Platycladus orientalis 'Aurea Nana'

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 1 Professionals
Common Name: oriental arborvitae
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Cupressaceae
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge
Leaf: Colorful, Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest


Grow in fertile, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates some light afternoon shade. Appreciates good air circulation. Water plants regularly and deeply in hot and dry summer periods. In St. Louis, site in locations sheltered from strong winds. ‘Aurea Nana’ is reportedly less winter hardy than the species.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Oriental arborvitae or Oriental thuja typically grows as a dense, conical to columnar, evergreen tree or large shrub to 18-25’ tall. Plants tend to open up with age. Plants have distinctive reddish-brown bark that peels with age. ‘Aurea Nana’ is a dwarf, rounded variety that grows to 5’ tall over the first 10 years. Scale-like golden yellow foliage appears in flattened sprays. Foliage may bronze up in winter. Oval female cones (to 3/4” long) may appear. Platycladus comes from Greek words meaning broad (platys) and branch (klados) in reference to its vertical plane branching configuration. Platycladus orientalis ‘Aurea Nana’ is synonymous with and formerly know as Thuja orientalis ‘Aurea Nana’. ‘Aurea Nana’ is sometimes listed and/or sold under the trade name of BERCKMAN’S GOLDEN ARBORVITAE.


Healthy, well-maintained plants usually have few major problems. Watch for bagworms and spider mites. Scales, aphids, caterpillars, borers and mealybugs may appear. Branches may be broken from snow weight in winter.

Garden Uses

Small hedge, foundation, border, accent or small garden. Container.