The American arborvitae Thuja occidentalis is an evergreen tree featuring scalelike foliage with excellent cold tolerance. It grows to heights of 50 feet but is available in much smaller, globular shrub forms. These shrubs are dwarfs in terms of their size, but they come up big as landscaping tools, serving numerous functions. These slow-growing arborvitae shrubs have specific features that make them worth considering for your property.
Little Gem has a broad globular form. Danica is a densely branched type of dwarf globular arborvitae. Teddy and Tiny Tim are two more dwarf shrubs with a rounded form. Ericoides, Hetz Midget and Rheingold are American arborvitae dwarfs with rounded appearances. Rheingold's shape is more cone-like or dome-like compared to these other shrubs, notes the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Danica, Tiny Tim and Teddy are smaller in stature than other dwarf forms, all growing to less than 36 inches high. Danica develops to between 1 and 2 feet high, but it is bigger than Tiny Tim and Teddy, which grow no higher than 12 inches. Little Gem grows to between 1 and 3 feet. Golden Globe is slightly bigger at from 2 to 4 feet tall. Hetz Midget gets as high as 4 feet, Rheingold grows to 5 feet on occasion and Ericoides is the giant among these dwarfs, sometimes attaining heights of 6 feet.
Bobozam goes by the nickname of Mr. bowling ball, according to the University of Connecticut Plant Database. This newer cultivar comes in a nearly perfectly round shape with dense, green foliage. The foliage of Danica takes on an emerald-green color. Hetz Midget is light green, as opposed to the dark-green color of Little Gem. Choose Rheingold for its yellow-orange foliage. These colors take on a reddish cast in winter. Golden Globe's name comes from its yellowish foliage. Ericoides has yellowish-green foliage and peeling red-brown bark.
Uses and Growing Conditions
The smallest of these shrubs, Teddy and Tiny Tim, work well in venues such as rock gardens and along foundations. Even the larger ones function in such scenarios. They also make good container plants, allowing you to move them around at your convenience. Full sun is the ideal setting for all these shrubs. American arborvitae tolerates an array of soil conditions. Cold hardiness is not a problem. These plants, with the exception of Little Gem, handle the bitter winters possible in U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness zone 2 growing into zone 7. Little Gem grows from zone 3 into zone 7.
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Thuja Occidentalis Little Gem
- University of Connecticut Plant Database: Thuja Occidentalis
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Thuja Occidentalis Danica
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Thuja Occidentalis Teddy
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Thuja Occidentalis Tiny Tim
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Thuja Occidentalis Erocoides
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