Elf Alberta Spruce

Picea glauca 'Elf'

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Elf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca 'Elf') at Weston Nurseries

Elf Alberta Spruce

Elf Alberta Spruce

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Elf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca 'Elf') at Weston Nurseries

Elf Alberta Spruce foliage

Elf Alberta Spruce foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  12 inches

Spread:  12 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Brand:  Iseli


An extremely slow growing selection that forms a dense globe; ideal as a rock garden accent or container plant; short thin needles are very sensitive to winter burn and may need winter protection in exposed locations

Ornamental Features

Elf Alberta Spruce is a dwarf conifer which is primarily valued in the garden for its ornamental globe-shaped form. It has attractive green evergreen foliage which emerges light green in spring. The tiny needles are highly ornamental and remain green throughout the winter.

Landscape Attributes

Elf Alberta Spruce is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a more or less rounded form. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture to the landscape composition which should be used to full effect.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub. When pruning is necessary, it is recommended to only trim back the new growth of the current season, other than to remove any dieback. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Elf Alberta Spruce is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Elf Alberta Spruce will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 inches. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 50 years or more.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. This is a selection of a native North American species.

Elf Alberta Spruce makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a canvas of foliage against which the thriller plants stand out. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Rock  Garden  Container 
Foliage Color  Texture  Plant Form  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features