January Plant of the Month: Arborvitae

Arborvitae are evergreens suitable for a wide variety of uses in the garden. Larger growing varieties, like Green Giant, are excellent replacements for Leyland Cypress. Lower growing varieties, like Emerald Green, are perfect for smaller areas in the garden, near patios, walkways and driveways without the worry of surface roots causing damage. Dwarf varieties, like Mr. Bowling Ball and Hetz, are lovely in containers as well as garden borders and foundation applications.


Full Sun, at least 6 hours a day.

Water – Arborvitaes prefer to stay evenly moist. Soil that stays too wet can lead to root rot. While more established plants can be drought tolerant, newer plantings shouldn’t be allowed to dry out.

Soil – Well draining 

Fertilizing – Fertilize once in spring, when new growth has begun to emerge and again in early/mid fall with a tree and shrub fertilizer.

Pruning – Arborvitaes don’t require much pruning other than occasional shaping (if needed) and the removal of damaged or dead limbs. Pruning can be done any time from mid-winter to early summer.

Please Note

Arborvitaes experience a natural “shed” in spring and fall. This causes the center foliage of the plant to turn brown and fall off. Arborvitae will regenerate this lost growth so there is no need for alarm. You can help this shedding process by, with gloved hands, massaging the dead foliage out of the plant.

If an arborvitae is planted in too much shade or stays too wet, this natural process occurs more dramatically and the plant may not recover

Some of our Favorite Varieties

De Groots Spire

Degroots Spire – Add impact to you landscape with these tall, thin pyramidal Arborvitaes. Averages 15-20’ tall at maturity.

Emerald Green

Emerald Green – These dense evergreens are perfect for hedges and accents. Averages 10-15’ tall at maturity.

Green Giant

Green Giant – This towering Arborvitae is an excellent alternative to Leyland Cypress and works well for barriers and windbreaks. Averages 30-40’ tall at maturity.

Mr Bowling Ball

Mr. Bowling Ball – The perfect dwarf shrub for containers and small gardens. Naturally rounded shape that averages 2-2.5’ tall and wide

Tiny Tower

Tiny Tower – All you love about Green Giants in half the size! Perfect for screening, averages 18-20’ tall at maturity.