Colorado blue spruce is the state tree of Colorado. In the high altitude and dry air of the Rocky Mountains it can grow 40 to 80 feet tall. Its needles range in colour from deep blue to grey-green depending on the age of the tree. Each needle is covered in a protective wax that lends its particular colour. As the tree ages, the colour invariably turns green. They are likely to be at their bluest in spring. Potted spruces make great Christmas trees: their sturdy branches are strong enough to hold ornaments and strings of lights.
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Things you need
- White or light-coloured pot (24 inches deep)
- Good quality potting soil
Plant in a pot that is at least 9 inches deep and of a light colour (white is best but pale pastels will work, too). Avoid repotting later by planting in a pot that is 24 inches deep.
Make sure the pot has holes in the bottom for drainage. Place a sponge or rag in the bottom of the pot to prevent soil from escaping through the hole.
Fill the pot almost full with a good quality, all-purpose potting soil containing at least 10 to 15 per cent perlite. Amend the soil with 1/3 of the amount of organic compost. Remove the seedling from its pot. Plant it in the larger pot, gently tamping the soil around the base of the tree.
Water the seedling so that the soil is moist to the touch. Cover the soil with 1/2 inch of light-coloured mulch or pine wood chips to reflect light and heat, and to conserve water. Prevent the mulch or wood chips from touching the tree.
Tips and warnings
- Potted plants require frequent watering. They cannot send out roots in search of water. Blue spruce, however, does not like wet feet (pooling water around its trunk), so water when the surface of the soil is dry.
- Light-coloured pots reflect sunlight and keep the soil from getting too hot.
- Virginia Tech advises against adding sand to potting soil as this could cause the soil to become impacted and drainage could suffer. Virginia Tech recommends a loamy soil or the addition of compost.
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