How to Successfully Grow and Maintain the Horstmann Blue Atlas Cedar


The Horstmann Blue Atlas Cedar is a distinctive and captivating evergreen tree characterized by its drooping, twisted branches, stunning 1-inch blue needles, and small cones that grow upright during spring. It flourishes in full or partial sun, provided it is planted in well-drained acidic soil within USDA hardiness zones 6 to 9. With its easy care requirements, slow-to-moderate growth rate (1 to 2 feet per year), and preference for being planted as a ball-and-burlap sapling in spring or fall, this tree is an excellent addition to any landscape.

Table of Contents

  • Care
  • Types
  • Pruning
  • Propagating
  • Growing from Seed
  • Growing in Pots
  • Overwintering
  • Common Pests & Diseases
  • Common Issues
  • FAQ


To ensure the successful growth and vitality of the Horstmann Blue Atlas Cedar, follow these care guidelines:

Planting Location and Requirements

  • Choose an open area with ample space that is free from competing trees or shrubs.
  • Opt for a planting location that receives full to partial sunlight and possesses well-drained, acidic soil.
  • During the establishment period, stake the tree to prevent it from growing too close to the ground. Remove the stakes after one full growing season or continue staking if you desire different shapes.
  • Provide consistent and deep watering throughout the first year. During excessively hot and dry weather, additional watering may be necessary.
  • Protect young trees from strong winds by providing suitable shelter.
  • Apply a balanced fertilizer in the spring, following the instructions on the label.
  • Prune the tree in early spring before the growing season begins, limiting the cutting to branches needed for maintaining its desired shape. Avoid removing more than one-third of the tree’s total size.

Light Requirements

For optimal growth, plant the Horstmann Blue Atlas Cedar in an area of your lawn or landscape that receives a minimum of six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day. Although this tree can tolerate some shade in warmer regions, it should never be planted in full shade.

Soil Conditions

The Horstmann Blue Atlas Cedar thrives in well-drained, slightly acidic soil. However, it can tolerate neutral and slightly alkaline soils as well. Ensure that the planting spot has deep and wide soil, as the tree’s roots grow deep and its branches extend widely. It can adapt to various soil types, including loamy, sandy, or clay soils, as long as the soil does not retain excessive moisture.


During the establishment phase, provide consistent and deep watering to allow the roots to become established. Once the tree is well-established, it exhibits good drought tolerance. However, regular watering is still necessary during hot and dry weather.

Temperature and Humidity

The Horstmann Blue Atlas Cedar thrives in moderate conditions and is suitable for USDA hardiness zones 6 to 9. Within this range, it can tolerate a wide range of temperature and humidity conditions. To protect young trees from strong winds that may bend or break their limbs, provide adequate shelter.


While not essential for adequate growth, the Horstmann Blue Atlas Cedar can benefit from the application of a balanced fertilizer at the beginning of each spring growth season. Follow the recommended dosage instructions provided on the product packaging.

Types of Horstmann Blue Atlas Cedar

Horstmann Blue Atlas Cedars typically feature distinct bluish-gray needles and pyramidal shapes when young, gradually transforming into flat-topped trees with long horizontal branches as they.