Korean Fir Abies koreana 'Cis'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Korean fir 'Cis'


The Korean Fir 'Cis' is an ornamental evergreen conifer that boasts a beautifully compact and symmetrical growth habit. Its overall shape is often described as a miniature or dwarf variant of the classic conifer silhouette, being dense and shaped like a cone or pyramid. The needles of this plant are particularly noteworthy due to their distinctive appearance. They are short and boast an intense green color on the upper side, which contrasts splendidly with the silvery-white underside that is characterized by the presence of stomatal bands. This two-toned effect adds a shimmering, textured look to the foliage as it catches the light. Adding further charm to the plant are the decorative cones that emerge with a deep purple hue before maturing to a more subdued brown. These cones are upright and stand out against the foliage, adding visual interest. The Korean Fir 'Cis' is appreciated for its slow-growing nature, making it suitable for small garden spaces or as a specimen in landscape design. Its overall appearance exudes an elegant and serene quality that can be particularly striking when dusted with snow, highlighting the form and structure of the plant.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Korean Fir, Cis Korean Fir

    • Common names

      Abies koreana 'Cis'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Korean fir is not commonly known as a toxic plant to humans. Ingesting parts of the Korean fir, especially in large quantities, might cause mild stomach upset due to the indigestible nature of plant material and the potential presence of plant compounds that humans are not accustomed to eating. However, there is no well-documented evidence of severe toxicity or life-threatening consequences from ingesting this plant. As with any nonfood plant, it's advisable to avoid eating it.

    • To pets

      Korean fir is not commonly known as a toxic plant to pets. However, like many plants, ingesting large quantities of its needles may cause gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting or diarrhea in pets due to the irritation of the digestive tract or the presence of plant compounds that animals cannot digest. It's generally recommended to prevent pets from chewing on this and other non-edible plants to avoid potential stomach upset. There are no widely recognized severe toxic effects specifically associated with pets, such as dogs and cats, eating the Korean fir.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Height

      2 feet (0.61 meters)

    • Spread

      2 feet (0.61 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: Abies koreana 'Cis', commonly known as Korean Fir, is a dwarf conifer that offers year-round ornamental interest with its compact size and dense, green foliage.
    • Low Maintenance: The Korean Fir is a low-maintenance plant that requires minimal pruning and is generally pest and disease resistant.
    • Seasonal Interest: Produces violet-blue cones that add unique color and texture to the landscape, particularly interesting in the winter months when other plants may be dormant.
    • Cold Tolerant: Korean Fir can withstand cold temperatures, making it suitable for a variety of climates, especially those with cold winters.
    • Wildlife Habitat: It provides shelter and nesting sites for birds, and the seeds in the cones are a food source for wildlife.
    • Soil Adaptability: This plant can adapt to a range of soil types, though it prefers well-drained, acidic soils.
    • Small Size: Its dwarf nature makes it an excellent choice for smaller gardens or landscape areas with limited space.
    • Evergreen Nature: As an evergreen, Korean Fir provides a constant presence of greenery throughout the year.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Miniature Bonsai: Abies koreana 'Cis' can be cultivated as a bonsai specimen, particularly suited for the miniature bonsai art form due to its naturally dwarf growth habit.
    • Specialty Woodworking: The dense wood can be used for crafting intricate items like jewelry boxes, carvings, or ornaments, making use of its fine grain and texture.
    • Educational Tool: This plant is often used in educational settings to teach about dwarf plant varieties and the importance of genetic diversity within species.
    • Holiday Decor: Smaller branches from the Korean Fir may be used to create natural and fragrant Christmas decorations, such as wreaths or centerpieces.
    • Photography Subject: Owing to its unique stature and aesthetic, it is often used as a subject for botanical photography and plant portraiture.
    • Collectors' Item: The rarity and unique characteristics of 'Cis' make it a sought-after specimen for conifer and exotic plant collectors.
    • Theme Gardens: It is suitable for inclusion in fairytale or miniature theme gardens, contributing to the whimsical and enchanted landscape design.
    • Conservation Study: This plant may be used in studies related to the conservation of dwarf plant forms and their habitats.
    • Outdoor Sculpture: The plant can be shaped and maintained to form living sculptures in ornamental gardens.
    • Urban Horticulture: Because of its small size, Abies koreana 'Cis' can be used in urban gardens where space is limited, providing greenery without the need for extensive grounds.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Korean fir is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Korean fir is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Endurance and Longevity: As an evergreen conifer, the Korean Fir symbolizes the ability to endure challenging conditions and persist through harsh times, reflecting resilience and longevity.
    • Purity and Cleansing: In various cultural traditions, firs are often associated with purity due to their evergreen nature, suggesting a cleansing or renewal aspect.
    • Resilience: The Korean Fir's ability to survive in cold climates and at high altitudes makes it a symbol of resilience and strength.
    • Peace and Tranquility: Many evergreens, including the Korean Fir, are seen as representations of peace and tranquility because of their quiet and unchanging presence in the forest.
    • Festivity and Celebration: Like other firs commonly used as Christmas trees, the Korean Fir may represent festivity and celebration during the holiday season.

Every 2-3 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-4 years
Early spring
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The Korean fir 'Cis' needs regular watering to maintain moist soil conditions, especially during dry periods. It should be watered deeply every week or two, depending on weather conditions, with about 1-2 gallons per watering session for an established tree. It's important to avoid over-watering and ensure good drainage to prevent root rot. During the winter months, the tree can be watered less frequently, but the soil should not be allowed to dry out completely. Adjust the watering schedule according to the season and local rainfall, and always check the soil moisture before watering.

  • sunLight

    The Korean fir 'Cis' thrives in full sun to partial shade. The best spot for this plant is in a location where it can receive at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. While it can tolerate some shade, too much can reduce growth and density. Ensure it is planted away from taller trees or buildings that might shade it for a significant portion of the day to maintain its health and growth.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Korean fir 'Cis' does well in a range of temperatures and is hardy to at least -20 to -30 degrees Fahrenheit, making it suitable for many temperate climates. The ideal temperature conditions for this plant are between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during its growing season. It can also withstand very cold winter temperatures, making it a highly adaptable tree for various landscapes.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the Korean fir 'Cis' is typically done to shape the tree or remove any damaged or diseased branches. The best time for pruning is late winter or early spring before new growth starts. Light shaping can help to maintain a dense, attractive form, but this tree often requires little pruning. Any dead or broken limbs should be removed as soon as they are noticed to maintain the health of the tree.

  • broomCleaning

    Not needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Korean Fir 'Cis' thrives best in well-draining, moist, acidic soil with a pH range of 5.0 to 6.0. A mix of peat, sand, and loamy soil in equal parts creates an ideal growing medium. Adequate organic matter should be included to enrich the soil and retain moisture.

  • plantRepotting

    The Korean Fir 'Cis' generally needs repotting every few years as it is a slow grower. It is best to repot in spring before the new growth starts, checking the rootball for any signs of being root-bound.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    The Korean Fir 'Cis' tolerates average to high humidity levels but does not require the high humidity that tropical plants do. Maintaining a consistent level of natural atmospheric humidity is typically sufficient.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Position 'Cis' in cool room with bright, indirect light.

    • Outdoor

      Plant 'Cis' in sun to part shade with well-drained soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-7 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Korean Fir 'Cis' begins its life cycle as a seed, typically requiring a cold stratification period to break dormancy before it can germinate. Upon germination, the seedling stage is characterized by the development of a root system and the first juvenile leaves. As it transitions to the juvenile phase, the sapling starts to exhibit the species' characteristic dense, slow-growing and compact habit. Reaching maturity after several years, it develops a conical shape and begins to produce the distinctive purple cones for which Korean Firs are known. The reproductive phase sees these cones releasing seeds to continue the species' life cycle. The mature Korean Fir 'Cis' can live for many decades, enduring through seasonal cycles and environmental changes until senescence leads to its eventual decline and death.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Early spring

    • The Korean fir 'Cis', a dwarf variety of Abies koreana, is best propagated by grafting, which is the most popular method for this particular cultivar due to its slow growth and the need to maintain the true characteristics of the parent plant. Grafting usually takes place in late winter, just before the spring growth starts. A piece of stem (scion) from the Korean fir ‘Cis’ with two or more buds is joined onto the rootstock of another fir that has been grown from seed. The graft should be made with a clean, diagonal cut to ensure maximum cambial contact between the scion and the rootstock. The joined pieces are then wrapped with grafting tape and kept under controlled conditions to ensure a successful union. After the graft has taken, which could be several months, the tape is removed, and the new plant is gradually acclimatized to outdoor conditions before being planted out.