Picea glauca 'RAINBOW'S END'

Picea glauca
Picea glauca 'RAINBOW'S END'
dwarf white spruce
SIZE/TYPE medium-sized shrub
LEAVES evergreen conifer
COLOUR OF LEAVES +multicoloured:blue-green and cream
FLOWERS insignificant or non-blooming
LOCATION full sun
USDA zone (lowest) 3   (down to -40°C)
FOR ZONE 5+6 Code of winter protection zone 5+6
FOR ZONE 7 Code of winter protection zone 7
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White spruce is a North American species whose other name Alberta spruce aptly honours its origin. It belongs among the hardiest spruce species with distribution up north to the Arctic Ocean. The species is a very tall tree reaching 30 meters in height, rarely more, but in Europe it is smaller and rarely cultivated. It used to be a popular Christmas trees while spruce was in fashion, but Europe has plenty of its native spruce species, and in the new millennium, fir trees with non-prickly and glossy needles have overwhelmed the Christmas trees market. However, there are attractive forms of white spruce, often dwarf, especially the albertiana variety, which was discovered at the turn of 19th and 20th century in Alberta, Canada, as a witch’s broom and introduced in 1903 named Conica. Since then, several varieties of different needle colour and habit, mostly of low growth, have been developed.

Rainbow’s End is a popular variety of dwarf white spruce. It grows slower than Conica spruce and makes bright beige new growths in spring, while their second flush in midsummer is almost golden yellow. Very pretty plant that will glow like a beacon in any border.

Conical varieties of white spruce, more than the vigorously growing species and varieties, can be prone to spruce needle cast (Lophodermium piceae), a fungus which attacks the needles which eventually dry up and fall off. This usually happens in somewhat weakened plants, and if you detect drying of needles and twigs, treat your plant with a recommended spray against fungal diseases, and at the same time adjust the growing conditions of the tree - check the soil humidity and add nutrition. A more common problem, especially when the plant is too dry or over-fertilized with nitrogen-based fertilizers, are the spruce spider mites, which suck on needles which also dry up and fall off. You will recognize this infestation by cobwebs on the plant used by the mites as highways. Again, use a recommended solution against mites and adjust growing conditions.

Dwarf white spruce is not very demanding as to soil type, but it does not like extremes, i.e., neither too wet nor too dry. It does best in gardens with fertile soil and even moisture, preferably in full sun, but it can also handle filtered sunlight or light shade for a part of the day. It is a beautiful container plant that is hardy enough to stand outside on a patio or balcony all year round. Hardy to about -40°C (USDA zone 3).

Last update 07-01-2013; 26-12-2023

Picea glauca
  • STANDARD QUALITY - Plants of this group are 1st class quality with number of branches and overall density adequate to their size and age, considering they were container grown.
  • DE LUXE QUALITY - This label guarantees a luxurious quality of manually selected plants that, compared to their height and age, are exceptionally dense and beautiful.
  • EXTRA - These plants are usually mature and bigger specimens with exceptional overall appearance.
  • STANDARD (as described in the plant form) means a tree with a trunk of 190-210 cm and a crown at the top, unless specified differently. The commercial size for trees is their girth measured in the height of 1m from ground.
  • HOBBY - These plants are of the same quality as our standard-quality plants but younger and therefore cheaper.
  • SHRUB - a woody plant with branches growing bushy from the ground level.
  • HALF-STANDARD or MINI-STANDARD - a small tree with shorter trunk, its size is usually specified.
  • FEATHERED - These are trees with branches growing already from the base of the trunk and up along the stem.
  • GRASSES and PERENNIALS - Sizes given usually read the diameter of the pot or the clump, as specified.
LARGE PLANTS over 150 cmspecimens, screening and hedging shrubs

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