Plant of the Week: ANNA’S MAGIC BALL® Arborvitae

Here’s a cute little plant for brightening your winter garden: Anna’s Magic Ball® arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis.) It has bright golden evergreen foliage that holds its color well through the winter. It maintains its dense, globe-like habit without pruning and is a great accent plant or low hedge.

Anna’s Magic Ball® Thuja grows to just 10-15″ tall and wide. In winter, we can barely see it above our piles of lake effect snow – but this little shrub was developed in Canada, so snow isn’t a problem for this guy. It is hardy to USDA Zone 3 and will grow in full sun or partial shade.

Fall Planting

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, fall is the perfect time to plant a shrub. Okay, it’s the perfect time to plant most shrubs.

The cooler weather and increased precipitation make fall a great time to plant deciduous shrubs…you know, the ones that drop their leaves and go dormant all winter. When you plant in the fall, they have a few weeks to get established; they go to sleep in their new home and wake to a nice warm spring.

Evergreens are a bit different. Because they hold on to their leaves, they experience transpiration all year, meaning they take in and give off water continuously.

Broadleaf vs. needle leaf evergreens

Because of the wider leaf surface, broadleaf experiences more transpiration than needle leaf evergreens, so they need more time before the ground freezes to develop a strong root structure to take water in.

Because of their narrower leaf surface, cold hardy, needle-leaf evergreens like Anna’s Magic Ball® can handle a fall planting better than broadleaf evergreens like boxwood or rhododendrons. So, while fall is a great time to plant a shrub, save the boxwoods for next spring.

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