The Q&A Archives: Need Information - Teddy Arborvitae

Question: Hi,

I am living in California (San Jose) zone 9. I would like to plant the teddy Arborvitae - Thuja occidentalis 'teddy' but it is hardy zone 3-8. Is it still ok to plant it in zone 9?

Will the foliage remain green? I am told that the foliage of the arborvitae turns brown and can drop somewhere in fall or winter. Is it the case with the teddy arborvitae? If so will the plant look somehow neglected?

Another question - on your website it says that it needs full sun. Where I want to plant it it will receive the morning sun till one o'clock pm during summer - it is enough sun? During winter it will receive less sun may be till noon. Is it still ok? Otherwise how will the plant be affected?

Water requierement - it needs only occasional water. What does it mean exactly? Once a week? Once every two week?

I am looking forward to hear from you as soon as possible.

Best regards,

Answer: Teddy is an evergreen globe shaped dwarf arborvitae. It will grow well in your gardening region (the suggested growing zones are for winter hardiness and your area seldom receives sub-freezing temperatures). If your shrub does not receive all day sunshine it could develop fungal diseases. Once the shrub is established it needs only occasional watering during the hottest months of the year. (A thorough soaking every 2-3 weeks) Otherwise it does fine on natural rainwater. Teddy produces finely textured, almost feathery foliage. Blue-green coloring is accented with bronze in extremely cold weather. Teddy grows slower to just 1 foot tall and 2 feet wide. Gently shear for perfect spheres or allow it to mature naturally into versatile oval shape.

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