The dramatic foliage of the ‘Golden Mop’ is bright yellow green with a feathery, almost stringy appearance. The glowing gold foliage creates a lovely accent to deeper green conifers. ‘Mops’ holds its’ golden color through summer, unlike other golden cultivars. The slightly weeping branches gives the plant a shaggy, mophead form. If a neater form is desired, shear annually to shape it. To control size, prune out branches to a joint to retain the unique shape. In ideal conditions ‘Golden Mop’ can grow larger. ‘Golden Mop’ is an excellent foundation plant for small spaces, in border plantings or edging a shrub border. Stunning in groups of three or more. Color is best in full sun, but will do fine in part shade. However, ‘Mops’ in full sun in northern regions may be susceptible to winter burn. Regular watering is important, especially in the first season to establish a good root system.
‘Mops’ is a dwarf Threadleaf or Filiform variant. There are larger cultivars that are nearly identical such as those listed below:
**The following two Mops are frequently listed as separate variants. The only notable difference found has been in the mature size, and the difference is minor. Certain references maintain that the filifera can get substantially larger. I am not so certain they are different at all, filifera refers to the threadleaf form. There are 3 new filifera in my garden and based on my research I expect them to mature to 3 feet high and 4 feet wide.
**Chamaecyparis pisifera filifera ‘Gold Mops’ Dwarf Gold Thread False Cypress reaches 3-4’ high and 3-5 ‘ wide. Hardy in zones 4-8.
**Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Mops’ Gold Thread False Cypress reaches 4-5’ high and 4-5’ wide. Hardy in zones 4-8.
Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘King’s Gold’ is a variant of the standard ‘Gold Mop’. In the nursery it looks identical to the ‘Mops’. It is larger, reaching 3-5’ high and 3-5’ wide in ten years, and possibly reaching more than 10-15’ high and 8-10’ wide at maturity in ideal conditions (which generally would be in the warmer regions). It may not be reliably hardy in zone 4, requiring heavy mulching to ensure it survives.
Chamaecyparis pisifera filifera ‘Sun Gold’ In the nursery can look identical to the ‘Mops’. It is quite similar, reaching 3-6 feet high and wide, but can get larger in warmer regions. Foliage is the same as a ‘Mops’, but may become a bit more dense and a bit more green in summer, and the form may become a bit more cone shaped than mounded. ‘Sun Gold’ will hold up to full sun without burn, which many of the Chamaecyparis have trouble with. Hardy in zones 4-8.
‘Gold Thread False Cypress is sometimes used as a ‘name’. This is incorrect and incomplete. It is really only a common term to refer to the group of threadleaf plants. Be sure you purchase a plant with a complete name so you can be sure of what you are getting. Note the two examples below.
Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Filifera Aurea’ Sometimes called simply ‘Gold Thread False Cypress’. In the nursery, ‘Aurea’ can also look nearly identical to the ‘Gold Mop’. But it is also larger, reaching 6-9’ high and wide. It is hardy in zones 5-8. I have seen these named ‘Gold Thread False Cypress Golden Mop’ – this is not correct, ‘Gold Thread’ is not a ‘Mop’. ‘Golden Mop’ is a mutation of ‘Filifera Aurae’ and is a true dwarf with more yellow foliage.
Chamaecyparis pisifera filifera ‘Bright Gold’ Again, sometimes simply called ‘Gold Thread False Cypress’. ‘Bright Gold’ is compact, reaching only 3-4’ high and wide. Hardy in zones 5-8.
Chamaecyparis pisifera filifera ‘Japanese False Cypress’ with no additional naming associated, this is the basic species tree. It is a thread leaf, but not a golden foliage thread leaf. Although it is a lovely pyramid shape with a weeping habit. Makes a wonderful specimen tree anchoring a shrub border. Grows 6-10’ high.
Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Gold Spangle’ grows 5 feet tall, or 12 feet tall, or 20 feet tall, or 35 feet tall, and one source even indicated that it grows from 2 feet to 70 feet tall! I found no source considered reliable, and they are not commonly grown in this region so I have no advice. But this is a good, but extreme example of the inaccurate information available, not only on the web, but in the garden nurseries! So be careful!
Sungold Cypress Low Growing Evergreen Shrubs –
Sungold Cypress is a dwarf golden threadleaf cultivar cypress. It is truly one of the more interesting lower growing evergreen plants to have in the landscape or garden. The Sungold cypress golden evergreen’s scale-like needles cling to weeping or semi-weeping branches. In summer it is very green, having good winter yellows if placed in a sunny location. New spring growth also emerges bright yellow. The Sungold Cypress has a better and more consistent gold color than regular golden chamaecyparis varieties.
This Sungold cypress cultivar does not burn in the sun as other gold cultivars. Sungold does not like wet or poorly draining soils.
They’re somewhat drought tolerant once established, but will need moist well draining fertile soil for the first couple years to properly establish, & even then their drought tolerance shouldn’t be too awfully tested during long rainless summers. Most of its many dwarf cultivars do not produce cones, but ‘Sungold’ when very mature might do so. With moderate pruning ‘Sungold’ can be restrained to about any small size required, but if left to go wild could very slowly but eventually reach eight feet of height, & considerably wider, with flattening top. An easy to grow and easy to maintain evergreen. Excellent mop-like form that makes a nice accent for the border or small hedge. Full sun.
Slow grower to 5 – 6 feet tall, 7 – 8 feet wide
Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Provide well drained soil, rich in organic matter. Feed with an acid fertilizer after bloom. Keep roots cool with a thick layer of mulch.