Microbiota decussata- Russian Arborvitae


General: A shrubby dwarf evergreen ground cover growing 8- 18″ tall that spreads up to 12′. Branches have spreading stems that nod at the tips.

Leaves: Flattened sprays of soft, scale like needles that are bright green in the summer and a purple/bronze to brown in the winter.

Fruit: Tiny, round, berry like cones with woody scales.

Attributes:  An ornamental ground cover evergreen for slopes, rocky areas, foundations and mass planting.


Hardiness:  Zones 3-6

Growing Conditions: Requires moist, well drained soils in full sun to partial shade. Prefers mild summers and is intolerant of wet soils.

MaintenanceNot susceptible to many pests or diseases but will not perform well in wet soils or overly hot/humid climates.

Transplanting: Easily transplanted if cultural conditions are met.

Our Experience

Experience at Great Hill

We have a mass planting of microbiota along the main road surrounding great hill. For many seasons it performed really well as an evergreen ground cover, but has recently started to decline in spots. As our area has seen a warming trend and our summers have been regularly hotter and more humid, we’re guessing this is probably the cause. We plan on keeping a close eye and potentially relocating specimens to a cooler, drier location.