Arborvitae Planting and Care Guide


Follow planting instructions as directed on the warranty pamphlet. Arborvitae root flares are often buried too deep in nursery containers. We strongly encourage pulling the excess soil away from the trunk to expose the root flare in order to determine the correct planting depth. *Be sure to use Gardner & Bloome Acid Planting Mix as a soil amendment. 


Spring/Summer Watering:

Arborvitae need water more often than other plants. Drip irrigation will NOT provide enough water for these shrubs. When daytime temperatures are consistently above 70°F: Deep soak each individual shrub slowly with a hose until ponding occurs. This should be done every 1-2 days in the first year, 2-3 times per week in the second year, and once per week in the third year. When temperatures start to cool: Begin to reduce watering frequency.



Use Fertilome Root Stimulator during the first growing season. In the second growing season, use Fertilome Acid Loving Plant Food. In the third season, use Fertilome Tree and Shrub Food, or any balanced all-purpose fertilizer with an acidifier product like sulfur, gypsum, etc.



General shaping and light pruning can be done in late spring or early summer when the new growth begins to flush. Pruning should be limited throughout the rest of the season. Heavy pruning should only be done before the shrubs break dormancy in late winter or very early spring. Dead branches can be taken out at any time.

Wilt-Pruf®, Ready-to-Use Trigger Sprayer, 1 Gallon (3.8 Liters)


Winter Care and Watering:

In late November or early December, apply an anti-transpirant (i.e. Wilt Pruf) to help protect Arborvitae from winter cold/dry damage. Before the first heavy snowfall, wrap Arborvitae with 2” or 4” burlap to hold branches upright and prevent damage from snow load. Arborvitae need to be watered in the winter, normal snowfall is not enough moisture to keep them alive. Apply at least 1/2 gallon of water per foot of shrub height every other week. For example, a 6-foot shrub needs 3 or more gallons of water per watering.


Watering over 70°F Fertilizer Needs Winter Care
1st season Every 1-2 days Fertilome Root Stimulator Wilt Pruf & Wrapping
2nd season 2-3 times per week Fertilome Acid Loving Plant Food Wilt Pruf & Wrapping
3rd season Once per week Fertilome Tree & Shrub Food Wilt Pruf & Wrapping


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