Blue spruce, stinging spruce, blue fir - care instructions

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The blue spruce is one of the most popular Christmas trees in Germany, but it also cuts a fine figure in the home garden. With its dense and broad growth and its slightly blue color, it is one of the most beautiful evergreen conifers. Originally based in the Rocky Mountains, it also gets along well with the winter temperatures in the local latitudes. In the gardens in this country, however, are usually bred trees with a particularly intense blue-gray color of the needles.


The blue fir belongs to the Flachwurzlern, which means that around their location sufficient space for the propagation of their roots must be present. If it is planted on a wall or in a corner, it must be ensured that the roots can unfold to the other sides. In addition, it has a dense and broad habit, its crown grows cone-shaped, the branches, however, just to all sides. Therefore, she needs a lot of freedom on all sides. Otherwise, the ideal location must have the following characteristics:
  • sunny and bright
  • to give up partial shade or even full shade better
  • Wind does not bother her
  • therefore, the location does not need to be protected
  • can be planted as a solitaire
  • if there is a lot of space, it can also be planted in the group
Tip: If there are small children in the family, the spruce spruce should be given a place where the little ones can not get. It is not by chance that the tree has its name, because the silvery needles are not entirely harmless, as they end up in a rather sharp point.

Substrate & soil

Even on the ground, the pine spruce has no special requirements. If it is sandy and loamy it is just as good for the spruce as a humus-rich soil. Therefore, the soil in the garden is actually perfect for the blue spruce. If a soil is particularly heavy and loamy, it can also be enriched with sand or compost. In addition, it should always be kept moist, a dry soil does not tolerate the conifers so well.

Pouring & fertilizing

Regular watering is mandatory with the blue fir, because a longer dryness should be avoided at all costs. Therefore, it is also particularly important that it is supplied with enough water in the hot summer months during a prolonged dry period. And even in winter, in periods of dry frost, watering must be considered. Here, however, water may only be added on frost-free days. When fertilizing, the following should be noted:
  • Regular fertilization promotes the growth of the spruce
  • use full fertilizer
  • Blue Grain is a good choice here, for example
  • but also pine fertilizer from the well-stocked retailers can be selected
  • Pay attention to the different manufacturer's instructions for the fertilizer feeds
Tip: Even in winter, when there is a long dry cold, the conifers must be sufficiently infused on frost-free days. Otherwise, the plant could suffer from drought stress, which they would acknowledge with needle drop.


If the planting hole in the garden bed or in a meadow is dug as the center and the soil is excavated, this can ideally be filled into a wheelbarrow provided. This facilitates preparation and mixing with sand and compost. In the planting hole stones or potsherds should be filled against rising waterlogging, for example during prolonged periods of rain, which drain the water better. When planting the spruce, proceed as follows:
  • Place spruce with the root ball in a water bath
  • after some time put in the prepared planting hole
  • Now loosen the cloth wrapped around the root ball
  • this can remain in the earth
  • Fill in prepared soil
  • Press lightly all around
  • Water blue tub well
  • water well for the next few weeks

Cultivation in the bucket

If the purchased blue fir is still small, up to 1.50 meters high, it can be cultivated in a bucket in the early years. This is especially an advantage if the decorative spruce on terrace, balcony or in the living rooms to be decorated over the Christmas period. Then the bucket can be simply pushed to the desired location, if it was placed on a mobile frame before planting. Since the spruce does not tolerate waterlogging, a drainage should be created at the same time in the tub in the plant, which prevents the water in the vessel above the drain hole dams, because here earth has settled and so the excess irrigation water can no longer run off. Because of water, with which the roots constantly come into contact, they could rot and the plant enters in the worst case. Therefore, when cultivating in the tub, proceed as follows:
  • Put the tree in a water bath
  • Put potsherds or stones over the drain hole
  • Lay plant fleece over it
  • Fill prepared soil in half
  • Remove spruce from the water bath and place in a bucket
  • Carefully loosen the cloth around the root ball
  • Cloth can remain in soil
  • Made of natural materials, it dissolves over time
  • Fill in the remaining soil and press lightly
  • water well
Tip; When cultivating in the tub repotting is not recommended. If the blue spruce is too large, it should better get a place in the garden bed or as a shade dispenser on a lawn in the garden. For too long, the fir should not remain a pot, otherwise it is prevented from growing and stunted over time.


The prick spruce can be propagated by cuttings. This is faster than growing with seeds. Therefore, if there is already a blue spruce in the garden and should more be added, this procedure is recommended. If the existing spruce therefore has new shoot tips in the spring or early summer that are not yet lignified, but also not quite soft, they will be demolished. This tearing off creates a bark tongue, from which later the roots form. So it's very important that the cuttings are not cut off here. The cuttings thus obtained are then used as follows:
  • Put the cultivation soil in a saucepan
  • these for better permeability even with sand or peat mixes
  • remove the lower side shoots from the cuttings
  • then stick in the earth and pour on
  • a bright location, for example on a windowsill is ideal
  • For warm, moist air, a transparent film
  • Alternatively, the pot can also be placed under a large, inverted glass
  • ventilate regularly
  • Keep cuttings moist
  • By autumn, roots have formed
  • to spend the winter in the house
  • In spring, the new plants may be planted outdoors
Tip: The cuttings after rooting not immediately next year put into the open but for the first few years in a bucket to cultivate. In this way, the trees, when they have become strong enough, can be used first as a Christmas tree, before they move into the garden.


After about thirty years a stinging spruce is fertile. For sowing, the seeds in the cone can be used. If the cone of a blue spruce is ripe, then the scales dissolve and fall off, the seeds also fall out. These can be sown directly in the garden bed. However, it makes more sense and more effective to put the seeds in one or more small pots with seedling soil. Do not put it too deeply and always keep it moist. After about 10 to 20 days, the first seedlings already show up here. The pots are ideally placed in a bright place with a temperature between 15° and 20° Celsius.

To cut

Spruce trees are no longer able to drive out of old wood. Therefore, it does not make sense to cut a blue fir. Ideally, it is only lighted, that is, dead wood or stunted branches are removed. The ideal time for this cut is right before being driven out again, ie at the end of winter. The weather on this day should be frost-free and covered.


Blue sprouts are hardy and need no special protection, they protect themselves. Only very young spruces, which have just been planted, should be protected against frost with a layer of mulch over the root. The young shoots, however, must be protected from the intense winter sun, as well as the trunk.
Tip: Should the spruce lose its needles in winter, then this must not be due to a care mistake or an illness. The evergreen firs renew their needle dress about every seven years. If, therefore, new needles grow quickly after being dropped, this is no cause for concern. If the blue fir is also in a shady position in winter, the drop can occur every year.

Care mistakes, diseases or pests

If brown needles form and are thrown off, this may be due to the fact that there was too long a dry period under which the spruce had suffered. Therefore, care must always be taken, even in winter, that the soil around the coniferous wood is always kept moist. But also waterlogging or road salt can be the cause. Gladly the attractive blue spruce of Sitka Lapps is also attacked. Even with such an infestation, the tree loses its needles in large quantities. Then it is recommended to use insecticides against the pest. Also different fungal diseases can occur and add to the blue tub, then fungicides must be used specifically, because a fungal infection must not be taken lightly. In general, however, the fungi rarely occur on the conifers.
Tip: If a fungus occurred or even in other diseases, such as the unexplained needle drop, the hobby gardener can also get help at the responsible for his place of residence forestry, because for such cases, the foresters were trained and also help here.
The blue spruce is an easy-to-care and decorative conifers that grows very fast, needs plenty of sun and space and is well suited as a small tree in a pot as a Christmas tree. The spruce spruce requires little care, as it hardly needs to be cut and only needs to be sufficiently watered.It is a real eye-catcher as a shade dispenser in a large garden with its slightly blue-silvery color. The hobby gardener, however, must already be clear when purchasing that the tree can be up to 20 meters high and has a long life.


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