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Dwarf Alberta Spruce - Drainage

Q: I was wondering how much drainage is necessary for the potted dwarf Alberta Spruce?

I planted it in a container without holes or drainage of any kind. Should I replant using stones/rocks on the bottom for drainage?

A: Proper drainage is critical for any plant. If the roots sit in standing water they'll rot, and the end of the plant is nigh.

Since you have already put the spruce in the pot, I wouldn't dig it out and shock it all over again. I would leave it there, and just drill drainage holes up from the bottom.

1/2" to 3/4" in diameter should be fine. Drill 1 in the center, then 4 in a circle evenly spaced around the edges.

When you water (once every 7-10 days is the usual schedule), water until it runs out the drainage holes. If the soil in the pot is compacted, this may take a while.

If so, take a long-shanked screwdriver and punch holes in the soil up through the drainage holes.

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Tom Mugridge

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