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Fire Chief Arborvitae (Thuja)

22 Reviews
| 1 answered question
$19.98
  • Dazzling red, orange and lime green foliage
  • Matures to 2-4' wide by 2-4' tall
  • Hardy in USDA Zones 5 - 8
  • Plant in full sun to part shade
Pot size

Description

The phenomenal new Fire Chief™ Thuja from the Southern Living Plant Collection is the type of plant that leads people to ask “What is that plant?!” These exceptionally uniform shrubs make an almost perfect globe shape that requires no pruning. The Fire Chief’s eye-popping display of red-orange on the tips of its branches and lime-green on the inside appears almost other-worldly. Fully mature plants average 3'x3' as this shrub is of the dwarf variety.

As the wind shakes these shrubs, the orange tips appear to shimmer on top of the chartreuse green foliage underneath, creating an optical illusion effect. This Thuja is perfect for those looking for a year-round color interest, as its brilliantly golden spring foliage will transition to a deep scarlet red through fall and winter. Whether used as a border, accent, hedge, or mass planting in the landscape or container garden, the Fire Chief refuses to cease turning heads all year long.

Fire Chief Arborvitae Care

The Thuja Occidentalis is a terrific evergreen shrub that makes for a wonderful addition to any landscape. USDA zones 5a - 8b provides the Fire Chief arborvitae the ideal climate to thrive. In addition to being a dwarf this slow growing shrub remains a manageable size and retains a natural globular shape. Use the Fire Chief Arborvitae as part of the foundation planting around your house. It can be planted as a single specimen or as a group of three or even more. It also works well in your flowerbeds, or in shrub beds all around your garden, proving year round interest.

Planting Fire Chief Arborvitae

The striking colors of the Fire Chief foliage is the main attraction of this plant so you will want to be sure you provide it with sufficient sunlight to facilitate the colorful growth. These shrubs thrive in full sunlight during morning sun and in the evenings prefer dappled shade areas.

Watering Your Fire Chief Arborvitae

Once you are ready to place your shrub in the ground remove it from its shipping pot and water deeply to settle. During the first growing season water 2-3 times per week to develop healthy roots. During the following seasons watering can be reduced as this is a water wise plant and grows to be quite drought tolerant.

Fire Chief Arborvitae Soil

Being such an easy and care free plant it should be no surprise to you that it that are not picky about soil types. They are easily grown in several soil types including those consisting of loam, clay and chalk. Although capable of growing in almost any soil type it does prefer well draining, but moist soil.

Common Fire Chief Arborvitae Questions

How should I prune my Fire Chief Arborvitae?

As stated numerous times this shrub is low maintenance and due to that it requires no pruning. If you do choose to prune do so after 2 years of growth so that your are sure not impede any future growth. Although naturally rounded and compact its possible that it may become a bit "wild" so a light prune is not an issue.

Why is my arborvitae turning brown?

It is both easy and common for new plants to be overwatered leading to a number of issues. The best way to stop your Fire Chief from turning brown is to minimize improper watering. On the other side... it is also possible that it is receiving too little water. For the gleaming green, orange and red foliage that it is known for proper watering and sunlight exposure is imperative.

Care & Use

Getting Started: Understanding Your New Plant

Review your plant's information on our website or the tag that comes with it. Be mindful of sunlight preferences, soil type, and spacing needs.

Our plants are adaptable but grow best in the correct USDA Zones. Click here to learn more about your USDA Zone.

Planting Instructions

Dig a Hole

First, dig a hole three times the width of the root ball of your plant. This makes it easier for the root system to spread out quickly. Dig the hole deep enough that your plant will sit level with or slightly above the ground around it.

Amend Your Soil

Mix your native soil with rich gardening soil to provide extra nutrients and support plant growth. If your soil is clay-heavy, we recommend mixing your native clay soil with equal parts of Pine Bark mulch to improve drainage and the overall breathability of your soil.

Place Your Plant

Examine the roots. If they appear tightly bound, gently coax them apart; this ensures they can spread into the new soil. Place your plant in the hole so the top of the rootball is even with the surrounding soil—Backfill around it with the amended soil mixture. The roots need access to oxygen for your plant to thrive, so do not cover the rootball; place soil around it.

Mulch Your Plants

Top the soil beneath your plant with 3-4 inches of mulch to help it retain moisture. Be careful not to cover the rootball - your new plants roots need access to oxygen.

Water Your Plant

Soak the plant with a hose afterward to hydrate the plant, as well as get the soil and mulch situated. Develop a regular watering schedule based on your plant's needs and local weather patterns. Remember, over watering is just as, if not more, harmful than under watering.

Spacing Recommendations

Spacing Your Fire Chief Arborvitae

For a seamless planting, space this Arborvitae 2-3 feet apart from plant center to plant center. For space between plantings, plant them 5+ feet apart.

  • Scientific Name
    Thuja occidentalis 'Congabe' PP19009
  • Hardiness Zone
    5, 6, 7, 8
  • Sun Exposure
    Full Sun to Part Shade
  • Evergreen or Deciduous
    Evergreen
  • Features
    Dwarf, Sun Loving, Winter / Fall Foliage Color
  • Feature Color
    Green, Orange
  • Uses
    Border, Container, Hedge, Mass Planting
  • Water Needs
    Medium
  • Bloom Season
    None

Growing Zones : 5, 6, 7, and 8

Map of USDA Zones 5-8
Southern Living Plant Collection Nandinas planted in a container with heucherella in front of a fireplace

Southern Living Plants

A collection of shrubs, trees, and perennials selected by plant experts to thrive in the heat of the South. Find traditional varieties like camellias mixed with new landscape favorites like agapanthus. These varieties have been bred to tackle landscape challenges specific to the region.

3 Gallon Fire Chief Arborvitae for sale with bright orange and green foliage in brown southern living plants pot on a white background
Southern Living Plant Collection

Fire Chief Arborvitae (Thuja)

From $19.98

The phenomenal new Fire Chief™ Thuja from the Southern Living Plant Collection is the type of plant that leads people to ask “What is that plant?!” These exceptionally uniform shrubs make an almost perfect globe shape that requires no pruning. The Fire Chief’s eye-popping display of red-orange on the tips of its branches and lime-green on the inside appears almost other-worldly. Fully mature plants average 3'x3' as this shrub is of the dwarf variety.

As the wind shakes these shrubs, the orange tips appear to shimmer on top of the chartreuse green foliage underneath, creating an optical illusion effect. This Thuja is perfect for those looking for a year-round color interest, as its brilliantly golden spring foliage will transition to a deep scarlet red through fall and winter. Whether used as a border, accent, hedge, or mass planting in the landscape or container garden, the Fire Chief refuses to cease turning heads all year long.

Fire Chief Arborvitae Care

The Thuja Occidentalis is a terrific evergreen shrub that makes for a wonderful addition to any landscape. USDA zones 5a - 8b provides the Fire Chief arborvitae the ideal climate to thrive. In addition to being a dwarf this slow growing shrub remains a manageable size and retains a natural globular shape. Use the Fire Chief Arborvitae as part of the foundation planting around your house. It can be planted as a single specimen or as a group of three or even more. It also works well in your flowerbeds, or in shrub beds all around your garden, proving year round interest.

Planting Fire Chief Arborvitae

The striking colors of the Fire Chief foliage is the main attraction of this plant so you will want to be sure you provide it with sufficient sunlight to facilitate the colorful growth. These shrubs thrive in full sunlight during morning sun and in the evenings prefer dappled shade areas.

Watering Your Fire Chief Arborvitae

Once you are ready to place your shrub in the ground remove it from its shipping pot and water deeply to settle. During the first growing season water 2-3 times per week to develop healthy roots. During the following seasons watering can be reduced as this is a water wise plant and grows to be quite drought tolerant.

Fire Chief Arborvitae Soil

Being such an easy and care free plant it should be no surprise to you that it that are not picky about soil types. They are easily grown in several soil types including those consisting of loam, clay and chalk. Although capable of growing in almost any soil type it does prefer well draining, but moist soil.

Common Fire Chief Arborvitae Questions

How should I prune my Fire Chief Arborvitae?

As stated numerous times this shrub is low maintenance and due to that it requires no pruning. If you do choose to prune do so after 2 years of growth so that your are sure not impede any future growth. Although naturally rounded and compact its possible that it may become a bit "wild" so a light prune is not an issue.

Why is my arborvitae turning brown?

It is both easy and common for new plants to be overwatered leading to a number of issues. The best way to stop your Fire Chief from turning brown is to minimize improper watering. On the other side... it is also possible that it is receiving too little water. For the gleaming green, orange and red foliage that it is known for proper watering and sunlight exposure is imperative.

Pot size

  • 2.5 Quart
  • 2 Gallon
  • 3 Gallon
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