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Help with pruning one of my balcony pot-plants Thuja Hiba or Thujopsis dolabrata

Reminder, you are talking to an absolute beginner, never tried anything like it to grow on my balcony.   

I have the following Thuja Hiba on my south facing balcony, in a pot.  See pic.  It is doing extremely well and growing faster than expected.  Now it needs a prune.  I want to keep it the round shape it is but also make sure it does not look like a bush in a theme parks, organised to the nth degree where it mimics a plastic one.  

I assume spring or autumn is the best time, or can one do cuts at any time?  And next how to best prune (as in where along the stem)?  Open to any tips and insights about my lovely Thuja here. 


  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,326
    If you want to keep it fairly natural but still roughly rounded, you need a sharp pair of pruning shears. Just move smoothly in a sweeping action and snip all over, standing back frequently to check the shape from various angles. When you snip, take no more than an inch or two off all over to start with, to avoid going too far and ending up with uneven chunks. Now is a good time, it’s in active growth so the new growth will be soft and easy to snip. There are probably videos on youtube of how to do topiary/cloud pruning - watching someone else do it before taking the plunge will give you more confidence. The same tool will do for your thuja 😊 
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • greetings Nollie 
    thanks for posting.  sounds good.  I have a look if I find anything on YT video.  I am familiar with pruning and taking your time, I have a 35 year old Bonsai I trained from scratch, and there too one learns.  Balcony plants are new to me.
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