How To Grow Colorado Blue Spruce


The quintessential Christmas tree, the Colorado Blue Spruce, is one of the most recognizable conifers that grows in North America and can be used almost anywhere in the country as ornamental trees or the beginning of an evergreen forest. The Colorado Blue Spruce naturally ranges in color from a deep forest green to the almost silvery-blue that garnered its name. The biggest natural stands of Colorado Blue Spruce are in Colorado and Utah, but the ease of growing the tree has made it popular across the country.

Step 1

Store the pine cones in a warm, dry spot for several days to open the cones. Warmth and lack of humidity are key, so a kitchen counter or your car window will work just as well as a greenhouse. Staying in the cone too long can cause the seeds to lose viability, so extract them as soon as possible.

Step 2

Shake the seeds out of the cone and into a glass container full of water. Stir with a plastic spatuala to loosen the seed wings.

Step 3

Dry the seeds in the open air and then gently rub or blow off the seed wings. The seeds can now be stores in a freezer or other cold temperature for as long as 20 years without deterioration. If the seeds are stored properly, they will last. Improper storage will cause a loss of viability.

Step 4

Soak the seeds for 24 hours in room temperature water before planting; this helps ensure even germination. After soaking, drain the seeds and store them in the refrigerator for 14 to 30 days, before planting. This will help overcome the seeds dormancy.

Step 5

Choose a spot. The Colorado Blue Spruce prefers fall sunshine and moderate temperatures. The site should be well-irrigated, but not wet. Ground cover, especially choking weeds, will need to be removed while the tree is a sapling.

Step 6

Plant the seed in vermiculite or sterile potting soil to prevent damping-off. Gallon containers are a great option for the first two years for your Colorado Blue Spruce.

Step 7

Cover the seed in about one-fourth inch of mulch and keep shaded for the first growing season. Add fertilizer twice a year to promote growth.

Step 8

Transplant the sapling to its permanent home when it is two to five years old. Colorado Blue Spruce are slow-growing trees, so spending a year or two as part of a container garden is perfect for them.

Things You'll Need

  • Pine Cones from a Blue Spruce
  • Seeds
  • Water
  • Plastic Spatula
  • Glass container
  • Vermiculite


  • Emprie National Nursery: Blue Spruce Notes
Keywords: colorado blue spruce, conifers, sapling, seed collection, seed preparation

About this Author

Lucinda Gunnin is a trained and experienced print reporter with almost two decades of experience in the media business. She holds a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield and undergraduate degrees from Adams State College in Colorado. Gunnin has been published in numerous newspapers and magazines and has her fiction published in the anthology "Elements of the Soul."