How to Grow Colorado Blue Spruce

How to Grow Colorado Blue Spruce

The Colorado blue spruce is a beautiful tree from North American native selection. It’s very slow growing but has an excellent pyramidal shape. As a landscape plant, it reaches 15-20 feet maturity in ten years. They were first discovered in 1862, growing in the Rocky Mountains.

But nowadays, they’re widely planted landscape trees. If you live in the right climate and have good soil, this tree will thrive, but only if you plant it the right way.

This guide tells you everything about how to grow blue spruce trees, from seedlings to mature specimens suitable for your yard or garden. You’ll learn what type of soil they need and how much sunlight they require. You’ll also learn tips on pruning them and other maintenance tasks that are necessary for their survival. Let’s get started!

Propagating and Planting Blue Spruce

Grafting is the most successful propagation method as it allows you to get earlier crops than cuttings do, but the downside is that this method requires more knowledge and experience. You can use either whip or cleft grafts with scions taken from the upper part of mature trees or use root cuttings. Colorado blue spruce grows very slowly, so, you have to be patient for seedlings to fully grow.

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To plant colorado blue spruce, dig a deep hole of two to three times as wide as the root ball of the tree. Then, place the tree in the hole so that the root ball is even with the surrounding soil. If your soil is poor, add water to the soil to remove air pockets. 

Other special features that come with this plant include bird-friendly, dramatic foliage color, easy-care, North American Native Selection, Tolerates Road Salt, and year-round interest. And the companion plants include spirea, Butterfly Bush and Blanket Flower, Weigela, and Stonecrop.

Colorado Blue Spruce Tree Care

Other common names of Colorado blue spruce include green spruce, white spruce, and Colorado spruce. The main requirement for these trees is an adequate water supply during dry periods. Colorado blue spruce tree requires the following maintenance to keep it healthy and vigorous:


It is essential to plant blue spruce trees in moist soil locations with full sun and light shade. However, blue spruce Picea Punjeb is also drought-tolerant, but growing it in heavily polluted areas can affect the blue color coating of the needle.


It is not fussy about the soil type as long as it is well-drained. Colorado blue spruce trees require moist soil to grow healthy and well. Spruce prefers acidic, boggy soils which are sandy or loamy with low levels of organic material. 

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On soil pH, Colorado spruce requires a range of 6.0 to 7.5, even though they can tolerate extremely acidic and alkaline soils. Make sure you test the soil pH just to be sure.


Plant Colorado blue spruce trees in full sun and ensure they get at least six hours of unfiltered sun per day. The Colorado blue spruce thrives in full to partial sun. It also tolerates partial shade but does better in spots with plenty of sunshine.


Blue Spruce Picea punjens require an ample supply of water and also good drainage. Although blue spruce tolerates drought, it does best when watered consistently throughout the entire year. Water your blue spruce about once every two weeks if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week during the first growing season to keep the soil moist.

Once it’s established, water it only during dry spells and avoid water logging or creating muddy soil. The Colorado blue spruce can tolerate dry soil as long as the plant is watered regularly during its first growing season. At that point, it develops a deep root system and requires less frequent watering.


Blue spruce does not require frequent fertilization to thrive. If you want to fertilize your Colorado blue spruce, do so in early spring or late summer using a balanced 10-10-10 formula. This will give the tree an added nutrition boost. It will increase the length of the needles and improve the needle color. 

The fertilizers will also give full nutrients and help the plant to grow vigorously with a nice look and denser foliage. Better yet, you can consider using green manure for your plants. Learn how to make a composter to make this even better.


The Colorado blue spruce should be pruned to remove dead needles and any diseased branches in its first winter. After the tree has gone through one growing season, it should no longer require any pruning. But a good thumb requires you not to prune them because they do best when their branches are allowed to grow to the ground.

Pruning them will also promote denser foliage. So, apply two to three inches of garden mulch around the plant’s base in a wide circle to keep the soil from splashing during rainy weather.

Temperature and Humidity

The Colorado blue spruce will prefer cool conditions, but they’ll tolerate full sun more readily than other evergreens. Give your tree some protection from the hot afternoon sun. It would prefer cold winters and moderate summers, with an annual minimum of about -20 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Colorado blue spruce is also tolerant of cold weather, but it will not thrive in extremely hot and humid weather conditions.

Pests and Diseases

Aphids, scale insects, and spider mites are all pests that bother picea punjens. An infestation of whiteflies can cause leaves to have a dusty appearance and also cause root rot. If you see any symptoms of pest damage on your Colorado blue spruce, it’s important to take care of the problem immediately before it becomes an irreversible situation.

Use a magnifying glass to examine your tree. Look for any eggs that may be about to hatch, and remove them by hand if they’re spotted early enough in the process. If you find a fully grown pest, spray it with a strong stream of water from a hose or use an insecticidal soap that can be applied with a garden sprayer.

Failure to treat those fuzzy black spots can make your spruce needles turn purple to brown and eventually fall. However, fungus won’t kill your tree, but these blue spruce trees are also susceptible to white pine weevils.

Potting and Repotting Blue Spruce Tree

Since these trees are used for Christmas decorating, you can add them as potted landscaping plants when the holiday is over. The blue spruce tree can also be added to the Rocky Mountains or any area with good drainage and full sun exposure. Once the season is over, dig a hole and keep the dirt loose to provide enough air for the roots.

Potting and Repotting Blue Spruce Tree
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The Colorado Blue Spruce Landscape Uses

This plant makes an exceptional accent tree. You cannot also go wrong with this tree if you’re looking for a windbreak or privacy screen. And if you’re living in areas with a large wildlife population, these ornamental trees resist deer, thanks to their strong smell and prickly texture. This also makes it a perfect habitat for local rabbits and birds.

FAQs on How to Grow Colorado White Spruce

Can you grow Colorado blue spruce indoors?

No, blue spruce trees are too large to be grown indoors. They can be grown outdoors where they can get natural sunlight.

How can you make blue spruce grow faster?

Make sure your blue spruce tree is planted in a location with lots of sunlight for at least half a day. You can also fertilize the soil around the plant with triple phosphate and potassium to help it grow faster.

Final Thought on How to Grow Colorado Blue Spruce

As you can see, growing these Christmas trees is not that difficult. As long as your location has full sun and is well-drained, you can grow this plant and enjoy its Christmas beauty. Even if you do not use it as a Christmas tree, the blue spruce will still look good around your home. It can also help you separate tall multistory buildings.


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10 Best Topiary Plants to Grow

10 Best Topiary Plants to Grow

Topiary plants are easier to grow than any other ornamental tree or shrub. The best topiaries among trees, herbs, and shrubs bear small leaves. They also grow quickly and have a dense branching pattern.

If you want to add interesting shapes and forms into your garden without having to spend too much effort on them, topiaries are something worth considering. Here’s a list of several popular choices that we’ve picked out so you can decide which ones would work best for your gardening needs.

1. Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens)

Buxus spp, or box, is a versatile plant for topiary projects since it can tolerate almost any type of soil and exposure. This makes it ideal for growing indoors as well as outdoors. It’s an old-time favorite to craft a refined look by using its natural features.

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The only problem is the high maintenance requirements when you try a complex design. They can be shaped however you like because they provide a dense style with insignificant flowers. You can use boxwood topiaries to balance your entryway and other simple applications like creating a basic hedge.

For its optimal growth, it requires consistent moisture and proper mulching. It’s also important to provide it with well-drained soil, and it prefers full sun to partial shade.

2. Yew Bush

Yews are conifers that require very minimal care effort. They have a needle structure and dense leaves. Yews are considered an evergreen shrub but don’t need a lot of sunlight. It’s suggested you place them under partial shade. However, it’s important to provide them with well-draining soil and water during the blooming season. 

Taxus bushes are available in many different varieties. Some of them can be used as foundation plants, while others can be used for landscaping needs. If you have a cylindrical topiary in mind, then go for Anglo-Japanese yew. They are the common yew because they grow in a cylindrical shape.

Yew Bush
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The only drawback is that they’re toxic to animals and humans, so avoid growing them where dogs roam, or kids play. If you want to achieve the topiary shape, then Taxus baccata is the most popular choice.

3. Privet Shrubs

Some hedge plants can double as excellent choices for topiaries, and Ligustrum spp is one of them. Its timeless aesthetic makes it perfect for privacy. This topiary plant grows and requires less effort to shape than other topiaries. You’ll also appreciate its superior tolerance to salt and urban pollution.

When it comes to growing conditions, this plant is very versatile. It’s hardy within USDA zones 5 through 9. It’s also resistant to drought, disease, and pests. Once planted, the shrubs need an acidic soil with pH levels of 6.2 to 7.0 so you must test the soil pH to ensure it’s the correct one for your plants.

They grow well in full sun to partial shade conditions with at least six hours of sunlight daily. However, too much sun can cause some bleaching on leaves, so keep that in mind. It produces large leaves and has dense foliage. The larger leaves make it suitable for large-scale topiary.

4. Japanese Holly Shrub

The name of this plant comes from the evergreen leaves. The leaves are a dark, solid green color with a toothed edge. They have an attractive appearance and grow in clusters. They’re 2 to four inches long and 1 ½ to three inches wide, making them ideal for topiary projects.

Its rounded form makes this shrub ideal for topiary projects that involve geometrical shapes. The ilex spp is an evergreen with broad leaves instead of needles. It has dense foliage and a bushy appearance with many glossy leaves. Hollies with traditional holly leaves can be trimmed to the shape that you desire.

It grows upright at a moderate rate and requires occasional pruning to prevent it from growing large. It’s appreciated by landscape designers, thanks to its remarkable qualities of blossoms. Growing hardy USDA zones of Ilex crenata are 5 to 8, full sun and part shade.

5. Rosemary Herb

Who doesn’t know this excellent herb? Rosemary, with the Latin name of Rosmarinus spp, is an evergreen with needle-like leaves. It can grow up to 3 feet tall and 15 inches wide at full-grown, but it needs little pruning to be used for topiary projects. It’s also known for its white flowers and pleasant scent. 

Rosemary has a strong and fragrant scent and is tolerant to heat and drought. Rosemary can also be used in herbal tea, meats, and fish. Thrives best in USDA growing zones 8 to 10, full sun exposure.

6. Lavender

Lavandula angustifolia or lavender for short can be used as a topiary if not for its beautiful and fragrant flowers. It has a greyish hue and is drought tolerant, thriving in USDA zones 4 to 9, full sun exposure. Lavender can be used in soaps and lotions, but this plant is also known as an insect repellent.

A good choice of companion plant since lavender can protect other plants from insects. Other benefits of Lavandula spp include the ability to draw butterflies and repel deer. You can also take advantage of its evergreen leaves if you’re living in a warmer climate. Lavender can also be grown as a small topiary plant.

7. Thyme

When it comes to small-scale topiaries, herbs like thymus spp or thyme should be your choice. Thyme isn’t only a culinary favorite, but it’s also a suitable plant for topiaries because of its compact nature and tidy appearance.

It has small green leaves and can grow between 6 inches (15 cm) and 2 feet (60 cm). Thyme has deep purple, white flowers, and an earthy scent. This makes it a great choice for a fragrant topiary that can also add color to your garden.

8. Vines

Ivies or Hedera spp are great for this purpose, although some are considered invasive. Therefore, choose non-invasive varieties like Lady Frances, Gold Child, or Duckfoot. It is not very difficult, and it is fun making one in your garden or yard.

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You can grow any variety in a container, but make sure that the plant is not invasive. Dwarf forms of English ivy (Hedera helix “Hahn’s”) can be grown in a pot because they are non-invasive. The same thing can be said about creeping fig (Ficus pumila) and Persian ivy (Ternstroemia gymnanthera).

As for the plants that you might want to avoid, think about English ivy varieties like Pagoda, Imperial Gold, or Queen Emmarentia because these are the ones that might invade other parts of your garden. Working with ivy is incredibly easy and provides flexibility for any topiary artist.

9. Sphagnum Moss

Sphagnum moss is a small flowerless plant that grows in dense green clumps. It’s mostly found in shady and damp locations. When you want to make this topiary plant, you need to find a proper frame then fill it with moss. Once it’s full, it can stand alone and you can use it as a base to plant trailing vines, herbs, and flowers.

10. Dwarf Alberta Spruce Trees

This is another slow grower plant, but it6 makes up for it with dense and fragrant foliage. This dwarf tree is very important if you’re looking for a topiary with pyramidal and conical shapes.

FAQs on Best Topiary Plants to Grow

Which plants make the best topiaries?

Such plants as holly, laurel, boxwood, and privet are excellent choices for topiary. But boxwood, especially morris dwarf, is the best topiary plant choice because of its compact shape, even if it’s trimmed.

Which Buxus is best for topiary?

The best buxus for topiary include English box, Dutch box, and Japanese box.

Final Thought on Best Topiary Plants to Grow

As you can see, there are so many topiary plants to grow and so many different types of topiary styles. Even though there are so many choices, you can always find something that will work for your landscaping project.


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