The Nest Spruce, otherwise known as the Picea Abies ‘Nidiformis’ or Norway Spruce ‘Nidiformis’, Nidiformis Norway Spruce, Bird’s Nest Spruce, is a rather well known shrub plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.
Best known for its low maintenance and slow growth, this shrub will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.
Fortunately, this is exactly what we’ll cover in this Nest Spruce Care Guide. So let’s dive in.
The fundamental caring guidelines for every Nest Spruce can be summed up into the following:
- Water: The Nest Spruce prefers constant watering each week and more during the hot season.
- Light: Keep your Picea Abies ‘Nidiformis’ in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis.
- Soil: Make sure to keep the Nest Spruce in soil with moist but well-draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of sand, loam, and clay.
And as with many other plants, these are the only three care factors you need to remember to make sure your Nest Spruce is, for the most part, healthy and well to survive.
Scientific / Botanical Aspects
In botanical terms, the Nest Spruce belongs to the Pinaceae family, the genus Picea and the species Abies, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Picea Abies ‘Nidiformis’ (PY-see-a AY-beez).
The Pinaceae family also includes other plants like Picea Abies ‘Pumila’, Archer’s Dwarf White Fir, Bissett Bamboo, Golden Himalayan Cedar, Columnar Blue Atlas Cedar, Weymouth Pine ‘Blue Shag’, Chief Joseph Lodgepole Pine, Abies balsamea ‘Nana’, Drooping Cone Pine’, Pieris Japonica ‘Purity’, Pinus Mugo ‘Sherwood Compact’, Shore Pine, Abies Lasiocarpa ‘Glauca Compacta’, Pieris Japonica ‘Fire N Ice’ Plant Patent #19994, Abies koreana ‘Alpine Star’, Japanese Larch ‘Pendula’, Serbian Spruce ‘Aurea’, Acrocona Norway Spruce, Picea Mariana ‘Nana’, Limbertwig, Weymouth Pine ‘Nana’, Scots Pine ‘Glauca’, Raspberry Lemonade™ Ninebark, Austrian Pine, Loblolly Pine and Mountain Pine ‘Mops’.
As with other Picea’s, the Nest Spruce is an evergreen plant, which means it will be present year-round in your garden.
The Picea Abies ‘Nidiformis’ is native to central and northern Europe.
You might be wondering why your Nest Spruce’s native region is important. Well, if you know where your plant originally came from, you’ll know which environmental conditions it prefers, and with it, knowledge on how to replicate it at home.
With this in mind, the Picea Abies ‘Nidiformis’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 1 – 8 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 3b, 3a, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a and the ideal climate zone is between 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 14, 15, 16, 17, A2, A3.
Growth and Size
In terms of size and growth, the Nest Spruce is a relatively slow grower, which makes things easy for any plant enthusiast.
But, how big does the Nest Spruce actually get? What should you expect in terms of size? Let’s dive right in…
The Picea Abies ‘Nidiformis’ can grow up to 3′ – 4′ (90cm – 120cm) in 3′ – 4′ (90cm – 120cm) and 6′ – 8′ (180cm – 240cm) in 6′ – 8′ (180cm – 240cm).
These dimensions make the Nest Spruce a relatively large shrub compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.
Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful compact, and rounded shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.
This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 96″ (240cm) free, so the Nest Spruce can spread to its best extent.
In terms of watering, the Nest Spruce is a fairly simple plant to take care of. This is mostly because it has a straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.
Specifically, most experts agree that the Picea Abies ‘Nidiformis’ prefers constant watering each week and more during the hot season.
Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water.
As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Nest Spruce in soil with moist but well-draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive.
When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times.
However, in our experience, the best solution to knowing the right amount of water for your Nest Spruce is with the ‘thumb’ technique. Basically, you insert your finger into the soil, and based if you feel the soil moist or dry, you determine if it needs any water, which is the most appropriate way to go about watering your leafy friend.
As mentioned earlier, the Nest Spruce prefers to have soil with good drainage properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of sand, loam, and clay.
This is why most experts agree that the Nest Spruce requires soil with clay, loam (silt), and sand, which will give you the right conditions it needs.
In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably neutral to acid soil.
Light and Exposure
In terms of light & exposure, the Nest Spruce requires partial to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions.
Most experts agree that this shrub will do well as long as you keep it in full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.
Specifically, we recommend that you place your Picea Abies ‘Nidiformis’ in full and direct sun (more than 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).
Being an evergreen plant, the Nest Spruce will be present year round in your garden. But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (early, mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), the fall, and during the winter.
The leaves from the Nest Spruce have a beautiful green color during most of the year.
You can expect the leaves from your Picea Abies ‘Nidiformis’ to be around (< 1 inch) in size.
Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance
The Nest Spruce is well known for being able to attract birds, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.
Additionally, it has a special tolerance for animals like rabbit and deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Picea Abies ‘Nidiformis’ will be fine.
How should you then organize your garden to include your new Nest Spruce? Here are some recommendations by expert gardeners.
Most Picea Abies ‘Nidiformis’ owners agree that this shrub will look great in most contemporary, asian/zen and rustic gardens of all types.
Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of gravel and rock garden, and in traditional garden styles.
In particular, the Nest Spruce’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, others use it for landscaping in a mass planting, border, specimen, container, rock garden, or a wildlife garden.
Nest Spruce’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Spiraea, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.
Others consider that a nice Buddleja will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!
So that’s it! These are the main plant care requirements that you need to keep in mind in order to have a healthy Nest Spruce in your garden or home.