The Whipcord Western Red Cedar (Thuja Plicata ‘Whipcord’) Care Guide

The Whipcord Western Red Cedar, otherwise known as the Thuja Plicata ‘Whipcord’ or Silver Linden, Silver Lime, European White Lime, White Lime, Tilia alba, Tilia argentea, is a rather well known tree plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and slow growth, this tree 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, this is exactly what we’ll cover in this Whipcord Western Red Cedar Care Guide. So let’s dive in.

The basic care guidelines you need to remember for your Whipcord Western Red Cedar are the following:

  • Water: The Whipcord Western Red Cedar prefers constant watering each week and more during the hot season.
  • Light: Keep your Thuja Plicata ‘Whipcord’ in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Whipcord Western Red Cedar in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of sand, clay, and chalk.

And that’s practically it! If you keep these three factors in check, your Whipcord Western Red Cedar will likely have all it needs for it to survive and even thrive.

Thuja plicata 'Whipcord' leaves

Description and Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Whipcord Western Red Cedar belongs to the genus Tilia and the species Tomentosa, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Thuja Plicata ‘Whipcord’ (THOO-yuh ply-KAY-tuh).

As with other Tilia’s, the Whipcord Western Red Cedar is an evergreen plant, which means it will be present year-round in your garden.

NameWhipcord Cedar
WateringEvery week
LightPartial to full sun
SoilWell-draining properties
PruningRemove old leaves when needed
Max. HeightUp to 4 – 5 ft tall and wide

Growing Region

Knowing your plant’s native region is very useful, as it can give you tips on which environment is best for your Whipcord Western Red Cedar. If you keep it in mind, you can try to replicate these conditions at home, and you’ll likely end up with a healthier plant.

With this in mind, the Thuja Plicata ‘Whipcord’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 6 – 9 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a and the ideal climate zone is between 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21.


In terms of size and growth, the Whipcord Western Red Cedar is a relatively slow grower, which makes things easy for any plant enthusiast. But what exactly does this mean for your Whipcord Western Red Cedar? How large a pot should you consider, how tall, how wide can it get? Let’s jump in…

How big does a Whipcord Cedar get?

This species can grow up to 4 – 5 feet tall and wide (between 100cm and 150cm). Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful compact, and mounding shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.


In terms of watering, the Whipcord Western Red Cedar 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 Plicata ‘Whipcord’ 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. 

Thuja plicata 'Whipcord' care


As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Whipcord Western Red Cedar in soil with moist but well-draining to well-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 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 Whipcord Western Red Cedar 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.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Whipcord Western Red Cedar prefers to have soil with good drainage properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of sand, clay, and chalk.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably neutral to alkaline soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Whipcord Western Red Cedar requires partial to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this tree will do well as long as you keep it in partial to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Thuja Plicata ‘Whipcord’ in full and direct sun (more than 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).

Is Whipcord an evergreen?

Being an evergreen plant, the Whipcord Western Red Cedar will be present year-round in your garden. But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), and during the fall.


The Whipcord Western Red Cedar produces some wonderful gold/yellow and white flowers around this time of year.


The leaves from the Whipcord Western Red Cedar have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a simple arrangement with an alternate organization in its leaves.

You can expect the leaves from your Thuja Plicata ‘Whipcord’ to be around (3-6 inches) in size.

Thuja plicata 'Whipcord' plants

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Whipcord Western Red Cedar is well known for being able to attract butterflies, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.

Additionally, it has a special tolerance for drought conditions, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Thuja Plicata ‘Whipcord’ will be fine.


Now, let’s talk garden and how your Whipcord Western Red Cedar will look best in it.

Most Thuja Plicata ‘Whipcord’ owners agree that this tree will look great in most cottage, asian/zen contemporary, and rustic gardens of all types. 

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of prairie and meadow styles. 

In particular, the Whipcord Western Red Cedar’s best use for landscaping within your garden is as wildlife garden, specimen, rock garden, privacy screen, mass planting, hedge, container, or a woodland garden.

Companion Plants

Whipcord Western Red Cedar’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 Spiraea will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!


And we’ve come to an end. Fortunately, that’s everything you need to know about your Whipcord Western Red Cedar to keep it safe and sound in your garden or home. Enjoy planting

Related Questions

Is Whipcord Cedar deer resistant?

Yes, the Whipcord Cedar is deer resistant. The tough, scaly leaves are unpalatable to deer and other browsers. This dense evergreen makes an excellent privacy hedge or windbreak. It grows in zones 5-8 and tolerates a wide range of soils.

How do I prune a Whipcord Cedar?

Prune your Whipcord Cedar by removing old leaves and shaping as desired. It can be pruned either formally or informally. With formal pruning, the plant’s overall shape is maintained with specific cuts made at certain points on the plant. With informal pruning, you remove unwanted branches as they grow.

Removing old leaves helps keep the cedar healthy by reducing time spent repairing damaged foliage. Also, shaping as desired will help keep your cedar looking neat and tidy.

Sebastian Moncada

I’m also a plant enthusiast and researcher. I’ve been privileged to have lived my whole life around the wilderness of Colombia and I’m happy to share everything I learn along the way. “Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience” – Emerson.

Recent Posts