Can You Grow Thuja Occidentalis in the Shade?

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Thuja occidentalis is an evergreen tree, commonly known as eastern arborvitae, American arborvitae or white cedar. While it is moderately shade tolerant, it performs better in a sunny location.

Shade tolerance

  • Thuja occidentalis can be planted in partial shade. However, with too much shade, growth slows, color fades and the tree becomes thin. For a better outcome, plant in an area that receives at least three hours of sun per day.

Varieties of Thuja Occidentalis

  • Pointed, upright varieties of Thuja occidentalis, will generally withstand more shade than others. Two cultivars, "Holmstrup" and "Wintergreen," have proved more shade-tolerant than most.

Other Shade-Tolerant Evergreens

  • Although, Thuja occidentalis is more shade-tolerant than the popular leyland cypress (x cupressocyparis leylandii), there are other evergreen conifers that tolerate shade better. Among them are hemlocks (Tsuga spp.) and yews (Taxus spp.).

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References

  • Photo Credit evergreen image by Joann Cooper from Fotolia.com Sprin in the woods image by Calin Tatu from Fotolia.com
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