Friday, October 17, 2014

Featured Plant of The Day: 'Conica' Spruce

Picea glauca var. albertiana 'Conica'

Type    Shrub, woody plant
Hardy range    2A to 6B
Height    8' to 12' / 2.40m to 3.60m
Spread    36" to 5' / 90cm to 1.60m
Growth rate    Slow
Form    Pyramidal
Exposure    Partial shade or partial sun to full sun
Persistence    Evergreen

Bloom Color    Red and yellow
Bloom Time    Spring

This plant tolerates drought and a little salt.
This plant will grow in very dry soil.
Suitable soil is well-drained/loamy, sandy or clay.
The pH preference is an acidic to slightly alkaline (less than 6.8 to 7.7) soil.

Leaf Color    Blue and green
Fall Color    No change in fall color

Landscape Uses
-    Container plantings
-    Rock garden
-    Arbor
-    Specimen

Attributes and Features
-    Inconspicuous blooms
-    Persistent fruit
-    Inconspicuous fruit

Culture Notes
A dwarf conifer for residential and commercial landscapes. This plant can grow to more than 20 feet tall.

Planting and establishing shrubs

The most common cause of young plant failure is planting too deep.  Plant the root ball no deeper than it was in the nursery.  In most instances, the root flare zone (point where the top-most root in the root ball originates from the trunk) should be located just above the landscape soil surface. Sometimes plants come from the nursery with soil over the root flare. If there is soil over this area, scrape it off.  The planting hole should be at least twice the width of the root ball, preferably wider.  In all but exceptional circumstances where the soil is very poor, there is no need to incorporate anything into the backfill soil except the loosened soil that came out of the planting hole.  Never place ANY soil over the root ball. If a row or grouping of plants is to be installed, excavating or loosening the soil in the entire bed and incorporating organic matter enhances root growth and establishment rate.

Weed suppression during establishment is essential.  Apply a 3-inch thick layer of mulch around the plant to help control weed growth.  Keep it at least 10 inches from the trunk.  If you apply it over the root ball, apply only a one or two inch layer.   This allows rainwater and air to easily enter the root ball and keeps the trunk dry.  Placing mulch against the trunk or applying too thick a layer above the root ball can kill the plant by oxygen starvation, death of bark, stem and root diseases, prevention of hardening off for winter, vole and other rodent damage to the trunk, keeping soil too wet, or repelling water.  Regular irrigation through the first growing season after planting encourages rapid root growth, which is essential for quick plant establishment.