The Q&A Archives: alberta spruce shrub

Question: Maybe you didn't get my earlier email. I purchased an alberta spruce shrub at the Home Depot one and a half years ago. Eventually it died this spring. I took a branch into a nursery and they said it was mites and gave me a solution to kill them, but the shrub still died. Why? If I purchase another one what can I do to help prevent it from dying. Thanks, Vern

Answer: I'm sorry you lost your Dwarf Alberta Spruce to spider mites. Spider mites congregate in dry and dusty places, especially towards the centers of evergreens. I'm afraid all spruces are susceptible to spider mite infestations. You can discourage the pests if you periodically hose your spruce's down. Spider mites like dry conditions and washing them off will convince them to find another home. I have found that the pests gravitate to evergreens that are already under stress so perhaps the plant you lost was already struggling before the insects made it a home. In general, you will want to plant your new spruce in soil that drains well and it will need a thorough watering once each week, from early spring until late fall. If rainfall is sparse you can water it during the winter months as well. Best wishes with your new spruce!

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