Many gardeners are familiar with the wonderful ornamental attributes and landscape use of deodar cedar (Cedrus deodara), with its beautiful blue-green leaves and graceful habit. Its unusual-looking cousin, weeping blue atlas cedar, C. atlantica ‘Glauca Pendula’, deserves recognition as well. This is truly a unique plant. Its branches feature a flowing effect, sometimes described as cascading like water over a bed of rocks. This wonderful weeping conifer has the same evergreen, bluish needles as the common deodar cedar. The weeping, twisting, long branches that are crowded with bright blue needles fall down around the trunk.
Weeping blue atlas cedar, with its unusual characteristics, is a perfect candidate as a specimen plant. The plant deserves a special place where it will be sure to catch the eye and hold the interest of any visitor to the garden. It can be trained, trellised, espaliered and even grown as a bonsai to fit the need and size desired in the garden. Its twisted branch habit gives it year-round interest.
As with most cedars, weeping blue atlas cedar does best in loamy soil and full sun but will tolerate other soils except those with poor drainage. It is a moderate to slow-growing evergreen, growing to 10 feet tall and 15 feet wide. It is somewhat difficult to transplant so it is best to plant container-grown trees. Staking and training young trees is necessary to establish the desired form.
Blue atlas cedar is resistant to serious pest and disease problems. Protect trees from strong winter winds since cold temperatures can injure or kill tops of established trees.
You can find a young weeping blue atlas cedar at the JC Raulston Arboretum on the south side of the visitor center. An older specimen is found in the Klein-Pringle White Garden.