Dwarf Blue Pearl Colorado Spruce - Tree FormPicea pungens ‘Blue Pearl’
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Picea pungens ‘Blue Pearl’
Outdoor Growing zone
The Blue Pearl Colorado Spruce is a very remarkable miniature tree, with a short trunk, topped by a flat crown of tightly-packed branches and rich silver-blue needles. This slow-growing plant will be about 6 inches tall and 12 inches across in 10 years, plus the height of the sturdy trunk. A true gem for a special place in your garden, or in a pot or planter box. You will adore watching this little beauty develop and mature, becoming a collector’s item in your garden, like owning a work of natural art. Despite its size it is easy to grow, hardy even in zone 3, and thrives in any sunny spot.
The Blue Pearl Colorado Spruce should be grown in full sun, in average well-drained soil. In a pot, use soil for cactus and succulents, and always allow the soil to dry a little between each watering. Water deeply in fall if you are growing outdoors, and keep containers a little drier in winter, but not completely dry. No trimming is required to maintain its perfect neat, round form, pests and diseases rarely affect it, and despite its tiny size, this is an easy plant to care for.
Just as in art, where there are miniature paintings – those wonderful landscapes or portraits painted on a tiny object, yet complete in every detail – so in the garden there are miniature plants. These tiny living jewels are something to collect and treasure. In a garden of any size, from the tiniest balcony to a large property, there is a place for these unique plants, which are often easy to grow, and a real pleasure to watch develop over the years. Perhaps tucked into a space between rocks, or grown in a container, having such a plant is a little like owning art, and for that reason they also make great gifts.
The Blue Pearl Colorado Spruce is exactly one of these garden gems, a tiny ball of rich blue needles on a cluster of short stems, adding an inch or so each year. In ten years, you will proudly gaze on a plant a full 12 inches across and 6 inches tall, a miracle of miniaturization compared to its towering Colorado spruce parent, soaring 150 feet into the air. One problem with these very small plants is that lying on the ground they are hard to see and examine, so we have found a solution.
We had our expert growers, with decades of experience in these special plants, attach them onto a short stem from a seedling spruce. This creates a miniature tree, with a short trunk and a dense crown, that really displays the nature of this beautiful creation at its best. This also gives a new look to these plants, making them more versatile and useful around the garden. Now there are more options, and you can grow and admire this plant more effectively.
The Blue Pearl Colorado Spruce in our dwarf tree-form, has a short trunk raising the plant clear off the ground (which also keeps it clean and free of the risk of foliage diseases from contacting the soil). At the top it branches out into a ball of very short stems, in all directions. Each stem is densely covered in short needles that are an intense, silvery-blue color, and end with a prominent brown, scaly bud. In spring that bud opens to bring you a new cluster of needles, which when young will be bright blue. Between one and perhaps two inches of new growth will emerge each year. Over time the ball becomes broader, so that in about 10 years it will be approximately 6 inches tall and 12 inches across, and of course the stem too will have thickened into a sturdy support. Cones will almost certainly never be produced.
Despite its small size, the Blue Pearl Colorado Spruce is a tough plant, just as its parent is. It is hardy all the way down into zone 3, and it will also grow across the country in all but the hottest zones. Grow it in full sun to keep it dense and brightly colored. It thrives in most soils, and once established it is drought resistant, although with such a precious plant we don’t suggest you test that capacity too much – make sure it doesn’t dry completely. Well-drained soil is essential, and containers must have good drainage holes. Don’t keep the soil constantly wet. It is unlikely to develop pests or diseases, and this tree is in fact easy to grow with a little care, appropriate to its size.
The Blue Pearl Colorado Spruce is worthy of a special place in your garden. Perhaps you already have a rock garden – with attractive boulders and low-growing plants. If there is a sunny pocket in it, that would be an ideal protected and appropriate place for this very special plant. If you don’t, then consider creating one – you just need some interesting stones, some sand, gravel and garden soil. It can be any size, and there are a host of small plants – many of the best are in our lists at the Tree Center – that you can grow. It makes a charming feature, and it is the natural world on a tiny scale.
Often in a garden there are smaller beds, or corners of larger ones, where a small plant like this would be appropriate. As part of a collection of other dwarf evergreens, it is a perfect special addition, giving you a richer and more fascination group of remarkable and unique plants. You can of course also grow it in pots and containers, to be able to admire it at eye level, and watch it develop and mature.
If you have ever grown plants in window boxes or planters, and perhaps don’t even have a garden, you can create permanent boxes that are tiny landscapes. A tree such as the Blue Pearl Colorado Spruce is the perfect way to begin. Add other small evergreens, shrubs, tiny bulbs, and other plants, plus a few stones and gravel, and you have a tiny natural world to care for and watch develop. A wonderful place for a child interested in nature and gardening to begin.
The Colorado spruce (Picea pungens) is an American native tree, growing in the mountains of Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. It can reach 150 feet tall, and it is very popular as a garden tree, especially in colder zones. Over the years many, many special forms have been collected and developed, often with vibrant blue foliage, and we always have a top-grade collection available on our site. One classic is ‘Fat Albert’, a tree growing to about 20 feet tall, famous for its dense growth and brilliant blue foliage.
Conifers often develop structures called ‘Witches’ Brooms’, which are groups of densely-packed miniature branches sprouting from a stem. Pieces can be taken from these, and often they will grow into plants that keep their miniature form. We don’t know the details, but we know that the variety called ‘Blue Pearl’ began life in this way on a plant of ‘Fat Albert’.
Our growers have taken pieces of this remarkable plant, and then grafted them to the trunks of seedling Colorado spruce trees, to create these dwarf tree-form plants. Collectors and connoisseurs of the rare and beautiful in the garden seek them out, and we know our stock will be gone almost immediately, the demand is so high. So order now and enjoy plant life in miniature.