Try Thujopsis as a Thriller!

May 4, 2012 by

Is "spillers, fillers and thrillers" your mantra? Need an unusual thriller? Or something different?

Try Thujopsis dolabrata. Also known as "Hiba Cedar" or "Deerhorn Cedar" this unusual evergreen could be the star of your container. The Great Plant Picks list describes it as a "refined evergreen warranting more use in the northwest."

As a very slow growing pyramidal-shaped tree, it is perfect for containers. The scaled evergreen foliage, similar to Thuja, provides an interesting background for its neighbors and other containers. Dark green leaf tops contrast with white marked undersides. Leaves form wide flat branchlets overlapping in an unusual deerhorn pattern, thus the common name.


Thujopsis dolabrata

Coarsely peeling brown bark provides additional interest as the tree ages. Spring new growth is lighter green, becoming darker in the summer and autumn temperatures often leave a bronze tinge. As the tree matures, little cones may appear.

Thriller plant for containers

Notice the bark and tiny leaves


The deerhorn cedar also provides a thrill when planted in the garden. Although easy to control, if left untended for many years it can reach 30 ft high and 8 ft wide. Native to shady moist forests of Japan, it grows best in light to open shade (especially in hot areas) and prefers rich, well-drained, moist soil. If grown in the sun, ensure the soil remains moist. It is hardy from USDA zones 5- 8 and is virtually pest-free.

I think you've just found a new thriller! Don't forget, You Can Grow That!

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