Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Oriental Spruce
Picea orientalis

Family: Pinaceae (py-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Picea (PY-see-uh) (Info)
Species: orientalis (or-ee-en-TAY-liss) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.


over 40 ft. (12 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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By ViburnumValley
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There are a total of 16 photos.
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2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive DixieFir On Apr 6, 2012, DixieFir from Suffolk, VA wrote:

This tree is said to grow in zone 7. It indeed does, but is rarely planted due to availabililty. Very slow grower, but can take direct sun in zone 7.

Positive ViburnumValley On Feb 2, 2008, ViburnumValley from Scott County, KY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Oriental spruce pretty much ranks as the queen of ornamental conifers for the lower midwest and the Ohio River valley. It is exceptionally well-adapted to the conditions found here, and has been used for a really long time as a landscape specimen throughout the grounds of estates and other large institutions. But that shouldn't steer anyone away from using this tree in more modest residential landscapes.

Oriental spruce (like its near geographical neighbor Serbian spruce) doesn't take up a lot of ground space, preferring to form a narrow pyramid or spire-like habit. This makes it quite useful for screening and height, but leaving a lot of the ground plane available for other gardening opportunities.

The superlatives don't stop there. Perhaps you are interested in dark green and extremely glossy lustrous foliage. More, you say? How about short soft needles? Still not enough? You must have violet-purple female reproductive structures which mature to form the brown cones. Well, you've come to the right species. There are up to a dozen or more named varieties to choose from (weepers, midgets, variegated, prostrate) if the characteristics listed here fail to satisfy.

I used to manage the landscape 20 years ago at a large institution that chose this species as its signature conifer. We planted specimens large and small from nurseries in NJ, MD, PA, OH, and KY. All these plants continue to thrive today, and look better every year. I can travel to most large communities in the Ohio River valley region and find this tree occupying prominent locations at cemeteries, parks, and estates.

Plant an Oriental spruce for yourself; you won't be sorry.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Clermont, Kentucky
Georgetown, Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Paris, Kentucky
Versailles, Kentucky
Cincinnati, Ohio
Middletown, Ohio
Perry, Ohio
Media, Pennsylvania
Suffolk, Virginia
Bainbridge Island, Washington

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