Norway spruce Bonsai is one of the most suitable tree species that require plenty of sunlight, care, and maintenance. But, after a lot of dedication, it looks majestic and sublime when it blooms.
It is also very famous as a Christmas tree among the bonsai lovers. If you live in the northern and the eastern hemispheres, you can grow spruce bonsai. But, proper knowledge of this tree species can make your Bonsai growing journey simple.
Here, we like to discuss every ins and outs of spruce bonsai trees. Once you complete reading this article, you will get a proper guideline about growing and taking care of it.
Overview Of The Norway Spruce Bonsai
- Popular or scientific name – Picea Abies
- Family – Pinaceae
- Year of Invention – 16th century
- Invented by – Europeans
- Country of origin – Scandinavia, UK
- Region – Boreal (taiga)
- Suitable climate to grow- Northern temperate
- Take time to grow from seed – 10 to14 days
- Take time to mature – Minimum 5 years
- Plant length – 200 feet when matured
- Plant width – 15 to 20 feet
- Soil requirement – Sandy loam or loose loam
- Pruning requirement – Frequent pruning
- Types of leaves – Needle-like leaves
- Preferred temperature – 64-75°f during the day and 57-61°f at night
- Whether that can’t tolerate – Frigid weather
- Display style – Christmas
- Growing Season – Summer
- The color of flowers – Pink
- Growth rate – 2 to 3 inches per year
Types of Spruce Bonsai Tree
There are different types of Spruce Bonsai tree, and among them, some are extremely popular and grown in most regions. Let’s see the most common and popular types of Spruce Bonsai.
Picea abies is mainly known as European Spruce or Norway spruce and topically grows in the hardy zones from 2B through 7a. It is the native tree of Eastern, Central, and Northern Europe. Its barks are reddish and brown, and it hangs downwards. However, its most prominent and longest cones are 9-17 cm long.
There are some subtypes of Picea abies bonsai. Such as
- P. abies “Pumila Nigra”
- P. abies “Little Gem”
- P. abies “Conica”
- P. abies “Variegata”
- P. abies “Echiniformis”
- P. abies “Nidiformis”
- P. abies “Pumila”
- P. abies “Pygmaea”
Picea glauca is also called white Spruce, and its ideal growing area is North American boreal forests. The preferred growing zone of this Bonsai is hardy 2-5, but it can’t tolerate high heat.
The needles of the tree will long up to 2 cm and look whitish, powdery, and waxy with bluish-green or green color. Its cone will look light brown and extend 5-7 cm. Interestingly, it will live around 250 to 350 years.
There are some subtypes of Picea glauca bonsai. Such as
- P. glauca “Albertiana conica”
- P. glauca “Conica”
- P. glauca “Densata”
Picea glehnii is also known as Sakhalin spruce, Glehn’s Spruce, Edo spruce, common Ezo spruce, and silver fir. It comes from the Pinaceae family and is vastly cultivated in Japan. Peter von Glehn is the inventor of this tree, and the name of the plant was formed on his name. But, in the USA, it’s pretty tough to find this species of Bonsai because of complicated export laws.
Some of the common names of Picea engelmannii are white Spruce, Silver Spruce, blue Engelmann spruce, dwarf Alberta spruce, and mountain spruce. This species of Spruce is mainly grown in central British Columbia and western North America.
Its growing zone is hardy to zone 3, and it is an indoor plant with dedicated orange cones. You can identify this tree by observing 1 inch pointed and sharp twigs and the same color from all the sides.
The other famous names of Picea jezoensis are Ezo spruce, Jezo spruce, Yezo spruce, and dark-bark Spruce. Naturally, it is a tall tree that can be up to 30–50 meters tall with a 2-meter wide trunk. It prefers shady and hardy zone 5 areas to grow properly.
The pine family’s Picea mariana is also known as black Spruce. It is generally found in North America and Canadian 10 provinces, including 3 territories.
The cold weather is the best survival condition for this tree as it has waxy pine needles, layered twigs, and rough bark. These exterior features of the tree protect it from cold and predators. The hardy zone from 4-7 is the best area to cultivate this plant.
The alternative names of Picea orientalis are Caucasian Spruce and Oriental Spruce. It also includes the pine family and prefers hot and humid weather to grow. It can be 50+ feet long with short needles and unique purple cones in matured conditions. Hardy to zone 5 or full sun to partial shade is the most suitable weather to cultivate it.
This plant is also known as blue Spruce, Colorado blue spruce, Colorado spruce, White Spruce, and green Spruce. It is a North American native tree, and its preferred growing zone is hardy to 1-7. Naturally, it is found in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming.
Norway Spruce Bonsai Care Guidelines
It’s somehow tricky to grow a Norway spruce bonsai without knowing a detailed care and maintenance guideline. The more caring information you know about the tree, the more accurately you can take care of it.
Ideal Placement and sunlight
It is an indoor plant and requires heavy sunlight during summer or its growing season. But, in winter, it needs partial sunlight and shade to protect it from frost. So it’ll be better if you place it in the south-facing window of your room, balcony, or patio.
If the tree’s roots freeze due to excessive cold temperature, it can’t transfer water to its evergreen foliage. So the root will become dry for lack of adequate water.
If you have to hang artificial lights in winter to survive your Spruce bonsai tree, check this article about the best artificial light for bonsai.
Like any other bonsai species, you have to maintain a sound watering system to survive your Spruce bonsai. It’s not recommended to make the soil too soggy with overwatering or too dry for lack of watering.
First, you have to check the soil’s moisture level and then provide water according to it. In summer, as the environment has less humidity, you should regularly water the tree, and in winter, you can take a short interval for watering. Click here to know a specific time and procedure for watering bonsai trees.
Applying the right fertilizer at the right time is the best feeding of your bonsai tree. There are two kinds of fertilizers, one is solid, and another is liquid. You should choose the fertilizer with the right NPK ratio to provide proper nutrition and vitamins to enhance the tree’s growth rate. Apply a liquid fertilizer every 7-10 days and solid fertilizer every 30 days.
Relevant article: You can check the best liquid fertilizer for Bonsai to choose the right fertilizer and how-to use them.
Pruning and wiring
Pruning is the ultimate option to bring your desired shape to your bonsai tree. Late summer and early spring are the right time to prune the spruce bonsai. It has a lot of the same height branches from its trunk due to unusual whorled pattern growth. So while pruning, you have to trim them by keeping the most vital branch.
However, its supple branches don’t require wiring as you can easily bend them without wrapping wire. You have to identify the thinner branches to bend or twist them in any direction to bring the shape. Check how to wire bonsai to know a step by step guideline about wiring bonsai.
Potting and Repotting
When the spruce tree grows and spreads its roots, it needs more expansive space to continue its proper growth rate. So, you need to report a spruce tree every 3-5 years.
The time will depend on the growing stage of the tree. If the tree is younger, re-pot the tree every 3-4 years. But if the tree is in an older and mature stage, 5 years is the right time to re-pot.
Before repotting, you should slightly prune the roots. After that, prepare the soil with adequate compost and take a pot that has a hole for maintaining a sound drainage system. Next, fill the pot halfway with the soil and gently place the tree in the pot. You can check our article on how to repot your bonsai to know the exact procedure of re-potting.
Summer is the perfect season to plant the spruce seed for propagation. Another best propagation method of this tree is cuttings.
Pests and Diseases
No plant is free from attacking viruses and bacteria. Sometimes, the Spruce may be affected by some common virus and cause various diseases, including spruce spider mites, spruce budworms, spruce needle miners, gall adelgids, etc.
But, nothing to worry about. You can avoid those diseases if you follow the above caring instructions to cultivate the Spruce bonsai. And the correct fertilizer application makes your plant healthy and can easily fight against viruses.
But, unfortunately, if your tree is affected by any pest or viruses, consult with your nearest nursery to find the best solution to the problem. Or you can use the fungicide or pesticide to kill the viruses. Would you like to know more specific information about bonsai care? check our bonsai caring section.
Where to Buy Spruce Bonsai?
You may find the spruce bonsai tree at your nearest nursery. But, if you don’t get there, Amazon, the best online site, can be the best option to buy your Norway spruce bonsai tree.
Can you bonsai a royal poinciana tree?
Yes, you can bonsai a royal poinciana tree because of its superficial characteristics. This evergreen tree grows fast with fern-like foliage and requires poor soils and hard pruning to cultivate. You can bring the natural umbrella shape of this plant with little care and maintenance.
Can you keep a royal poinciana small?
Yes, you can keep a royal poinciana small with regular trimming and pruning. The tiny royal poinciana tree will look stunning and eye-catchy with its bright flowers. If you properly take care and prune the tree, you can easily maintain a few meters to grow it in a small space.
How long does it take for a royal poinciana to grow?
Usually, most of the royal poinciana take a minimum of 5 years to bloom. But, some of the royal poinciana trees will take up to 12 or more years to bloom. So the bonsai experts suggest purchasing a tree that already has flowers to minimize your waiting period.
Finally, we have come to the last few words of Norway spruce bonsai. This species of Bonsai requires full sunlight, proper watering, and pruning to live long. The umbrella-shaped spruce bonsai may enhance the beauty of your home. So choose the right species of spruce bonsai, take care of it, and enjoy your gardening.