Hardiness: 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: Brown/Bronze
Bloom Time: Mid Spring Late Spring/Early Summer Mid Summer
Foliage: Grown for foliage Evergreen Smooth-Textured
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: Non-patented
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
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 Mount Carmel, Ohio South Middletown, Ohio Suffolk, Virginia Bainbridge Island, Washington