Western Red Cedar (Thuja Plicata ‘Zebrina’)

Plant: Table of Contents

Understanding the Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata ‘Zebrina’)

Plants are an integral part of our environment, providing numerous benefits ranging from aesthetic value to environmental protection. Among the diverse range of plants, the Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata ‘Zebrina’) stands as a prominent and popular choice for landscaping and ornamental purposes. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricate details of this fascinating plant, including its culture, uses, maintenance, and the art of nurturing this exquisite flora.

What is Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata ‘Zebrina’)?

The Western Red Cedar, scientifically known as Thuja plicata ‘Zebrina’, is a unique and visually captivating coniferous shrub that belongs to the Cupressaceae family. It is a cultivar of the native Western Red Cedar, distinguished by its striking, irregular gold and green banded foliage. This plant is renowned for its vibrant and distinctive appearance, making it a prized addition to gardens, landscapes, and natural habitats.

Key Takeaways – Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata ‘Zebrina’)

Introducing the key aspects of the Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata ‘Zebrina’), its culture, uses, and maintenance can significantly enrich the understanding of this exceptional plant.



  • Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata ‘Zebrina’) thrives in moist, well-drained soil.
  • During the establishment phase, consistent watering is essential to promote healthy root development and ensure the plant’s vigor.


  • This cultivar displays a preference for partial to full sunlight exposure.
  • Adequate sunlight ensures optimal growth and the preservation of the characteristic gold and green foliage coloration.


  • The Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata ‘Zebrina’) flourishes in various soil types, including loamy, sandy, or clay-based soils.
  • It generally performs well in slightly acidic to neutral pH environments.


  • Application of a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in the spring can provide the necessary nutrients for robust growth and vibrant foliage.



  • The Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata ‘Zebrina’) serves as a remarkable ornamental plant in landscaping, adding texture, color, and visual interest to garden settings.
  • It is often used as a focal point in rock gardens, borders, or as a standalone specimen plant.

Privacy Screen

  • Its dense foliage and upright growth habit make it an ideal choice for creating privacy screens or windbreaks.
  • It offers a natural and visually appealing solution for enhancing privacy in residential and commercial landscapes.



  • Pruning is recommended for shaping and controlling the size of the Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata ‘Zebrina’).
  • Regular maintenance pruning can help maintain a desirable form and promote air circulation within the plant canopy.


  • Propagation can be achieved through various methods, including stem cuttings and layering techniques.
  • These methods allow for the expansion of existing plantings and the creation of new specimens from established plants.

Container Gardening

  • The Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata ‘Zebrina’) can thrive in large containers, adding a touch of elegance to patios, decks, and urban landscapes.


The beauty and adaptability of the Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata ‘Zebrina’) have contributed to its widespread popularity among gardeners, landscapers, and horticulture enthusiasts. Its unique foliage and versatility have made it a cherished addition to diverse gardening and landscaping projects.

Common Diseases

The Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata ‘Zebrina’) can be susceptible to certain diseases that may affect its overall health and appearance. Understanding these common diseases is crucial for implementing effective preventive measures and maintaining the plant’s vitality.

Disease Diagnosis

  • Key diseases to watch for include cedar rust, root rot, and canker diseases.
  • Regular monitoring and prompt diagnosis can aid in early intervention and disease management strategies.

Common Pests

The occurrence of pests can pose a threat to the well-being of the Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata ‘Zebrina’). Recognizing common pests and deploying appropriate control measures is essential to safeguarding the plant’s health and vigor.

Pest Control

  • Pests such as aphids, spider mites, and scale insects can infest the foliage and stems of the plant.
  • Integrated pest management approaches involving cultural, biological, and chemical control methods can effectively mitigate pest infestations.

Botanist’s Tips

Insights and recommendations from experienced botanists and horticulturists can provide valuable guidance on cultivating and caring for the Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata ‘Zebrina’).

Fun Facts

  • Occasionally referred to as the “zebra” or “zebra green” due to its striking variegated foliage.
  • Known for its impressive cold hardiness, enduring harsh winter conditions with resilience and grace.


The Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata ‘Zebrina’) stands as an enchanting and versatile plant that captivates with its visual allure and adaptability. From its distinctive foliage to its practical uses in landscaping and gardening, this cultivar continues to carve a special place in the hearts of plant enthusiasts and horticulture aficionados. By embracing the essential elements of culture, uses, and maintenance, gardeners and landscapers can cultivate and nurture the Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata ‘Zebrina’) with confidence, ensuring that its beauty flourishes and endures for generations to come.


Picture of Peter Taylors

Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.