Posted by jathton
(Oklahoma City, OK - Zone 7a) on Dec 2, 2019 4:08 PM concerning plant:
For lots of obvious reasons central Oklahomans like to visit Colorado. When they return, if they are gardeners, they always have something favorable to say about Colorado Blue Spruce. Unfortunately, most of Oklahoma falls within hardiness zones 7A and 7B... and this Spruce is not really recommended for gardens this far south and west. Nonetheless a lot of gardeners in the 1970's and 1980's invested some serious money [for a plant] and tried raising them in central Oklahoma. Many of those Spruce failed... and those that did not frequently lost their beautiful blue color. It was simply bleached out of the needles by our sun... and the needles looked pale apple green for the balance of the growing season.
Then along came Hoops' Blue Spruce. This cultivar originated as a seedling selected in the mid-1950s at Hoops Nursery in Germany, and was introduced to the nursery trade by F.J. Grootendorst Nursery, Boskoop, The Netherlands.
Nurserymen and gardeners in our area quickly realized this Spruce had, perhaps, the best blue color of the species... and that it held that color throughout the growing season. They also realized this Spruce was much more heat tolerant than the species. An added bonus... newly emerging cones are colored deep magenta red and are temporarily quite showy. Hoops' Blue Spruce rapidly became the go to plant for gardeners who wanted a blue conifer in their garden.
They also realized this plant came with a caveat... It has a tendency to develop multiple leaders, so if a uniform, conical shape is desired, you have to monitor new growth at the top in early summer and selectively prune out redundant lead shoots.
Hoops' Blue Spruce grows best in average, acidic well-drained soils in full sun. In central Oklahoma they benefit from placement that gives them light shade from noon to 4PM in the summer... and... protection from Oklahoma's drying summer winds. It also prefers lightly and consistently moist soils. Gardeners should note Hoops' Blue Spruce is only moderately drought tolerant... so the gardeners goal is to provide the Spruce with enriched soil that can be kept slightly moist while still draining well.
Given its cultural requirements this is a spectacularly beautiful specimen tree. Please don't put it in a foundation bed... where it will eventually overgrow the location and have to be severely pruned or removed. Give it a site it deserves and give it enough room to... become itself.