How do you care for arborvitae bushes?


Quick Answer

Arborvitae require minimal care and maintenance after being planted. Choose a sunny spot with good soil, keep the plant watered regularly, and prune it as needed to maintain its shape and size.

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How do you care for arborvitae bushes?
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Full Answer

  1. Choose a sunny planting spot

    Plant arborvitae in a sunny spot that has rich, well-drained soil. Although the plant does not tolerate soggy soil, it does prefer being kept moist. After planting an arbovitae, add a 2 to 3-inch layer of mulch to the soil. Mulch helps regulate the soil's moisture and maintain even temperatures.

  2. Water the plant regularly

    An arborvitae, particularly newly planted arborvitae, needs consistent watering during its first growing season to ensure the development of a strong, extensive root system. Soak the soil enough to reach as deep as the root ball. Allow the top several inches of soil to become dry before watering it again. As a general rule, the plant needs 1 inch of water weekly, either from rainfall or supplemental watering.

  3. Prune arborvitae annually

    Regularly inspect the plant, and prune away any dead or damaged branches as needed. If heavy pruning is needed, complete the pruning in early spring so that the new growth conceals the pruning cuts. Otherwise, shear the shrub to keep its size in check and/or to maintain shaping in early summer after the new growth has expanded.

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