The Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir (Abies Lasiocarpa ‘Glauca Compacta’) Care Guide


The Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir, otherwise known as the Abies Lasiocarpa ‘Glauca Compacta’ or Alpine Fir ‘Green Globe’, Green Globe Alpine Fir, Rocky Mountain Fir ‘Green Globe’, Subalpine Fir ‘Green Globe’, 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 blue-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 Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir Care Guide. So let’s dive in.

The fundamental caring guidelines for every Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir can be summed up into the following:

  • Water: The Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out.
  • Light: Keep your Abies Lasiocarpa ‘Glauca Compacta’ in an environment where it can receive full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir in soil with moist but well-draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of sand, loam, and clay.

That’s it – sunlight, water and soil! The basic 3 fundamentals for all plant care, and with the Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir this is no exception. With these three elements, your leafy friend will live healthy and happy.

Abies lasiocarpa 'Glauca Compacta' spike

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir belongs to the Pinaceae family, the genus Abies and the species Lasiocarpa, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Abies Lasiocarpa ‘Glauca Compacta’ (A-beez las-ee-oh-KAR-puh GLAW-kuh kom-PAK-ta).

As with other Abies’s, the Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir is an evergreen plant, which means it will be present year round in your garden.

Growing Region

The Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir is a plant native to the Alaska to Southern New Mexico.

Knowing your plant’s native region is very useful, as it can give you tips on which environment is best for your Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir. If you keep it in mind, you can try to replicate these conditions at home, and you’ll likely end with a healthier plant.

With this in mind, the Abies Lasiocarpa ‘Glauca Compacta’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 5 – 6 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a and the ideal climate zone is between 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, A2, A3.

Growth and Size

Growth

In terms of size and growth, the Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir is a relatively slow grower, which makes things easy for any plant enthusiast.

Size

But, what size of Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir are we talking about? What can you expect in terms of height, spread and spacing? Let’s dig in…

The Abies Lasiocarpa ‘Glauca Compacta’ can grow up to 2′ – 5′ (60cm – 150cm) in 2′ – 5′ (60cm – 150cm) and 2′ – 5′ (60cm – 150cm) in 2′ – 5′ (60cm – 150cm). 

These dimensions make the Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir 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 pyramidal shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 60″ (150cm) free so the Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir can spread to its best extent.

Water

In terms of watering, the Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir is a fairly complicated plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat irregular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Abies Lasiocarpa ‘Glauca Compacta’ needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

Abies lasiocarpa 'Glauca Compacta' care

Watering

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir 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. 

But, if you want a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to watering your Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir then you should consider the famous ‘finger’ test. To perform this test, you just need to put your finger in your plant’s soil and determine if it’s moist or not. If it is, then don’t water; if it isn’t, then please do. In any case, this test will allow you to know if your Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir needs or does not need water, every time.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir 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.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably neutral to acid soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir requires 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 Abies Lasiocarpa ‘Glauca Compacta’ in full and direct sun (more than 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).

Season

Being an evergreen plant, the Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir 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.

Flowers

The Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir produces some wonderful purple/lavender flowers around this time of year.

Foliage

The leaves from the Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir have a beautiful blue-green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a needles arrangement with a opposite organization in its leaves.

You can expect the leaves from your Abies Lasiocarpa ‘Glauca Compacta’ to be around (1-3 inches) in size.

Abies lasiocarpa 'Glauca Compacta' pyramid

Garden

Now, let’s talk garden and how your Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir will look best in it.

Most Abies Lasiocarpa ‘Glauca Compacta’ owners agree that this shrub will look great in most rustic gardens of all types. 

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of informal and cottage, city and courtyard, gravel and rock garden, and in traditional garden styles. 

In particular, the Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, others use it for landscaping in a rock garden, container, or a specimen.

Companion Plants

Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Pinus, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Cornus will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!

Conclusion

Even though we covered a lot of care information for your Dwarf Blue Rocky Mountain Fir, remember the basics: sunlight, soil and water, as these should be enough to grow a healthy plant at home.

Sebastian Moncada

I’m also a plant enthusiast and researcher. I’ve been privileged to have lived my whole life around the wilderness of Colombia and I’m happy to share everything I learn along the way. “Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience” – Emerson.

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