The Dwarf Golden Arborvitae, otherwise known as the Thuja Orientalis ‘Aurea Nana’ or Foam Flower, Coolwort, False Mitrewort, White Coolwort, is a somewhat well known perennial plant native to the Northeast, and the Southeast of the United States.
Best known for its low maintenance and slow growth, this perennial will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.
Fortunately, taking care of your Dwarf Golden Arborvitae is not too difficult – as long as you follow our guidelines in this Dwarf Golden Arborvitae Care Guide. Now let’s get started.
The basic care guidelines you need to remember for your Dwarf Golden Arborvitae are the following:
- Water: The Dwarf Golden Arborvitae prefers constant watering each week and more during the hot season.
- Light: Keep your Thuja Orientalis ‘Aurea Nana’ in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis.
- Soil: Make sure to keep the Dwarf Golden Arborvitae in soil with moist but well-draining to poorly draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of loam, chalk, and clay.
That’s it – sunlight, water and soil! The basic 3 fundamentals for all plant care, and with the Dwarf Golden Arborvitae this is no exception. With these three elements, your leafy friend will live healthy and happy.
Scientific / Botanical Aspects
In botanical terms, the Dwarf Golden Arborvitae belongs to the Saxifragaceae family, the genus Tiarella and the species Cordifolia, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Thuja Orientalis ‘Aurea Nana’ (THOO-yuh or-ee-en-TAY-liss AW-ree-uh NAN-uh).
As with other Tiarella’s, the Dwarf Golden Arborvitae is an evergreen plant, which means it will be present year round in your garden.
The Dwarf Golden Arborvitae is a plant native to the Nova Scotia and Appalachian Mountains to Alabama West to Minnesota. This is why the Thuja Orientalis ‘Aurea Nana’ is used to growing in specific regions such as the states in Northeast, and the Southeast of the United States.
As a rule of thumb, we recommend to always keep in mind your plants’ native region and environment, since these are the conditions that your Dwarf Golden Arborvitae is most accustomed to, thus where it can most favorably.
With this in mind, the Thuja Orientalis ‘Aurea Nana’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 1 – 7 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a and the ideal climate zone is between 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A3.
Growth and Size
In terms of size and growth, the Dwarf Golden Arborvitae is a relatively slow grower, which makes things easy for any plant enthusiast.
But, what size of Dwarf Golden Arborvitae are we talking about? What can you expect in terms of height, spread and spacing? Let’s dig in…
The Thuja Orientalis ‘Aurea Nana’ can grow up to 10″ – 1′ (25cm – 30cm) in 10″ – 1′ (25cm – 30cm) and 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm) in 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm).
These dimensions make the Dwarf Golden Arborvitae a relatively medium perennial compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.
Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful compact, and rounded shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.
This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 18″ – 24″ (45cm – 60cm) free so the Dwarf Golden Arborvitae can spread to its best extent.
In terms of watering, the Dwarf Golden Arborvitae is a fairly simple plant to take care of.
This is mostly because it has a straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.
Specifically, most experts agree that the Thuja Orientalis ‘Aurea Nana’ prefers constant watering each week and more during the hot season.
Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water.
As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Dwarf Golden Arborvitae in soil with moist but well-draining to poorly draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive.
When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage, and moist properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times.
However, in our experience, the best solution to knowing the right amount of water for your Dwarf Golden Arborvitae is with the ‘thumb’ technique. Basically, you insert your finger into the soil, and based if you feel the soil moist or dry, you determine if it needs any water, which is the most appropriate way to go about watering your leafy friend.
As mentioned earlier, the Dwarf Golden Arborvitae prefers to have soil with good drainage, and moist properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of loam, chalk, and clay.
This is why most experts agree that the Dwarf Golden Arborvitae requires soil with high organic matter, which will give you the right conditions it needs.
In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.
Light and Exposure
In terms of light & exposure, the Dwarf Golden Arborvitae requires partial to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions.
Most experts agree that this perennial will do well as long as you keep it in partial sun to shade, and it will be able to grow properly.
Specifically, we recommend that you place your Thuja Orientalis ‘Aurea Nana’ in from full or deep shade (no direct sunlight or at most 2 hours per day), to little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day).
Being an evergreen plant, the Dwarf Golden Arborvitae will be present year round in your garden.
But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (late), the summer (early), and during the fall.
You can expect your Dwarf Golden Arborvitae to flower around the spring months from April to June (spring).
The Dwarf Golden Arborvitae produces some wonderful pink and white flowers around this time of year.
The leaves from the Dwarf Golden Arborvitae have a beautiful green color during most of the year.
In particular, they have a rosulate organization in its leaves.
You can expect the leaves from your Thuja Orientalis ‘Aurea Nana’ to be around (1-3 inches) in size.
Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance
The Dwarf Golden Arborvitae is well known for its tolerance to animals like rabbit and deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Thuja Orientalis ‘Aurea Nana’ will be fine.
How should you then organize your garden to include your new Dwarf Golden Arborvitae? Here are some recommendations by expert gardeners.
Most Thuja Orientalis ‘Aurea Nana’ owners agree that this perennial will look great in most contemporary, asian/zen and rustic gardens of all types.
Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of informal and cottage styles.
In particular, the Dwarf Golden Arborvitae’s best location within your garden is in ground covers, beds and borders, and in underplanting roses and shrubs, others use it for landscaping in a wildlife garden, urban garden, container, border, hedge, mass planting, or a woodland garden.
Dwarf Golden Arborvitae’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Cotinus, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.
Others consider that a nice Rosa will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!
So that’s it! These are the main plant care requirements that you need to keep in mind in order to have a healthy Dwarf Golden Arborvitae in your garden or home.