How to grow oriental arborvitae at home and why they are so popular

How to grow oriental arborvitae at home and why they are so popular
How to grow oriental arborvitae at home and why they are so popular

Tui is a group of perennial evergreen coniferous shrubs and trees of the Cypress family. They grow mainly in mixed forests and in areas with mild, temperate and warm climates. Oriental thujas are native to East Asia. But over the past 50 years, they have become very popular among domestic flower growers as house plants.

Secrets of the East

Thuya has always enjoyed respect among the inhabitants of the East. It was believed that this plant is sacred, it was planted near mosques and holy places. Thuja in Greek means "sacrifice". In the old days, during the time of sacrifices, logs from this tree were stacked in sacrificial fires. The French considered thuja "the tree of life." It served as a kind of amulet for houses and was actively used as a medicinal plant.

Oriental thuja - volatile plants. Their needles release essential oils into the surrounding air, which are detrimental to many pathogens. In the wood and thuja needles, many useful compounds have been found that have a beneficial effect on human he alth. Since ancient times, the seeds of the plant have been used as a means of strengthening and toning the body. The Chinese used decoctions and tinctures to treat diseases.respiratory organs, kidneys, liver and bladder. Thuja helped with rheumatism and gout, was a popular hemostatic and expectorant.

oriental thuja

Oriental thuja Aurea Nana

Thuja has only six varieties, but the most recognized as a plant for apartments and offices was thuja orientalis "Aurea nana". It is a small and compact shrub with a cone-shaped or ovoid crown. Coniferous leaves are soft, fan-shaped, tightly pressed to the trunk and directed upwards. The "legs" of the needles have a bright light green color, which on young shoots can have a lemon or golden hue. Oriental thujas change their color with the onset of cold weather. The crown acquires carmine-red brown hues.

By autumn, arborvitae, like many coniferous plants, acquire small cones - seeds. They are only 2-3 centimeters in size, tiny scales are armed with curved hooks to protect against intruders. Seeds may be green or blue, which will change to brown at maturity.

thuja orientalis photo

Growing at home

Cuttings and sowing seeds are two ways that thuja propagates. Growing at home does not require much attention and effort, but it is worth considering that the plant will grow slowly. During the year, the shrub adds no more than 8-10 centimeters in growth.

It is necessary to take into account certain subtleties. There are about 60 varieties of thuja. All of them can differ both in color and in the shape of theircrowns When propagated by seeds, seedlings can differ significantly in shape, color and type of needles from the mother plant. If you want your thuja to have a certain appearance, you should stop at cuttings. This method will allow you to get a plant with maternal data. For an example, thuja orientalis is shown below - a photo of cuttings already rooted and planted in the ground.

thuja orientalis aurea nana


Seeds have a high similarity and the "sleeping" embryo, in order for it to begin to develop, you will need to resort to the stratification method. How is it done?

Seeds should be collected from the arborvitae in the fall and placed for wintering in a cold place, simulating natural conditions. With the onset of warming, when you move them to a warm place, the seeds will feel the approach of "spring" and begin to sprout.

thuja growing at home

There are two methods:

  1. Take a flower pot and fill it with a mixture of earth, sand and peat (1:0, 5:2). After planting the seed to a depth of 1 centimeter and slightly moisten the ground. Then place the pot in a bag, tie it up and put it in a cool place (with a temperature of 3-5 ˚С). It can be the basement or the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, whichever is more convenient. Periodically, you need to untie the pot and check if everything is in order, the earth should not grow moldy or, conversely, dry out. After 2-3 months, the pot is placed in a warm place (20-23 ˚С).
  2. Seeds wrapped in cloth are kept in the refrigerator in wet sphagnum or sawdust. After 2-3 months theyplanted in prepared loose soil, and the pots are placed in a warm place. Usually, eastern thuja shoots sprout in 1.5-2 months. At the same time, you need to monitor moderate watering and avoid direct sunlight.


In July-August, last year's well-developed lateral branches with a piece of mother wood (heel) are cut off from an adult plant. The lower needles must be removed from them, and then installed in water for rooting. To speed up the process, you can use growth stimulants. After the cutting has given root, it is planted in the prepared soil.

Today, oriental arborvitae can often be seen both in prestigious office space and in residential buildings. The plant does not require special attention, it is resistant to cold and drought. Watering the thuja should be moderate, and it is better to place it on the north or west side of the house, avoiding direct sunlight. These plants are not just beautiful - they fully purify the air, saturating it with he althy aromas.

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