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Cedrus deodara: How to Grow Himalayan Cedar

Cedrus deodara (Deodar) is a Tree which grows to a height of 33 m and a width of 10 m. It has a moderate growth rate. It has a hardness rating of 8.

Deodar will flower in April to May. the seeds ripen from April to June

The flowers from this plant are monoecious (both sexes are found on the plant but each flower is either male or female) and they are pollinated by Wind







33 metres


10 metres


E. Asia - Afghanistan to Nepal.

How to Grow Cedrus deodar 

Soil Information

Deodar will grow in light (sandy),medium (loamy),hard (clay) soil. It is / is important for the soil to be well drained.

The soil prefers the following PH / acid levels :

  • pH of less than 6, Acidic soils
  • pH between 6 and 8, Neutral soils
  • pH greater than 8, Basic soils

Deodar prefers either dry or moist soils.

Deodar Ideal Planting Locations

Deodar should not be planted in shady areas.

Forms forests in the drier areas of the Himalayas at 1800 - 3000 metres.

Planting places suited to this plant described below.

  • Grows within a woodland garden
  • Is suited as a canopy tree

Deodar Cultivation Details

Thrives on most soils, being very tolerant of dry sites and of drought when it is established. Succeeds in very chalky soils. Prefers a rich loam or a sandy clay in full sun. Succeeds in warm dry areas with less than 40 cm of rain a year, but also in areas with cool summers and up to 200 cm of rain. Dislikes atmospheric pollution.

Plants are fairly wind tolerant. This species is the least hardy of the genus and does not always succeed outdoors in Britain although some clones are hardy down to zone 5 and grow well in this country. The hardiest forms come from the west of its range. Trees thrive best in the cooler and moisture areas of Britain.

Small trees less than 50 cm tall establish much more quickly and better than taller trees, those that are more than 2 metres tall are difficult to establish. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance.

Plants are said to live for up to 600 years in the wild. New growth takes place from May to the end of September and can exceed 1 metre per year, slowing down as the tree gets larger and virtually ceasing by the time the tree is 20 metres tall.

This species is sometimes cultivated for timber in some parts of S. Europe. Small male cones are formed on the lower branches of trees, whilst the larger female cones are formed on higher branches. These female cones persist on the tree for 2 - 3 years before breaking up. Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus. The whole plant is aromatic.

Deodar Medicinal Uses*

* See disclaimer

Medicinal Rating: 2/5

The heartwood is carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic and expectorant. A decoction of the wood is used in the treatment of fevers, flatulence, pulmonary and urinary disorders, rheumatism, piles, kidney stones, insomnia, diabetes etc. It has been used as an antidote to snake bites.

The plant yields a medicinal essential oil by distillation of the wood, it is used in the treatment of phthisis, bronchitis, blennorrhagia and skin eruptions. A resin obtained from the wood is used externally to treat bruises, skin diseases and injuries to joints.

The bark is astringent. It has proved useful in the treatment of fevers, diarrhoea and dysentery. In Ayurvedic medicine the leaves are used in the treatment of tuberculosis. An oil obtained from the seed is diaphoretic. It is applied externally to treat skin diseases.

  • Antidote - Counters poisoning.
  • Astringent - Produces contraction in living tissue, reducing the flow of secretions and discharges of blood, mucus, diarrhoea etc.
  • Carminative - Reduces flatulence and expels gas from the intestines.
  • Diaphoretic - Induces perspiration.
  • Diuretic - Acts on the kidneys, promoting the flow of urine.
  • Skin - Plants used in miscellaneous treatments for the skin.
  • TB - Plants used in the treatment of tuberculosis

Deodar Propagation

Seed - collect the cones in winter and keep in a warm room until they open. Sow immediately in a cold frame. One report says that a short cold stratification of one month improves germination rates.

Keep the seed pot moist, but be careful because the young seedlings are very prone to damp off, keep them well ventilated. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle.

Grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Give them some protection from winter cold for their first winter or two outdoors. Cuttings of terminal shoots can be tried in a frame in November but they are very difficult.

Scented parts of the plants

Plant: Crushed Dried

Other Uses

A fairly wind-tolerant tree, it can be used in shelterbelt plantings. Wood - moderately hard, durable, aromatic, fine and even grained. Resistant to termites, it is used for construction, furniture, boats etc. A valuable timber, but a poor fuel, producing a lot of smoke as it burns.

  • Shelterbelt - Wind resistant plants that can be grown to provide shelter in the garden etc.
  • Wood - A list of the trees and shrubs that are noted for having useful wood.


'' - There are some named forms for this species, but these have been developed for their ornamental value and not for their other uses. Unless you particularly require the special characteristics of any of these cultivars, we would generally recommend that you grow the natural species for its useful properties. We have, therefore, not listed the cultivars in this database.


Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Bean. W.
Author: Bean. W.
Publisher : A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
Date of Publication : 1981

Flowers of the Himalayas.
Polunin. O. and Stainton. A.
Author: Polunin. O. and Stainton. A.
Publisher : A very readable and good pocket guide (if you have a very large pocket!) to many of the wild plants in the Himalayas. Gives many examples of plant uses.
Date of Publication : 1984

The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Huxley. A.
Author: Huxley. A.
Publisher : Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
Date of Publication : 1992

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