How to Grow a Spruce Tree in a Container

Branch of spruce tree
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What You'll Need
10-20 gallon, 100 gallon, or crate container
What You'll Need
10-20 gallon, 100 gallon, or crate container

A spruce tree can make an excellent addition to your landscaping or patio. Most people that grow spruce trees plant them directly into the ground. However, this is not the only option that you have. Spruce trees can be grown in a container as well.

1. Select the Right Variety

If you plan on growing a spruce tree in a container, you can select any variety of this tree you want. However, if you select one of the varieties that grow to be over 100 feet tall you will inevitably have to either sacrifice the tree or plant it in the ground.

If you want a tree that will be able to survive longer in a container, you will need to select one of the small to medium varieties of spruce tree. A few of your best options are going to be the ones that take ten years to reach a height of about two meters. These include: Picea pungens, Picea orientalis and Picea mariana.

2. Consider Container Size

spruce tree branch

After you have a variety of spruce trees in mind your next step is to find a container that is going to meet the growth needs of your conifer tree. You have several options.

The first option is to select a 10 to 20 gallon container. This will accommodate the dwarf varieties of spruce tree for about a decade; after which, you will either need to transfer it to a larger container or plant it in the ground.

The second option is to use a 100 gallon container. This will provide you with several decades of hosting for your spruce tree and it will also accommodate larger varieties of spruce trees.

The final option is to build a crate container for your spruce tree. This can be done by building a basic wooden crate and then lining it with Styrofoam. The Styrofoam will help protect the root system from heat and cold.

3. Basic Care of Container Grown Spruce Trees

spruce branch with snow

Growing small spruce trees in a container is different from growing them in the ground. When a spruce tree is planted in the ground they are able to hunt and gather the nutrients and water they need from their environment. However, in a container their options are limited and therefore they are completely dependent on you. This means you will need to feed your container spruce trees once a year and provide them with a good dose of water several times a week.

Since you will be watering your container grown spruce tree frequently you need to make sure your container is set up for quick and adequate drainage. If your container is not set up for good drainage you can end up killing your spruce tree.

Spruce trees need direct sun and partial shade. Keep this in mind when selecting a spot for your tree to live. Also keep in mind that some varieties of spruce tree will need staking when they are young to help them grow straight and tall.