Thuja is available in numerous varieties - a brief overview

Thuja is available in numerous varieties - a brief overview

How many species of thuja are there?

How many species of thuja there actually are is hard to understand. New varieties keep adding new varieties.

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A number of arborvitae species are very commonly planted, such as Brabant and Smaragd.

When choosing, the gardener should consider that not every species is suitable for every purpose. While some varieties are very fast-growing and soon form an opaque hedge, other types are more suitable for care as a single tree or topiary.

A small overview of known Thuja species

Variety namecolourGrowth / yearsuitable forparticularities
Thuja occidentalis Brabantgreen30 - 40 cmhedgerobust and fast growing
Thuja occidentalis emeraldemerald green20 cmSingle shrublarger plant spacing
Thuja plicata Martindull greenup to 40 cmhedgevery fast growing
Thuja occidentalis Columnadark greenup to 20 cmhedgebecomes very dense
Thuja occidentalis Teddydark greenup to 20 cmBucket, topiarysoft needles
Thuja plica aurescensyellow-greenup to 40 cmSingle shrubbecomes very high
Thuja occidentalis Danikablue greenremains shortBallwoodbronze in winter
Thuja occidentalis Rheingoldgold coloredup to 10 cmContainer plantColors vary
Thuja occidentalis Tiny Timlight greenremains shortBallwooddoesn't need a cut

Particularly fast-growing species

The particularly fast-growing varieties include Thuja Brabant, Thuja plica Martin and Thuja plica Aurescens. They differ in the color of the foliage.

If you are unsure about the right type of thuja, seek advice from a specialist and talk to your garden neighbors.

Tree of life in a bucket or as a topiary

Some varieties of the tree of life grow very slowly or have certain demands on the soil. If you want to maintain a tree of life in a bucket or as a topiary, you should fall back on small, slow-growing species.

Small varieties such as Danika or Tiny Tim naturally grow in a spherical shape. They develop almost no protruding shoots and therefore hardly need to be pruned or not at all.

Accelerate growth

The growth of the various species can only be sped up a little. When planting as a hedge or solitary, you should allow the tree of life a favorable location in the sun or partial shade.

Make sure that the thuja is not watered too much or too little and do not overfeed the tree of life.


Thuja emerald is often offered and planted as a hedge plant, but it is not the ideal choice for a hedge. It must be planted at a greater distance and grows comparatively slowly.