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Dwarf Alberta Spruce Indoors?
by Tom Mugridge

Q: I have recently purchased a dwarf Albert Spruce to have as a tree inside my home (it was trimmed in a spiral at the store and looked like a decorative tree). When I got home I realized that maybe it had to be planted in the yard.

I was wondering if this tree would survive without being planted in a yard and how to properly take care of this tree as a plant inside.

Thank you for your time and answers.

A: You pose an interesting question, something I haven't thought about. My first suspicion is that the spruce would NOT do well as an indoor plant. I've never seen them used this way, so I suspect it's for good reason.

Outdoor plants need to go through a dormancy period. If not, they will not survive. That's why we have fall and winter - the plant enters dormancy, remains dormant for a minimum amount of time, then breaks dormancy in spring. It's roughly (roughly, now) akin to our need for sleep.

Therefore, I wouldn't suggest using your dwarf Alberta spruce as an indoor plant, unless you find some strong information to the contrary. I think it would be much happier outdoors, in a relatively sunny location in a well-drained soil.

Once the plant is set in the ground, be sure to remove or at least loosen any materials around the root ball to prevent potential problems later on.

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