The spruce tree is rather hard to style into Bonsai, mostly because it doesn't backbud easily. The spruce is however widely available and usually not very expensive to buy as nursery stock. Moreover, it is easy to care for.
Position: The spruce (Picea) is an outdoor tree, which should be placed at a bright spot and outside year round. It prefers much sun in summer. Protect it from freezing temperatures.
Watering: Especially in spring and summer the spruce needs regular watering. No particularities.
Feeding: Feed the tree during the entire growth season, from early spring till autumn. Use a balanced feed.
Pruning: Different from other conifers, don't pinch needles early. Wait for the shoots to mature a bit, and than pinch back to about 1/2 the length of the shoots. Healthy trees will backbut towards the trunk, but this is quite difficult to achieve. Prune older branches to create open areas where young buds can grow.
Repotting: Every two years, in early spring (before the first growth) or in autumn.
Propagation: Sow seeds in spring or use hardwood cuttings.
For tree identification use our Identify my bonsai tree species guide or go to the Bonsai care forum.
General guidelines can be found in our Bonsai care section or in the outdoor & indoor bonsai pages.
Return to the Bonsai tree specie guides section.