Thuja At Home: Care, Planting, Reproduction

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Thuja At Home: Care, Planting, Reproduction
Thuja At Home: Care, Planting, Reproduction
Video: Thuja At Home: Care, Planting, Reproduction
Video: How to Grow Cuttings of Thuja at home most easily with 100% Sure Success 2023, February
thuja western
thuja western

Cypress family. Homeland North America.

Thuja occidentalis Thuja occidentalis is an evergreen coniferous plant with a pyramidal crown, lives a very long time in good conditions, reaching an average of 10-15 m in height with a trunk thickness of about 40 cm.The bark of young plants is smooth, reddish-brown, furrowed with age, stratifies stripes. The needles are scaly, dense, small (scales are about 3-4 mm), saturated green, by winter they acquire a brown color. Every 2-3 years, the thuja renews the foliage, throwing in twigs and overgrowing with new needles. Thuja have small 10-15 mm ovoid cones with delicate scales, similar to dried buds. There are more than 300 varieties of thuja.

The original species, thuja occidentalis, is a garden plant, but is sometimes grown as a pre-bonsai. However, there are various varieties of western Polish thuja on sale. Among them are compact plants that grow well in pots. For example, Miky's miniature variety Thuja occidentalis 'Miky' is distinguished by its fine foliage structure, which remains a rich green color throughout the growing season. The crown is very dense, dense, in an adult plant with a wide conical shape. May take on a coppery tint in winter. The shoots are slightly twisted, which gives the variety an additional charm. Thuja grows rather slowly: in 8-10 years it will grow about 70-80 cm in height and about 50 cm in girth. This variety practically does not need pruning of shoots.

Thuja planting and care

At home, thuja is a wonderful decoration of a balcony or terrace - it loves fresh air, does not tolerate content in the kitchen or in a smoky room. It also looks attractive in the garden: in the rock garden, rocky gardens, it goes well with other coniferous plants.


Plant frost resistance - zone 5b if you plan to grow thuja in a greenhouse or garden. At home, in the summer we have the temperature that is dictated by the weather, but cypress trees do not tolerate heat - they need 22-24 ° C for optimal growth. In winter, a cool content is required, + 8-10 ° C is enough, at least + 2 ° C. In this case, the soil in the pot is almost completely dry. At the lower temperature limit, the plant must be insulated. You can put the pot in a box of sawdust, wrap it with foam rubber, put it in a large pot and cover with dry earth between the walls. Coolness must be ensured with the onset of the heating season and until early February.

thuja western miki
thuja western miki


Thuja is photophilous, prefers a certain amount of sunlight, preferably before lunchtime - the east or southeast side, or in the evening - northwest. In the period from February to May, from 12 to 15 hours, openwork shading is desirable - at this time the most active sun can cause burns (brown needles). By summer, thuja gets used to the sun well and does not need shading if it has enough fresh air.

Attention: at temperatures above 26-27 ° C, the direct sun is difficult for thuja. Therefore, if the pot is on an open balcony or near an open window (not micro ventilation, but a well-open window), shading is not required. If you close your windows, it is best to move the pot to a shady, but not hot, windowsill. Young plants especially need shading. In nature, thuja seedlings (from self-seeding) have been growing for decades in the shade of taller trees

You may have heard that thuja is shade-tolerant - this statement applies only to garden conifers, at home the lighting is always one-sided, and growing on the north side can lead to the formation of uneven foliage of the crown. Therefore, if you have a north side, gradually turn the pot on the window.


During the growth period, especially in hot weather, watering is abundant enough, with drying of the top layer of the earth. Do not leave water in the pan after watering. Thuja does not tolerate overdrying - as soon as the soil dries out, it deplorably lowers the branches, but after moistening it immediately restores turgor. If it is too dry, especially in the heat, it is irreversible. When the rainy season and a sharp cold snap begin in the fall, make sure that watering is infrequent and the soil has time to dry out almost completely in 3 days.

  • Important: the correctness of watering is regulated not only by its frequency and volume of water, but also by the composition and structure of the soil.
  • For reference: in nature, thuja grows in humid forests, especially abundantly in coniferous bogs, but at the same time it is a surface root, not completely submerged in water, but on a well-drained substrate. But the most famous long-lived thuja, up to 1000 years old, have survived on cliffs and rocky terrain. For thuja, air humidity is more important than soil moisture - avoid both waterlogging and overdrying.

Fertilization: Thuja fertilizing is required two months after transplanting if the soil is too poor. You can purchase a special fertilizer for conifers, or use a universal non-alkaline and chlorine-free fertilizer for common indoor plants.

Air humidity: Thuja loves very humid air, optimally 60-80%, humidity below 40% requires humidification - spraying 2-3 times a day or placing the pot on a wide pan with water (water should not come into contact with the roots). When the heating season begins, move the plant to a cool room.

If there is no possibility of a cool winter, you have two options: to fence off the edge of the window sill from the battery with plexiglass or greenhouse film, put a humidifier and add artificial lighting. Or, if the size of the bush exceeds the size of the window sill, do not torture the plant - grow it in the garden

Thuja transplant

Potted thuja is transplanted annually or every two years, very carefully, keeping the root ball as carefully as possible. When planting, it is important not to tamp the soil too tightly and not to deepen the root collar (the soil level is at the same level, not hilling). Healthy roots are brick-brown and firm in appearance. Soil: 1 part of clay-sod land, 1 part of leaf (or peat), 1 part of baking powder (zeolite granules or Akadama, vermiculite or agroperlite can be used, coarse river sand - sifted up to 2-4 mm). The pot should not be too large - slightly larger than the root system. At the bottom, make many holes for water drainage, drainage if desired (in a tall pot, required). If the soil is closer to neutral in acidity, add a couple of tablespoons of pine needles or bark to the pot.

Thuja grows well on weakly acidic soils, does not tolerate alkalization and strongly acidic soil - the optimum pH is 5.5-6.5. If the substrate is caked and compacted, you need to carefully loosen it to a depth of 5-6 cm.If a salt deposit appears on the surface of the soil, remove it and water the plant with softer water (filter, boil, soften with aquarium water).

If you use peat-based store-bought soil, keep in mind that it quickly consumes nutrients, and in its pure form is far from ideal for thuja (it dries quickly), but it can serve as one of the components. In addition, store-bought soils are often filled with a large dose of fertilizers, even specialized coniferous mixtures, as a rule, are based on pure peat and sand, while light loam will be the ideal soil base for thuja. But do not forget that growing in a closed system (limited by the walls of the pot) deprives the roots of an important element - oxygen. Excessive watering will suffocate the roots if the soil is not porous enough (clean loam). This is why we add baking powder. Drained soil does not mean drainage at the bottom, but drainage particles in the soil itself between the roots.

Topic on the forum: Bonsai from thuja - options for forming a thuja, as well as the theme of Ephedra

Reproduction of thuja

Thuja propagates by seeds and cuttings. Seed cultivation is impractical - the representative of cypress grows very slowly. But it is a pleasure to grow cuttings - it is important to know how! Very simple: in the fall or spring, cut a twig of a thuja about 15 cm long.

thuja rooting
thuja rooting

Fill the zip bag with sterilized soil, stick in the stalk and close

thuja from cutting
thuja from cutting

If blue-green algae appear on the walls - it's okay, it's because of high humidity You can

thuja shank
thuja shank

plant thuja cuttings in a pot when they grow 5-7 cm

Take a spacious zip-bag (on a fastener), prepare the soil: 1 part of the universal soil (for example, Terra Vita living earth) and 1 part of sand or vermiculite. Stir and sterilize in the microwave for 3 minutes. Cool and pour into a bag. The substrate should be moist, but not too damp (moisten with boiled water). Place the cutting in the substrate and close the bag tightly. Hang it in a bright place - if the stalk is cut in the fall (October-November), then you can hang it on the south window without shading. If in early spring, then only under shade from the direct sun. There is no need to open the bag, it retains about 90% humidity. Just wait for the roots to appear. They are dark, and not light, like in many indoor plants, therefore they are hardly noticeable.

When the thuja takes root, it must be transplanted into a pot in the soil described above for adult plants. Put the pot in a bag and tie. Shade the first week from any sun and ventilate 2-3 times a day. After a week, the bag can be untied, but not removed, but gradually accustom the young plant to drier air. As soon as the opportunity arises, expose the pot to fresh air on the balcony.

Topic on the forum: Reproduction of thuja, you can discuss, add your comments and share your experience.

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