Janet Loughrey

Quick facts and care essentials

Sunset  – September 9, 2004 | Updated February 8, 2019
  • Evergreen
  • Climate zones vary
  • Full sun
  • Moderate water
  • Growth rate varies

These stately conifers look their best when given plenty of room; they are deep rooted and, once established, quite drought tolerant. Needles are borne in tufted clusters. Both species listed here stand up well to hot, humid weather.

Atlas cedar (C. atlantica). Zones 2-24, 31, 32, 34. Slow to moderate growth to 60 feet or more, with a 30-foot spread. In Zones 2-7, branches can break in heavy snows. Needles are bluish green to light green, under an inch long.

Deodar cedar (C. deodara). Zones 3-12, 14-24, 27-32, warmer parts of 33. Fast growing to 80 feet, with a spread of 40 feet at ground level; readily identified by its gracefully drooping branches and nodding tip. Softer in texture than Atlas cedar. Needles reach 2 inches long; they may be green or have a blue, gray, or yellow cast. To control spread in young trees, cut new growth of side branches halfway back in late spring.