The Lovely Plants

Easy to Grow Foliage Plant: Kochia Scoparia (Summer Cypress)

Kochia scoparia or Summer Cypress (Buy seeds online) is a hardy and drought-tolerant foliage plant grown as ornamental as well as forage plant. It is a quick growing plant that tends to form rounded or pyramid body of dense leaves and branches. Young plants of Kochia are bright green and color but turn red in colder climate as they mature. Thin and finely cut leaves of Kochia add to its ornamental value. It is useful as accent plant in landscapes and grows in almost any soil (rich, sandy, alkaline, poor etc.) except very acidic conditions. For this reason, Kochia is sometimes grown at mass level to control soil erosion, and for reclamation or re-vegetation of land.

Kochia scoparia can spread very quickly and become invasive in warm and dry climates where it breaks off from the base and is blown by winds as a tumbleweed. In landscapes and gardens, it can be contained by frequent trimming especially before formation of seed heads in spring.

Kochia Scoparia contains higher levels of protein and oxalate than most grasses and fodder plants, thus it also serves as a forage crop for livestock. However, high intake of Kochia scoparia can be toxic for most animals therefore  it should be used sparingly and mixed with other forage plants .

Kochia Scoparia, Image by Shin Kusano

How to Grow Kochia

Kochia is fairly easy to grow and does not have any special requirements. Propagated from seeds, Kochia requires bright sunlight and moderate water.