Picea pungens 'Ruby Teardrops' / Ruby Teardrops Colorado spruce

Picea pungens ‘Ruby Teardrops’ is a striking dwarf, spreading, blue selection of Colorado spruce that provides a vibrant color display early in the growing season. Abundant emerging cones are red to magenta, contrasting vividly against teal-Blue foliage generally lasting for at least four weeks, longer in cooler weather. As cones age, they take on a khaki color and will eventually deteriorate rather than dislodge. The foliage will soften to more of a pleasing sky blue into summer. The overall growth structure is squat-irregular to globose. At maturity a specimen will be about 3 feet (1 m) tall and slightly wider, suggesting an annual growth rate of 2 to 4 inches (5 - 10 cm).

This cultivar originated as a seedling selected in the early 2000s by Fisher Farms, Gaston, Oregon and introduced to the nursery trade 2010. It was one of three plants selected in 2016 for the ACS Collectors' Conifer of the Year Program and selected in 2013 as the ACS Western Region Featured Conifer.

Picea pungens 'Ruby Teardrops' at the ACS Reference Garden, Oregon Garden, Silverton — early spring foliage.
Photo by Janice LeCocq
Picea pungens 'Ruby Teardrops' in summer after the spring push mellows.
Photo by Sam Pratt


Rebecca McCrory

Would like 2. What size are they at the time of shipping?

Web Editor

Rebecca it was a Conifer of the year in 2016. Not for sale by the ACS this year, sorry. You could try Conifer Kingdom, one of our members, who tops a Google search for the plant. They are at www.coniferkingdom.com and 503-874-4123.

Julie Usher

Sadly it seems there are no suppliers for this in England, and only a couple that I can find in Europe. Would you happen to know please if any of the US stockists or nurseries have trading relationships in the UK, that might help British customers to source this variety?

Ronald Schlak

Conifer Kingdom is a big supplier of this plant
you might contact them with your question

Maxwell Cohn

Hi Ron, if you're replying to Julie, keep in mind that she's looking for a source in the U.K. I'm nearly positive that CK doesn't ship overseas.

Ronald Schlak

julie should ask CK if they know of any sources . If any plant mat'l has gone overseas , I would think they would know.
with my short experience with the interwebs , I found it very easy to bother people over long distances

Diane Martinson

I would like one. Largest size possible

Maxwell Cohn

good luck finding one! The largest I've seen offered for sale was around 4 feet tall and 6 feet wide.


I was able to purchase 3 very small young ones that only have about 8 branches and are maybe 10 inches tall by 8 inches wide. They look rather spindly. Do I have to do anything as far as pruning to make them bushier as they grow?

Maxwell Cohn

nope. The become "bushy" all on their own. It's the nature of terminal-coning spruces.

Misson Jean-Pierre

Hello, Is there a difference between Picea pungens 'Hermann Naue' and Picea pungens 'Ruby Teardrops' Thank you
Jean-pierre Misson

Maxwell Cohn

yes!! There are many differences ... They are not alike at all.

'Ruby Teardrops' grows 3 times faster'
'Hermann Naue' is squatly conical / 'Ruby Teardrops' is nest shaped, flattened spreading.
'Ruby Teardrops' has better color of foliage flush and darker young cones.
'Hermann Naue' has been known to revert / 'Ruby Teardrops' seems to be more stable.
'Hermann Naue' was found in Germany / 'Ruby Teardrops' was found in Oregon, USA.

Linda Wilson

Can you help me find a couple of these? In remembrance of a dear friend who passed away Oct. 2021 suddenly. I would like one and one for her daughter who lives in VA.

Sara Malone

Hi Linda, we don't keep lists of vendors but there are some good conifer nurseries in the Mid-Atlantic. You might try Susanna Farm Nursery in Maryland or Appeldoorn in North Carolina. Both can likely order from Oregon growers. It is truly a stunning plant.

Conny Raynor

When I purchased and planted my “ruby teardrop” last year it had many ruby tips. This year, despite growth, it had none….what could be the reason for this?