‘Horstmann’ Blue Atlas Cedar – by Steve Huddleston

Blue Atlas cedars have been used in Texas landscapes for several decades. They’re large trees that can mature at 40 to 60 ft. tall.

‘Horstmann’, however, is a slow-growing, semi-dwarf cultivar that matures at 12 ft. tall and 8 ft. wide, perfect for smaller landscapes.

It has an irregular growth habit with horizontally tiered branches and highly ornamental, silvery-blue needles that hold their color well throughout the winter.

It’s the small needles and cool blue color that give this plant its fine visual texture. Click image for larger view.

Its fine texture sets this tree apart from other landscape plants, most of which have coarser foliage, making it a perfect candidate for textural contrast and landscaping interest year ‘round.

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‘Horstmann’ makes a perfect accent plant when used alone or in groupings. It functions well when planted at the corner of a house or in a row of three (or any odd number) along a drive or as a backdrop in a long bed featuring shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses and annuals. Its small size and slow growth rate make it ideal as a container specimen for the patio or near an entryway. Use it in rock gardens, conifer gardens, blue-themed gardens, wildlife plantings or xeriscape areas.

Here’s ‘Horstmann’ in a landscape setting where its striking appearance creates drama to its part of the garden. Click image for larger view.

Here’s what you’ll want to know…
Common name: ‘Horstmann Blue Atlas Cedar
Scientific name: Cedrus atlantica ‘Horstmann’
Native home of the species: Atlas Mountains of North and Central Morocco to North Algeria
Hardiness Zones: Zones 6-9 (includes all parts of Texas)
Cultivar ‘Horstmann’ was introduced by Horstmann Nurseries in Germany
Grows best in full sun

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‘Horstmann” Blue Atlas cedars make outstanding container specimens because of their tolerance of sun, moisture extremes and Texas temperatures.

Any well-draining soil – intolerant of standing water
Does well in soils pH of 5.5-8.0 (acidic to alkaline)
Average water needs while young, drought-tolerant when established
Water by hand to ensure deep soakings
Grows slowly, only 6 to 8 in. per year
Little pruning is needed except to remove unwanted branches
Reportedly good resistance to deer
Benefits from being planted in a somewhat protected location

Posted by Steve Huddleston
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