in the production of specialty papers, including traditional Japanese washi paper used for calligraphy and origami.
    • Due to its aromatic properties, the wood chips and essential oils can be used for incense or in potpourris for a pleasant, mild fragrance.
    • The dense foliage can serve as a sound barrier when planted in rows or as a hedge, helping reduce noise pollution in residential areas.
    • Japanese Cedar branches can be incorporated into floral designs and arrangements, especially in traditional Japanese Ikebana, for their structure and unique texture.
    • The tree's wood can be utilized in interior design elements, such as wall paneling or flooring, offering an exotic and warm aesthetic.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Japanese Cedar is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Japanese Cedar is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Longevity: Cryptomeria japonica, commonly known as Japanese cedar, is known for its ability to live for hundreds of years, symbolizing endurance and the passage of time.
    • Strength: The Japanese cedar is revered for its tall and sturdy nature, signifying strength and resilience.
    • Sacredness: In Japan, Cryptomeria is often associated with Shinto shrines and is considered sacred, representing purity and spiritual presence.
    • Eternal Life: Due to the evergreen nature of the Japanese cedar, it is also a symbol of eternal life and immortality.

Every 7-10 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Early Spring
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Japanese Cedar 'Golden Promise' prefers consistently moist soil but does not tolerate waterlogged conditions. Thoroughly water the plant when the top inch of the soil feels dry, which may be approximately once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions. Use about 1 to 2 gallons of water for each watering session to ensure that the moisture reaches the deeper roots. During hot, dry spells, you may need to water more frequently to maintain the soil's moisture level. During the winter months when the plant is dormant, reduce watering frequency but do not allow the soil to completely dry out.

  • sunLight

    Japanese Cedar 'Golden Promise' thrives in a spot with full sun to partial shade. The plant will achieve its best growth and form when it receives at least four to six hours of direct sunlight each day. However, in extremely hot climates, protection from the harsh afternoon sun will prevent foliage burn.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Japanese Cedar 'Golden Promise' is hardy and adaptable to a wide range of temperatures. It can withstand temperatures as low as -20°F and as high as over 100°F. Ideal growing temperatures for this plant fall between 40°F and 70°F, ensuring optimal growth without stress from extreme heat or cold.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune your Japanese Cedar 'Golden Promise' to maintain its shape and promote healthy growth. The best time to prune is in late winter or early spring before new growth starts. Periodic thinning of dense growth can help improve air circulation. Generally, only light pruning is needed; heavy pruning should be avoided as it can harm the plant.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Japanese Cedar 'Golden Promise' thrives in well-draining, moist soil that is rich in organic matter. The best soil mix for this plant would consist of equal parts loam, peat moss or compost, and sharp sand or perlite to improve drainage. The soil pH should be slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 5.0 to 7.0 for optimal growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Japanese Cedar 'Golden Promise' should be repotted every 2-3 years, or when the roots outgrow the container. It's best to repot in the early spring, just before the growing season begins, to allow the plant to establish in its new container.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Japanese Cedar 'Golden Promise' prefers moderate to high humidity levels. The best humidity level for this plant is around 50-60%. It is tolerant of outdoor humidity fluctuations but if grown indoors, it may require additional humidity through misting or a humidifier.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Japanese Cedar 'Golden Promise' in bright, indirect light and ensure good air circulation.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in moist, well-drained soil and partial shade to full sun.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Cryptomeria japonica 'Golden Promise', also known as Japanese cedar, begins its life as a seed germinating in moist, well-drained soil, usually in spring. As a seedling, it establishes a root system and begins to produce distinctive needle-like foliage that is initially bright golden-yellow, maturing to a deeper gold with green hues. During its juvenile phase, which lasts several years, it exhibits rapid vertical growth and develops a pyramidal shape typical of many conifers. As it matures into an adult tree, the Japanese cedar can reach substantial heights, and it starts to produce small, globular male cones and larger female cones that, once pollinated, develop into seeds. In its reproductive phase, which can span decades, the tree experiences slower growth and continues to produce seeds annually. With proper care and favorable conditions, Cryptomeria japonica 'Golden Promise' can live for several centuries, with some specimens in its native Japan known to be over a thousand years old.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Early Spring

    • Cryptomeria japonica 'Golden Promise', commonly known as Golden Japanese Cedar, is typically propagated through semi-hardwood cuttings. This method is most successful when performed in late summer. For best results, cuttings of about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) in length should be taken from the current year's growth. The lower one-third of the needles are removed from the cutting to expose the stem, which is then dipped in a rooting hormone to encourage root development. The prepared cutting is planted in a well-draining rooting medium, such as a mix of peat and perlite, and kept under high humidity and indirect light until roots are established, which typically takes several weeks to a few months. Regular misting or the use of a propagation dome can help maintain the necessary humidity levels.