Plant Profile: Weeping Norway Spruce (Picea abies ‘Pendula’)


Weeping Norway SpruceI thought that we would look at Weeping Norway Spruce or Picea abies ‘Pendula’ today. If you are looking for a specimen tree that offers year round interest this could be the plant for you. It has many of the items that you would look for in a specimen: it’s evergreen, eye catching, beautiful in all seasons and serves as a focal point for the garden.

As for the culture of Weeping Norway Spruce, they prefer moist but well-drained soil in full sun to light shade. They are hardy from Zones 2-8 so there isn’t a Mid-Atlantic winter that they can’t successfully pull through. They are generally pest free and once established, are very little trouble at all. One thing you will have to determine (if the nursery hasn’t already done it for you) is whether you want an upright tree or a low mounding form. If you opt for the upright version, you’ll have to stake and train an upright leader so that the plant knows you want it to grow up instead of out. Most of the time, when you select your tree from the Weeping Norway Sprucenursery it will already be in one of the two forms and so your decision will be made for you. Don’t fret over having to keep it staked and growing upright once you get it home…it will play a great game of follow the leader (get it? that’s horticultural humor at its finest).

If allowed to grow into an upright plant, it will ultimately reach a height of 15′ or so but that will be after many years of growth. The tree in the pictures here has been in the ground for approximately 5 years and it has not added much height since it’s planting. Let me know if you have any experience with growing Weeping Norway Spruce by leaving me a comment below or e-mailing me at Happy gardening!

January 18, 2012Permalink

Winter Interest Plants


In today’s post I’ve decided to give you a quick list of plants that offer you winter interest. Over the next couple of months I’ll try to discuss them further in the Plant Profile posts.

Deciduous Trees

Acer griseum (Paperbark Maple) - this tree is grown in the winter for its beautiful exfoliating bark

Acer palmatum (Japanese Maple) - the form and silhouette of Japanese maples make them perfect in the winter

Evergreen Trees

Cunninghamia lanceolata (China Fir) – beautiful large trees with striking blue foliage

Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 'Pendula' (Weeping Alaskan Cedar) - large tree with graceful weeping arms








Picea abies 'Pendula' (Weeping Norway Spruce) - if you're looking for a specimen for the garden, this is it!


Deciduous Shrubs

Ilex verticillata (Winterberry) - produces an outstanding crop of berries and available in both dwarf and non-dwarf sizes


Hamamelis x intermedia (Witch Hazel) - this plant surprises people in February with its blooms

Callicarpa americana (Beautyberry) - beautiful purple berries are borne in the fall and often last into early winter if the birds don't get them first

Evergreen Perennials

Helleborus orientalis (Lenten Rose) - see my post for more information

Dryopteris erythrosora (Autumn Fern) - large clumps of evergreen foliage that can reach 3'-4' tall

Arum italicum 'Pictum' (Lords and Ladies) - see my post for more information

Deciduous Perennials – well it kind of goes without saying that deciduous perennials look like mulch since all of their perennial parts are underground for the winter.

I hope that you’ve received some inspiration to add some of these beauties to your garden. Too often we overlook the simpler, quieter parts of plants like the bark or marbled foliage for showy flowers. But it’s during the winter that we can appreciate the exfoliating bark of a paperbark maple or the bright red berries of the Winterberry. I’d love to hear about the plants that you enjoy in your winter garden. Leave me a comment in the section below or e-mail me at Happy winter gardening!

December 16, 2011Permalink 1 Comment