How to Plant a Blue Spruce in a Container

Written by nancy wagner
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How to Plant a Blue Spruce in a Container
Choose a semi-dwarf blue spruce tree for containers. (Nancy Nehring/Photodisc/Getty Images)

A container holding a blue spruce tree adds visual interest and texture to the garden and landscape. Plus, planting a blue spruce in a container gives you flexibility on where in the garden the tree will best grow since blue spruce requires full sun to partial shade. You can also move the container around to add interest to a patio, deck or pool area. Most varieties of blue spruce trees are hardy up to U.S. Department of Agriculture zone 2.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Potting soil
  • Mesh screen
  • Gravel
  • Slow-release fertiliser
  • Water

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  1. 1

    Choose an appropriate container that's big enough to hold your tree while offering good drainage. If drainage holes are missing, drill two drainage holes for each square foot of bottom surface area. The drainage holes should measure between 1/2 and 3/4 inch wide.

  2. 2

    Place a mesh screen on the bottom of the container to keep soil from draining out through the holes. Add several inches of gravel on top of the screen.

  3. 3

    Add commercial potting soil to the container, leaving enough room to include your tree in the pot.

  4. 4

    Loosen the tree from its nursery container. If you're planting a bare root tree, soak the roots for a few hours in several gallons of water.

  5. 5

    Remove the tree from its nursery container and place it in the new container. If you're planting a bare root tree, create a mound of soil on which you can spread the tree's roots after transplanting to the new container.

  6. 6

    Fill the container with soil until the root ball is covered.

  7. 7

    Add a slow-release fertiliser to the container. Slow-release fertilisers only need to be applied once a year, making maintenance of the tree much less demanding.

  8. 8

    Water the tree thoroughly, then plan on watering the tree as soon as the soil starts to feel dry to the touch.

  9. 9

    Place the container in a shady location for a few days to help acclimate the tree to your garden. Then, move the container to a more permanent location in full sun to partial shade.

Tips and warnings

  • Choose semi-dwarf blue spruce tree varieties for container gardens.
  • Choose nursery container-grown spruce trees to make transplanting easier on the tree.
  • Protect the tree's roots during cold weather by keeping the container in a protected spot. Wrap the container with an insulating material during the coldest months to protect the roots from freezing and dying.
  • Container-grown trees require more water than their counterparts planted directly in the ground, so plan to water often.
  • Avoid placing the container in direct sunlight on hot pavement or concrete as hot summer temperatures from such surfaces may overheat the soil in your container and kill the tree.
  • Do not use soil from your garden in a container. Potting soil is better suited for containers since it drains properly and contains few, if any, diseases or insects that could harm your new tree.

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