Answer: I'm sorry you are having trouble with your dwarf Alberta spruces. This is a very cold hardy plant and thrives in areas with cold winters and cooler summers. Part of the problem is that your hot humid DC area summers are really at the edge of what this plant can tolerate in terms of summer weather, so it becomes stressed. Heat reflecting off a building or paved area exacerbates the heat problem. It also needs an evenly moist yet well drained soil, meaning never dried out and never soggy or saturated. The weather this past winter was so warm along with the typical oscillating spring temperatures and then spring has been so dry that many plants are showing stress from that as well. Once stressed, it is subject to problems such as mite infestation. You might consult with your local county extension and/or professionally trained nursery personnel to try to determine if you should try a different plant rather than plant the dwarf Alberta again.
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