Maintaining the Korean fir -tips for outdoors and tubs

If the Korean fir is planted outdoors, it is actually quite easy to care for. There are some peculiarities in the tub planting.

Korean firs are less exotic than the name might suggest. Since the Korean-born plant first appeared in England in the early 20th century, it has spread widely in Europe, Asia and North America. Today, the hobby gardener can get the attractive fir in numerous unusual varieties. You don't necessarily have to own a particularly spacious garden, because the slow-growing pine plants are also available in numerous small-sized species. If you follow some care instructions, you will be able to enjoy the Korean fir (also Korean fir or Abies koreana) for decades and have found an ornament for your garden all year round.

Water the korea fir properly

The substrate around the plant should not dry out. Regular irrigation is therefore necessary, especially on warm days. It is best to pour the korea fir with rainwater or stale tap water.

The plants need more moisture in autumn. Irrigation is not to be neglected even in winter. Check the soil regularly and water on frost-free days. Avoid waterlogging. In order to make the soil more permeable, gravel or clay granulate can be added to the substrate.

Container plants in particular have an increased need for moisture and should be watered frequently. The soil in the bucket dries out quickly and there is a risk of freezing in winter.

Fertilize korea fir

The korea fir can get nutrients from the soil as a flat root. It forms a flat, extensive root system. However, there may be deficiency symptoms, which the plant indicates. If, for example, the needles turn brown, the fir magnesium is missing. Here you can help with the addition of epsom salt. Be careful, however, because brown needles are not the only sign of a magnesium deficiency. It may also be too dry or the plant may suffer frost damage. If you have the opportunity, you should carry out a soil analysis and get certainty about missing nutrients.

➔ Tip: Korean firs need little nutrients. Do not plant the crops next to heavy feeders. Over-fertilization could occur.

Overview of the species of the Korean fir

A whole range of cultivated forms have emerged from the Korean fir in the course of time. You can choose a small tree or plant larger trees with different needle colors. In many varieties, needle coloring can be achieved by twisting the needles. This makes the sub-pages visible. You can also get the korea firs with different cone colors.

The following types are commercially available:


This fir grows very slowly and is usually characterized by a rather shrub-like growth. The gold-colored needles are a special ornament.

Barabits spreading

This variety grows particularly slowly and is very suitable for smaller gardens. Barabits spreading only grows about five centimeters per year. With its broad and spherical growth, this variety is very suitable for rock gardens and bed borders.

Silver bullet

This korea pine grows flat and spherical. The needles are only about an inch long. The yellow-green needles have silver undersides.


With an annual growth of four to seven centimeters, this korea pine grows only slowly. The purple cones, which develop early in the year, are an eye-catcher. The close-fitting needles partially show their silver underside and represent a nice contrast to the cones. This particularly attractive korea fir was bred in Germany by the Horstmann tree nursery in the 1980s.

Cut korea fir - yes or no?

Korean firs do not require any cutting measures. They grow independently in their characteristic form. So all you have to do is watch the Korean fir grow.

How can the Korean fir be propagated?

The Korean fir is only propagated via seeds. This is not an easy task. Patience and preparation time are required until young people appear in the crops. First of all, you should collect the cones of the tree. The best time to do this is December. Put the pegs on the heater, they will open quickly. The seeds can be removed after a few days.

➔ Note: Not every seed of the Korean fir can germinate.

The germination ability can be determined using the water sample. To do this, place the seeds in a container with water and let it stand overnight. You can dispose of all seeds that still float on the surface in the morning, they are not germinable.

The germinable seeds are then placed in a planter filled with soil and sand. The substrate is only slightly covered. So that the seeds really germinate, they are stratified. The seeds should actually be in the refrigerator for a few weeks, but this process can be simplified because it is winter. You simply place the planter in the garden or on the terrace. Protect the seeds from snow and rain and keep the soil evenly moist. Nevertheless, it can take several months for the first shoots to become visible.

Hibernate korea fir

The Korean fir comes from the mountain forests of South Korea. There are low temperatures in winter and therefore the plants in our latitudes are well prepared for winter. Late frosts can become a problem. This applies to potted plants that are less protected in a small planter than outdoors. Therefore, the planters should be protected with garden fleece or brushwood. Free-standing korea firs are rarely affected by frost damage.

➔ Tip: A pretty eye-catcher in the wintry garden is the korea fir tree, when it is decorated with a chain of lights and balls.