The Rheingold shrub is a form of Thuja, one of the cultivars of Thuja occidentalis. This shrub is a small compact evergreen, growing to 4 to 5 feet high with a 3- to 4-foot spread. The Rheingold holds a special interest in the landscape with its soft golden foliage in spring, bright green with yellow overtones in summer and a golden bronze to bronze color in the fall and winter. Hardy from USDA planting zones 3 through 7, the shrub requires little care once established.
Find a location in the landscape that has full sun. The area can be moist, but never plant in standing water. Plan to plant the shrub in spring or fall.
Dig a hole three times the diameter and the same depth of the root ball. Remove all weeds, lawn grass and debris from the dug-out soil. Add one part compost to three parts original soil to enhance nutrition and aid with drainage.
Remove the shrub from the container or burlap and gently spread out the roots. Place the shrub in the planting hole and fill halfway with the amended soil. Water the soil to compact it around the roots. Continue to fill the hole until the soil is level with the surrounding ground.
Water the Rheingold to saturate the soil immediately after planting. Keep the soil evenly moist throughout the growing season. In times of drought, give extra water and spray the shrub with a fine spray from the garden hose to help with humidity. From the second season on, watering should only be needed during times of drought.
Apply a time-released evergreen fertilizer once in the spring and again in late summer. Refer to manufacturer's directions on the amount to apply.
Place a 3-inch layer of shredded pine bark mulch over the soil under the entire spread of the tree. Keep the mulch 4 inches away from the trunk. Keeping the mulch damp during the heat of the summer will satisfy the humidity needs of the shrub. The mulch will also keep weeds from growing.