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Can Thuja Plicata 2' 6" be planted in pot ?

TanTan Posts: 8


I was going to buy one to replace a dead plant in my hedge, but I thought it would make sense to buy a spare one and leave it in a pot, so I can easily replace another dead plant should it happen again this or next year. The hedge is more than 2' high already and I am not sure I will be able to get plants of a similar height as it grows further ..

Will it work, how big is the pot needed, any special care ?



  • TanTan Posts: 8

    Thanks, how big is reasonably large pot in tems of liters/cm. Forgive my ignorance, I have very little experience with gardening.

    I wouldn't mine leaving it there even if I don't need it for replacement in the future, may come handy for garden decoration purposes.

    This topic was about the dying thuja, it has fell off by now, only the smaller green part remains, but it is too different in size to the other plants. I plan to take it out and replace with an equally sized plant:

  • Gold1locksGold1locks Posts: 498

    Thuja plicata is a giant conifer (Western Red Cedar - it's what cedar greenhouses are made of) which grows to over 200 feet tall. 

  • TanTan Posts: 8

    Yeah, I've seen what wikipedia says, but this's clearly a different thing. I think "Atrovirens" might be the key.

  • Gold1locksGold1locks Posts: 498

    Atrovirens is a cultivar, final height 100 feet, half the height of the species, but still taller than an English Oak.

    I once planted around 1000 thuja plicata as a catch crop in between beech, to encourage straight stems on the beech trees and to provide stout poles for rustic arches etc..  The thuja were vigorous growers. I also had atrovirens as a garden hedge in a later garden. It's foliage is rather more compact than leylandii, but my feeling is that it will not present well when grown in a pot because it is very hungry and will need to be pruned to keep it to a size that can be confined in a pot,  and the foliage isn't tight enough to give it ornamental shape at that size, unlike dwarf conifers, box, holly cultivars etc..

    Having said that, you can grow almost anything in pots provided it doesn't have a strong tap root (thuja doesn't). 

  • Gold1locksGold1locks Posts: 498

    So sorry Tanimage, just re-read your message properly and you are only intending to keep it in a pot for a year or so. Of course you can, thuja are often supplied in large pots, up to 10 litres.

    I have done just the same as you with purple beech - three spares in pots just in case one fails. 


  • TanTan Posts: 8

    Hmm, I was going to buy the plants of size I need from eBay, and the seller said that "These are the native western red cedar sourced from seed from Vancouver - they are faster growing than atrovirens but very similar in appearance." Even more confused now, is he trying to sell me 200 feet tall trees ?

  • Gold1locksGold1locks Posts: 498

    They could well be Ok as hedging, after all no leylandii have as yet reached their ultimate height as the first was propagated from seed in 1934 and is still growing. They could end up being the tallest conifer in the world, outgrowing giant redwood, and yet they work as a hedge, though a very coarse one. The thuja that I planted in my mini-forest were the native ones, not the cultivar, and the leaf growth was tighter than leylandii, but looser than the hedge in my next house. As atrovirens is only half the height I suspect it has a tighter formation and probably grows a bit more slowly. 

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