The Q&A Archives: Caring for Dwarf Alberta Spruce

Question: We bought a dwarf Alberta spruce as our Christmas tree this year. We would like to keep it growing in our apartment so we can eventually plant in our yard when we finally buy a house. How should we care for this tree?

Answer: While the little trees are charming during the holidays, it can be very difficult to keep dwarf Alberta spruce as indoor plants because they need a winter chilling period for their overall health. They also resent the typcially hot and dry atmosphere indoors during the heating season.

If you can locate a cool spot in your home you may be able to keep it healthy, but please don't be disappointed if it doesn't work. Place it in the coolest bright location you have (an unheated room is good, otherwise the floor is often cooler than anywhere else) and keep it barely moist until spring when it begins active growth. Then keep it moist not soggy. If possible, set it outdoors for the summer, beginning in early spring.

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