Anna’s Magic Ball Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Anna van Vloten’) is a dwarf cultivar of the Native American Arborvitae. This shrub is part of the cypress family and is known for its compact size, distinctive globe-like shape, and vibrant foliage. Anna’s Magic Ball Arborvitae brings a touch of elegance and greenery, making it a sought-after choice for novice and experienced gardeners alike.
Size and Shape
Anna’s Magic Ball Arborvitae has a compact and spherical form, creating a delightful visual impact in garden spaces. This cultivar typically reaches a mature height f two feet and width of about 2 and 1/2 feet, forming a well-rounded silhouette. Its neat and symmetrical structure makes it ideal for various garden designs, from formal settings to more whimsical and contemporary landscapes. The globe-like shape remains intact as the plant matures, maintaining a well-defined outline that requires minimal pruning to uphold its aesthetic appeal.
Leaves and Flowers:
The foliage of Anna’s Magic Ball Arborvitae is a visual delight, adding a burst of lush green to the garden throughout the year. The scale-like leaves are densely packed, creating a solid and attractive surface. The vibrant green color remains consistent, refreshingly contrasting the surrounding landscape. One of the notable characteristics of this cultivar is its retention of color even during the winter months, adding a touch of evergreen beauty to the garden when other plants may be dormant.
This shrub is not known for its flowers; its ornamental value lies in the appealing foliage. The absence of conspicuous blooms is compensated by the dense and compact arrangement of leaves, contributing to the overall aesthetic charm of this arborvitae variety.
Preferred Growing Conditions:
This arborvitae cultivar prefers well-drained soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH. The soil should be rich in organic matter, providing a nutritious foundation for healthy growth. Adequate drainage is crucial to prevent waterlogging, ensuring the roots remain healthy and avoiding potential issues such as root rot. A sunny location is ideal for this plant, although it can tolerate partial shade. Providing at least six hours of sunlight per day promotes robust growth and helps maintain the vibrant green color of the foliage.
In terms of climate, Anna’s Magic Ball Arborvitae is well-suited for USDA hardiness zones 3 to 7. It is known for its cold tolerance, making it suitable for regions with harsh winter conditions. While it can endure various temperatures, protecting the plant during extreme cold snaps is essential, especially in the lower end of its hardiness range. Regular watering is necessary, particularly during dry spells and in the initial stages of establishment.
Uses in the Garden:
This shrub’s globe-like shape and modest height make it an excellent choice for creating formal garden elements. Planted in rows, it can be shaped into low hedges, providing a defined border to garden beds or pathways. The neat and symmetrical form of Anna’s Magic Ball Arborvitae also makes it suitable for container gardening, adding a touch of greenery to patios, balconies, or other confined outdoor spaces. Furthermore, the evergreen nature of Anna’s Magic Ball Arborvitae ensures that it contributes to the garden’s aesthetic appeal even during winter when other plants may be dormant. Anna’s Magic Ball Arborvitae can also be a privacy screen when strategically planted. Its dense foliage provides a natural barrier, enhancing seclusion and creating a more intimate atmosphere in outdoor spaces.