of Rhode Island GreenShare Factsheets
Landscapes: Russian Arborvitae
Graceful, evergreen groundcover shrub with soft textured
needles arranged in flattened sprays. Provides a disease-resistant
alternative to groundcover junipers in well-drained, sunny
to partially shaded locations.
The foliage of this evergreen groundcover has a soft,
feathery appearance, lending a gentle touch to the formal landscape.
It has graceful branchlets arranged in flattened sprays. The
foliage is bright green in summer and turns to a bronzy purple
to brown in the winter. Native to mountain tops in Russia,
Russian arborvitae grows to approximately 12 inches but may
spread to over 15 feet. The shrub does not produce visible
Russian arborvitae works well as a groundcover. It provides
a low maintenance carpet of green as well as excellent soil
stabilization and weed control over large informal areas. Russian
arborvitae is particularly useful in shady areas where many
juniper groundcovers will not thrive.
Prefers moist, well-drained soil and sun to partial shade.
It may be somewhat less vigorous in areas with hotter summers
as it has limited drought tolerance. Very cold hardy. Zones
3-7 (less vigorous in 8).
No serious pest problems. Provides a sustainable alternative
to blight-prone juniper groundcovers.
The Russian arborvitae is planted in the URI Learning
Landscape in Kingston, RI. The shrub is available at many garden
centers and nurseries.
The 'Vancouver' form has been reported to be a superior
By seed or by cuttings.
are poisonous! Read and follow all safety precautions on labels.
Handle carefully and store in original containers out of reach
of children, pets or livestock. Dispose of empty containers
immediately, in a safe manner and place. Pesticides should never
be stored with foods or in areas where people eat.
When trade names are used for identification, no product endorsement
is implied, nor is discrimination intended against similar materials.
Be sure that the pesticide you intend to use is registered for
the state of use.
The user of this information assumes all risk for personal injury
or property damage.
information, call the URI CE Gardening and Food Safety Hotline
at 1-800-448-1011 or (401)874-2929 from outside Rhode Island;
Monday-Thursday between 9 am and 2 pm.
of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension provides equal program