Picea Abies Nidiformis, or Norway Spruce Nidiformis, is an attractive, slow-growing evergreen dwarf conifer which makes an excellent landscaping plant. It is a dwarf variety of Norway Spruce that is wider than tall with short dark green needles. It has been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit, always a good recommendation for UK gardeners!
Native to the mountains of northern and central Europe, in its original state Norway Spruce can grow to a massive height, but Picea Abies Nidiformis is a dwarf cultivar developed to fit into the smallest of gardens. The fresh growth that appears in spring is a bright lime green, creating a pleasant contrast with the darker mature foliage. This evergreen can be depended upon to keep its needles all winter for reliable colour. As Norway Spruce Nidiformis grows, the flat top forms a shallow depression in the middle, giving it the nickname bird’s-nest spruce.
Hardy across the UK in even the most severe of climates, Norway Spruce Nidiformis will grow 2-5 cm per year, reaching a mature height of 1-1.5 metres and spread of 2.5-4 metres in 20 to 50 years. No pruning is necessary. Plant Picea Abies Nidiformis in full sun in any exposed or sheltered position in acid to neutral pH moist but well-drained loam, clay, or sand soil. Avoid planting on chalk soils. Tolerant of salt, it will be a reliable landscape addition in coastal gardens, and is highly tolerant of pollution so is perfect for city locations as well! Deer will not graze on Norway Spruce Nidiformis, so it is a good choice for country gardens, too.
The small eventual size and slow growth habit of Norway Spruce Nidiformis makes it an ideal container plant where reliable, year-round foliage is desired, such as a roof terrace. Its low height suits it for foundation plantings or towards the front of a mixed border, where the new foliage of spring will add a bright green accent as spring bulbs and flowers bloom, and the darker green mature foliage will persist throughout the winter. Picea Abies Nidiformis adds low-maintenance interest in a rock garden. Its resistance to wind makes it a good planting in an exposed location, whether as a specimen plant or in a group.
Whether grown in combination with flowering plants, or as part of a low-maintenance rockery or alpine garden, Picea Abies Nidiformis is a hardy, reliable and attractive dwarf evergreen which can find a place in your garden!