Picea pungens

View of a group of Picea pungens

Image - Wikimedia / Crusier

Conifers are trees of great ornamental value, but there are some that are prettier than others. The Picea pungens it is probably one of the most interesting. It has a bearing and an elegance that is rarely seen in a plant, and also its maintenance is not very complicated.

By having evergreen leaves of green or teal color, it is a tree that will always look spectacular in a garden, but yes, so that it is We are going to offer you a series of tips to make it easier for you to have it healthy.

Origin and characteristics

Picea pungens is a very decorative conifer

Image - Wikimedia / Sten Porse

Our protagonist is a conifer native to the Rocky Mountains of the United States whose scientific name is Picea pungens. It is popularly known as Colorado spruce or blue spruce. It reaches a height of 35 meters, with a straight trunk of grayish-brown bark. The needles (leaves) are sharp, are arranged in the shape of a brush and give off an aroma when rubbed.

The cones are pendant, oblong-cylindrical, 6-10cm long, and light brown when ripe. The scales have a rounded upper edge.

What are their cares?

If you want to have a copy, we recommend that you provide it with the following care:

Weather

When we go to buy a plant it is important that first of all we know in what climate it can live, since this way we will avoid spending money in vain. In the case of Picea pungens, we have said that its habitat is mountainous, so we can deduce that lives in areas where the climate is temperate-cold.

Therefore, to enjoy its beauty we must live in an area whose temperature range is between 25-30ºC maximum and -18 or -20ºC minimum.

Location

Conifers are plants that usually need a lot of space to be able to develop, not only because of the height they reach but also because of their root system. Taking this into account, We will plant it at a distance of at least ten meters from walls, paved floors, etc. In this way, we will avoid problems. It must be in semi-shadow.

Earth

Grows in cool, rich soils, with good drainage. Due to its characteristics, it cannot be kept in a pot for a long time.

Irrigation

Picea pungens, a slow-growing conifer

Image - Wikimedia / Agnieszka Kwiecień

The frequency of watering will vary a lot depending on the season of the year: while in summer you will have to water more often, the rest of the year it will not be necessary to give water as often as the soil will stay moist for longer. So when do you water the Picea pungens?

Well, It would be recommended 3-4 times a week in summer and once or twice a week the rest of the year., but we must be aware of the weather forecasts since, for example, if rain is expected we will have to wait a few days before giving it water again 🙂.

In case of doubt, we will check the humidity of the soil by digging about ten centimeters (more or less) next to the plant. If at that depth we notice that it is cooler and more humid, we will not water.

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In spring and especially in summer it is highly recommended that we pay it once a month with organic and ecological fertilizers, such as herbivorous animal manure, green manure, egg and banana peels, ... among others that you can see here!. We will put a layer of about five centimeters thick around the Picea pungens, we will mix it a little with the surface of the earth, and then we give a good watering.

Multiplication

It multiplies only by seeds in autumn, since it needs to be cold before germinating. If the climate is suitable, it will be enough to sow them in pots with universal growing substrate, water, and let nature take its course; otherwise we will have to do the following:

  1. First, we will fill a transparent plastic tupperware that has a lid with previously moistened vermiculite.
  2. Then, we sow the seeds inside it, and cover them with a layer of vermiculite.
  3. Next, we sprinkle copper or sulfur on the surface of the vermiculite and spray a little with water.
  4. The next step is to cover the tupperware and place it in the fridge (where the milk, sausages, etc.).
  5. Once a week and for three months, we will remove it and remove the lid for a few minutes so that the air is renewed and thus avoid the appearance of fungi.
  6. After 90 days, we will sow the seeds in pots with universal cultivation substrate, in semi-shade. You have to try not to put them too close together or in a pile, since if they germinate, they may not all survive.

Thus, will germinate throughout the spring.

Plagues and diseases

It's very tough; However, if it is watered in excess it can be attacked by opportunistic fungi. If so, the symptoms are:

  • Yellowing and subsequent browning of the needles (leaves).
  • Growth slowdown.
  • Appearance of white or greyish mold on the trunk and / or foliage.

There is no treatment that is really effective. The only thing that does work is to control the risks a lot, and do preventive treatments once a month or every two months with fungicide.

Rusticity

It resists strong frosts of up to -20ºC.

The leaves of the Picea pungens are greenish or bluish

Image - Flickr / FD Richards

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