A stellar groundcover, Russian arborvitae has soft, evergreen foliage with a pleasing feathery texture. It grows just 1-3 feet tall and slowly spreads to cover a 12-foot swath of open landscape. Use it as living mulch in a mixed-shrub border, or plant it near a foundation, where it tolerates somewhat dry conditions and is nearly maintenance-free. It's also a great choice for stabilizing banks and slopes. Russian arborvitae foliage is often bright green in summer, changing to bronze-purple in fall and winter.
Russian arborvitae is easy to grow in sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil. It grows best in areas with cool-summer climates. If you are growing it in a warm-summer area, plant it where it will receive some shade in the afternoon.