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Gardening in the Rainy Zone.
Pronounced: AY-beez kor-ee-AY-na
Korea and Russia
Sunset zones: 3b-9, 14-24.
USDA zones: 5-6 (7-8 in cool maritime climates).
Heat zones: 6-5.
Height: 30 feet (10 m).
Width: 20 feet (6 m).
Two to three-inch long, purple-blue cones.
Shiny, short green needles with silver underneath.
Moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soil.
Keep seed fresh by refrigerating it until planted. Sow seed outdoors in fall and place in cold frame for winter. Alternatively, you can stratify seed in sterile sand in the refrigerator for six weeks. Check often for sprouting seeds after four weeks. Pot up sprouted seeds and grow in containers or nursery bed for another year, keeping the seedlings protected from harsh weather conditions.
Pests and Diseases:
No serious pests or diseases.
Rainy Side Notes
Introduced in 1908, this evergreen tree is one of the most attractive conifers, with green needles that are silvery-white underneath and large, purple-blue cones. A choice specimen for any garden, it is especially grand in small gardens. Korean firs grow slowly, but bear their showy two to three-inch long cones when reaching three to five feet tall. If I only had room for one conifer, this is the tree I would choose.
Korean firs will not grow well in regions with high heat and humidity, because their nativity is in the mountainous regions of Korea and Russia. Many references rate it hardy in USDA zones 5 and 6. However, it flourishes in our milder Pacific Northwest climate in USDA zones 7 and 8 and not in the same zones in southern regions. This is a good example of why USDA ratings don't give us an accurate picture on how a plant will perform in our maritime climate. Using Sunset zones takes into account heat, maritime influences, amount of rainfall and more, will give an accurate rating of how a plant will perform in our gardens.
Photographed in author's garden.