picea abies bonsai

Picea Abies Bonsai: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

If you’re new to the world of bonsai, you may be wondering where to start. One of the most popular and beginner-friendly trees is the Picea abies bonsai. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this beautiful tree, from its origin to care tips.

Origin and Description

Picea abies, also known as the Norway spruce, is native to the mountains of Europe and is one of the most commonly used trees in bonsai. It has a conical shape and can grow up to 60 meters tall in the wild, but when grown as a bonsai, it usually reaches only about 30 centimeters.

The needles of Picea abies are dark green and about 2 centimeters long. They grow in a spiral pattern around the branches and are sharp to the touch. The bark is grayish-brown and becomes rough and scaly as the tree ages.

Potting and Soil

When it comes to potting your Picea abies bonsai, it’s important to choose a pot that is appropriate for the size of the tree. The pot should be slightly larger than the roots and have drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating.

As for soil, Picea abies prefers well-draining soil that is slightly acidic. A good mix for this tree would be 50% akadama, 25% pumice, and 25% lava rock. You can also add a small amount of organic matter, such as sphagnum moss or bark, to help retain moisture.

Watering and Fertilizing

Picea abies bonsai needs to be watered regularly, but overwatering can be harmful. The soil should be allowed to dry out slightly between waterings, and the tree should never be allowed to sit in standing water.

Fertilizing is also important for the health of your Picea abies bonsai. During the growing season, which is typically from spring to fall, you should fertilize your tree every two weeks with a balanced fertilizer. In the winter, you can reduce the frequency to once a month.

Pruning and Wiring

Pruning is an important part of bonsai care, and Picea abies is no exception. The best time to prune your tree is in the spring, just before new growth appears. You should remove any dead, damaged, or crossing branches, as well as any branches that are growing in the wrong direction.

Wiring is another technique used in bonsai to shape the tree. Picea abies is a relatively flexible tree, so wiring should be done in the fall or winter when the branches are more pliable. Be careful not to wire too tightly, as this can damage the bark.

Pests and Diseases

Picea abies bonsai is generally a hardy tree, but it can be susceptible to pests and diseases. The most common pests are spider mites and scale insects, which can be treated with an insecticidal soap. The most common disease is needle cast, which causes the needles to turn brown and fall off. This can be prevented by ensuring good air circulation and avoiding overwatering.


Picea abies bonsai is a great tree for beginners and experienced bonsai enthusiasts alike. With the right care and attention, it can live for many years and become a beautiful addition to your collection. Remember to pot it in well-draining soil, water and fertilize regularly, prune and wire as needed, and keep an eye out for pests and diseases. Happy growing!

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