How To Plant Arborvitae Shrubs
Plant Guide

How To Plant Arborvitae Shrubs


Arborvitae shrubs are one of the most popular shrub selections across the country! You may choose to plant arborvitae for its vibrant evergreen color, hardy and full foliage, or the low-maintenance care regimen! 

There are so many arborvitae shrubs to choose from when planning out your landscape! From smaller spherical and compact forms like the Hetz Midget Arborvitae, to the more eccentric and wild Thuja Whipcord plants, the versatility of these shrubs is endless!

When it comes to the planting and care of these popular yard plants, there are a few main factors you want to keep in mind in regards to your plant's lighting, soil, water, and fertilizer needs. Keep reading to learn all there is to know about planting and caring for arborvitae shrubs! 

Ground Rules

Arborvitae Shrubs Lighting Guide


Arborvitae Shrubs grow best in conditions of partial to full sun. 

Arborvitae Shrubs Watering Guide


Arborvitaes grow best in consistently moist soil; however, too much water can lead to root rot and the death of your plants. We recommend using a soil soaker hose or drip irrigation system on your arborvitaes to ensure they are getting the moisture they need without over doing it. 

Arborvitae Shrubs Soil Guide


Arborvitaes enjoy a rich well-draining soil medium.

Arborvitae Shrubs Food Guide


Arborvitaes don't require fertilizer for survival; however, they would benefit from the application of a well-balanced, slow-release fertilizer blend in the growing seasons of spring and summer to help promote new growth. 

Arborvitae Shrubs Temperature Guide


Arborvitae shrubs fare better in dry, cool climates. Once established though, these hardy shrubs are moderately drought-resistant and can tolerate intense cold climates as well. 

Arborvitae Shrubs Toxicity Guide


Arborvitae is considered mildly toxic to animals and humans. 

Arborvitae Shrubs Mulch Guide


As with most shrubs, your arborvitaes could certainly benefit from a light mulching around the base of the plant. Mulch helps to conserve moisture while protecting the overall root system of your plants. 

Planting Process

  1. Dig a hole two to three times the size of the root ball.
  2. Remove the arborvitae shrub from its grower pot and loosen the root ball. 
  3. Place the arborvitae in the hole and backfill with remaining soil.
  4. Mulch around the base of the shrub and water thoroughly. 

Arborvitae Shrubs and Their Foliage Types

Arborvitae Type Foliage Description 
Anna's Magic Ball Arborvitae Globe-shaped, vibrant chartreuse foliage
Fire Chief Thuja Unique vibrant green foliage with fiery orange tips. 
Globe Arborvitae Large, naturally spherical shrubs, bright kelly green in color
Golden Globe Arborvitae Dome-shaped, lemon-lime coloring
Hetz Midget Arborvitae Petite sphere form, deep forest green foliage
Little Giant Arborvitae Compact globe shape, deep hunter green foliage
Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae Low growing, wide ovate form with lacy, pine green foliage
Rheingold Arborvitae Densely branched, golden yellow foliage
Thuja Whipcord Arborvitae Unique strands of gracefully arching deep green branches
Tom Thumb Arborvitae Compact round growth habit, bright green foliage