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Norway Spruce 'Little Gem'

Picea abies

Family: Pinaceae (py-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Picea (PY-see-uh) (Info)
Species: abies (A-bees) (Info)
Cultivar: Little Gem


Alpines and Rock Gardens


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

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:




Provides winter interest

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


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

Juneau, Alaska

Grand Junction, Colorado

Vail, Colorado

Chicago, Illinois

Rock Island, Illinois

Dunellen, New Jersey

Cincinnati, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio

Aurora, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Lexington, Virginia

Bainbridge Island, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 22, 2007, piedmthq from Dunellen, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:

List of known varieties.. Picea abies: Norway spruce - With its red brown bark, conical shape, and shiny green needles, Norway spruce is traditionally used as a Christmas tree. Its needles are 3/4 inch long, and it grows to 90 feet in nature. It survives at high altitudes, up to 6600 ft, and is hardy in zones 2B through 7A.

Picea abies albertiana 'conica'.
Picea abies 'Echiniformis': dwarf spruce - a slow-growing form with tightly congested foliage.
Picea abies 'Little Gem': dwarf spruce - an excellent variety for use in Saikei due to its tiny needles and small, compact growth.
Picea abies 'Maxwellii': Norway spruce, dwarf spruce - This is a natural dwarf which is hardy to zone 3. It has coarse, spiny needles.
Picea abies 'Mucronata': dwarf s... read more


On Sep 8, 2007, JerusalemCherry from Dunellen, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:

Makes a great bonsai and is very hardy for a small ever green. It is known to grow as far north as zone 2b / 3 and has tiny needles plus a very dense growing habit. I have read it was found approx between 1958-1965 by Grootendorst Nursery, in Boskoop, Holland. This Little Gem orginated as Witch's Broom off the already minature version of the Norway Spruce "Nidiformis".

As far as repotting goes, repot every second year in early to mid-spring, before new growth expands, or in early fall. Older specimens that are 10 plus years may be repotted every 5 years. Be sure to use a fast-draining soil mix (add sand and/or some turface/lava rock to potting soil), and prune roots by one third or less. Spruce in general need to keep a good sized root ball, and may need to be planted in ... read more


On Mar 8, 2006, conifers from Rock Island, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

Propagation for most all Picea abies is done via grafting. Some Picea abies will strike from cuttings however, I don't know if this is one of them. Grafting would be the safest bet. All Picea glauca var. albetiana 'Conica' cultivars root readily from hardwood cuttings.


On Sep 15, 2004, Todd_Boland from St. John's, NL (Zone 5b) wrote:

One of the smallest cultivars of Norway Spruce, 'Little Gem' is indeed a gem for any rockery. My plant is 10 years old and still under 12 inches in height. Only grows about an inch per year.