Propagating thuja - this is how you pull cuttings from the tree of life

Propagating thuja - this is how you pull cuttings from the tree of life

Methods for propagating thuja

There are two methods of propagating thuja: propagation from seeds or from cuttings.

also read

  • Grow thuja yourself from cuttings or seeds
  • Digging up thuja - how to dig up the tree of life
  • Propagate thuja using cuttings

Growing a tree of life from seeds is very laborious and is therefore rarely practiced. Growing from cuttings is less complicated and you are sure to get offshoots that have the same characteristics as the mother plant.

Whether you want to harvest seeds from your thuja or use cuttings for propagation: keep in mind that the tree of life is highly poisonous. This is especially true for the seeds, which must not be consumed under any circumstances. You should definitely wear gloves when tearing off the cuttings.

Propagate the tree of life from seeds

Some varieties of the arborvitae bloom profusely in the spring and develop fruit in the fall, bearing the seeds. You trigger these carefully in October.

Sow the seeds immediately in prepared pots with potting soil and leave them outside for the winter. Thuja is a cold germ and needs low temperatures to overcome the sprout inhibition. If you do not want to sow the thuja until spring, store the seeds in slightly damp sand in the refrigerator over winter.

It takes months for the seeds to germinate. During this time, they must always be kept moist but not wet.

Propagation of thuja via cuttings

  • Tear off cuttings
  • shorten something
  • Treat the interface with rooting powder
  • put in prepared pots
  • alternatively put directly in the field
  • keep it moist but not wet
  • Cover the cuttings in the pot with foil
  • Plant out after new shoots

To grow thuja from cuttings, tear - not cut! - You so-called cracks from the young twigs in early summer. A piece of bark must remain from the branch at the lower end. Then the cutting roots faster.

If you bring the cuttings to the roots in the pot, a small greenhouse is ideal. But you can also pull clear plastic foil over it.

Coat the cutting with rooting powder and make sure that it does not dry out. Successful root formation is shown by new shoots.

Transplant self-sown thuja

If you do not remove the flowers or, later, the fruits of the thuja, the seeds will ripen in them. The fruits open and drop the seed to the ground. Under favorable conditions, they will germinate there over the next few months.

You can carefully dig up such self-sown thuja and transplant to the desired location in the hedge or as a single tree.


In contrast to Thuja Brabant, Thuja Smaragd flowers only very rarely. You can therefore almost never harvest seeds yourself from this tree of life. Should emerald bloom, it is better to remove the seed heads to give the tree of life more strength for foliage formation.