With their floppy, drooping leaves, weeping spruce in the winter time makes a dramatic statment.

Types of Weeping Spruce

by Benjamin Shorter

Weeping spruces (Picea spp.) keep their foliage throughout the year and are tolerant of low soil-moisture levels and high summer temperatures, as well as the cold winter months. Because of this, weeping spruce is a low-maintenance addition once it is established, and provides a distinctive point of visual diversity to your landscape design.

Weeping Brewer Spruce

The Brewer variety of weeping spruce (Picea breweriana) is native to California and can be found at the border between Oregon and California, in the Klamath Mountains. With careful attention and proper care, this spruce can be grown successfully at home. The weeping Brewer spruce enjoys full sun and well-draining soil that, like in its mountain home, does not retain too much moisture. A very slow grower, the weeping Brewer spruce grows to 100 feet tall. It does best in the U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8a through 8b.

Weeping Blue Spruce

Because of the deeply colored green-blue needles of the weeping blue spruce (Picea pungens “Pendula”), it is visually distinctive and adds an austere exoticism to a landscape design. With very low-hanging, floppy branches that bend toward the ground, the weeping blue spruce needs staking in order to grow upright. Because of its malleable nature, the weeping blue spruce can also be shaped into a topiary, as its growth direction is easily trained to an external structure. Preferring full sunlight, the weeping blue spruce thrives in USDA hardiness zones 2 through 8.

Weeping Norway Spruce

With its dark green needles and widly varying growth patterns, the weeping Norway spruce (Picea abies “Pendula) thrives in USDA zones 3 through 8. As these trees can grow upright with a narrow trunk or spread out horizontally, weeping Norway spruce always adds an element of elegant surprise to a landscape. While they will only grow to 20 feet in height, they can reach almost 25 feet horizontally. These trees need a lot of water and direct sunlight.

Weeping White Spruce

Unlike the other types of weeping spruce, the weeping white spruce (Picea glauca “Pendula”) can grow in both full- and partial sun. It does best in USDA zones 8a through 9b and exhibits an upright growth pattern. A weeping white spruce grows 1 foot per year until it reaches the maximum height of 40 feet. With its slender appearance, need for moist soil and tolerance of shade, the weeping white spruce grows well near other evergreens.

About the Author

Benjamin Shorter has been a writer for publications such as the "New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal," "National Post" and the "Edmonton Journal" since 2001. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from McGill University, a Master of Arts in history from Central European University and a diploma in journalism from Concordia University.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images