The Q&A Archives: emerald arborvitae

Question: I recently purchased two hedge plants. My husband planted them in pots, because they started turning brown on the ends. Well we have maintained a watering scheduled on the instructions as the soil when the top 3 in is dry. when will they start to turn green? Do we need to cut the ends off that are brown?

Answer: If it is unsightly, go ahead and trim the brown areas off. Arborvitaes are very tough plants, so it is surprising that this is happening. Make sure that your watering is effective; sometimes the potting soil the roots are in will dry out much faster than the surrounding soil. Also make sure you are not overwatering them, as arborvitaes are subject to root rots. The soil should be moist but not sopping wet. Using a layer of mulch a few inches thick should help maintain that soil moisture with a deep watering about every five to seven days depending on the temperatures and rainfall. In the beginning you may also have to water the potting soil every other day or every third day until the roots reach into the surrounding soil. Dig down into the soil to see if you need to water or not because potting soils can be very fast draining.

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