Daisy's White Alberta SprucePicea glauca var. albertiana 'Daisy's White'
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Picea glauca var. albertiana 'Daisy's White'
Outdoor Growing zone
Daisy’s White Alberta Spruce is a striking dwarf evergreen with spring growth that is almost pure white, turning very slowly more yellow and eventually maturing in summer to a rich green. In winter it holds its green color without bronzing or burning. This tree grows just a few inches a year, reaching 2 feet tall within 10 years and continuing to grow indefinitely after that. It is superb as a feature in a rock garden, or on terracing, slopes or retaining walls. Grow it with a collection of other dwarf evergreens, or in a pot or planter box.
Full sun will give the best foliage coloring and growth with Daisy’s White Alberta Spruce. It grows in most well-drained soils, from sand to clay, with a slight preference for acidic soils. It grows well in poor, rocky soils and gravels too. It normally has no pests or diseases when growing in cool zones, and it needs no trimming or special attention to grow steadily and become a significant presence in your garden.
The charm of dwarf conifers never fails, and these cute little plants have a way of catching our attention (and hearts). You might use them among your shrubs, or have a special collection in a dedicated bed, but either way be sure to make a special place in your garden for Daisy’s White Alberta Spruce. This truly unique little plant radiates beauty, especially in spring, that is a lot bigger than its small size. A glowing pyramid of almost pure-white, it’s going to become a striking beacon in your beds. “What is that?!” is the most likely comment from visitors, and everyone is amazed at how beautiful and unique this little charmer is. No wonder the finder named it after his granddaughter. Growing just a few inches a year to become a perfect little pyramid that never needs trimming, this remarkable plant is for collectors – collectors of beauty and collectors of very special things. Grow it in a rock garden, on terracing and retaining walls, or in a planter – however you grow it this little plant will find its way into your heart – and yes, it’s easy to grow, especially in the coldest parts of the country.
Daisy’s White Alberta Spruce is a dwarf evergreen shrub that grows just 2 or 3 inches a year, reaching about 2 feet tall and 1 foot wide within 10 years. After that it will continue to grow at about the same rate indefinitely, becoming a remarkable mature specimen that will live for decades. It forms a slender pyramid, becoming broader and slightly more irregular with age, and with branches to the ground more or less indefinitely. The many short stems create a dense, tight surface and the soft-looking foliage give it a wonderful and unique look. The needle-like leaves are no more than ½ inch long, and they are in dense clusters at the ends of every shoot. In spring the new growth is a pale yellow, soon turning yellow-white. A tree at this stage is a stunning and marvelous sight. Gradually it turns greener, until it becomes a bright green with bluish overtones. Exactly when that happens varies, and in the coldest zones it will probably be the end of summer before it is the fully-mature green. It will be earlier in warmer zones. That mature coloring lasts throughout the winter months, with no bronzing or browning, no matter how cold it becomes.
This little charmer is perfect for a rock garden, with other small plants. It would be great along a level of terracing, or at the foot of a wall. Plants like this are especially suitable for dedicated beds of different evergreen conifers – spreaders, spires, balls and cones in different foliage colors from gold to blue. Especially in colder zones this is a great way to have a fascinating and beautiful feature in your garden which just gets better and better over time. In zones 4, 5 and 6 this tree could also be grown in a planter, pot or trough, alone, or again with a collection of other small evergreens.
Despite its small size and amazing coloring, Daisy’s White Alberta Spruce is hardy even in zone 3, and it thrives in all cooler zones into zone 6.
Full sun will keep your little tree dense, compact and beautiful, and intensify its white coloring. It will grow well in any well-drained soil, from sand to clay, but good drainage is important. It also grows well in rocky soils and gravels, as long as they are not too hot and dry. Slightly acidic soils are preferred, and very alkaline soils may not be so suitable. Steady moisture and cool soil in hotter zones is needed, so use mulch – either organic or gravel – to achieve this. Mature plants have good resistance to ordinary drought, but don’t do well in hot and humid areas.
There is really nothing you need to do to grow Daisy’s White Alberta Spruce once it is established. For the first couple of years you should water regularly, and always give a deep watering just before freeze-up. Otherwise it will take care of itself, normally stays free of pests or diseases and needs no trimming – it develops best left to itself.
White spruce, Picea glauca, is a tall evergreen tree found all across the northern parts of North America and into the USA, especially in Minnesota and around the Great Lakes. In the west a form usually called ‘variety albertiana’ is found, called western white spruce. Some authorities believe this is a hybrid between white spruce and Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii), which grows beside it in the west. If that is true this tree would be called Picea x albertiana. In 1904 a dwarf form was found growing wild in Alberta, Canada, and today it is called ‘Conica’ – a very widely-grown and beautiful dwarf evergreen. In 1996 a nurseryman in Eigenbilzen, Belgium, called Ludo Jeurissen-Wijnen, was growing that plant and among them he discovered one unique individual. He named it after his granddaughter, Daisy. At first it was called ‘J.W. Daisy White’, but Ludo insisted that it be changed to ‘Daisy’s White’.
We know you will love this little charmer from the moment you receive it. It will grow in your garden and in your heart over the years, becoming a great favorite, we’re sure. But order right away, because collectors seek out this plant, and it will sell out very soon.