How to care for a mini christmas tree

How to Care for Mini Christmas Trees

Holiday cheer can come in any size! As versatile as they are festive, mini Christmas trees are perfect as a centerpiece, a kid’s tree, a mantle accent or—if you have space constraints or are seeking something lower maintenance—your main holiday tree. And there are lots of ways to make one shine—just see Pinterest and Instagram (best viewed in the app) for plenty of decorating inspiration. While mini Christmas trees are easy to care for, following a few pro tips will ensure that your tree lasts well into the New Year and beyond.

Pick the Perfect Location for Your Mini Tree

To help your mini-tree thrive, you’ll want to consider more than just aesthetics when picking the perfect spot for it. Avoid placing your mini Christmas tree near any sources of heat that can quickly dry it out, like a vent, radiator, or fireplace. If possible, place it in an area of the house that stays cooler, and isn’t subject to any sudden changes in temperature. A spot that receives only indirect sunlight is ideal.

How Much Should You Water Your Mini Christmas Tree

Like any houseplant, you’ll want to strike the right balance when watering. For a mini Christmas tree, too much water can cause root rot and too little can lead to needles turning brown and falling off. A good starting point is watering once a week, but check the soil daily—if the surface is ever dry to the touch, you should water thoroughly. The trick is to keep the soil evenly moist, so be sure to water all around the pot to ensure the water is uniformly distributed. You’ll also want to be sure your pot has proper drainage, so be sure to remove any wrapping that could allow excess water to pool.

Decorate Your Mini Christmas Tree Mindfully

Did you know traditional holiday string lights can dry out your tree’s needles? Consider using fewer lights on your tree (a delicate sparkle looks lovely on a tree of this size) or using low-wattage lights, like LEDs, which emit very little heat. Also, be sure to turn the tree lights off for the night when you go to bed.

Give Your Mini Tree New Life

One of the best things about a potted mini Christmas tree is that it can be a sustainable option—rather than throwing away your tree at the end of the season, you can plant it and enjoy it for years to come. Before planting, check to ensure your tree will thrive in your region by referencing the USDA Hardiness Zone Map—for example, FTD’s mini spruce trees can be planted in zones 5 through 10.

If you live in zone 7 or higher, you can plant your mini tree right after the holidays, but anyone else should wait until spring. Consider repotting your mini tree to give it a bit more room to grow in the meantime, and store it in a protected outdoor area, like an unheated garage, covered entryway, or screened-in porch, to allow it to acclimate to cooler temperatures.

These few simple care steps will ensure mini Christmas trees bring holiday joy throughout the season—and for many years to come. Browse our mini trees and other Christmas plants here—they are the perfect gift for friends and family (or yourself!).


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Mini Christmas Tree: Live vs Faux, Care Tips, And Tiny Ornaments 🪴 Learn how to grow things 👩‍🌾 Christmas

The “mini Christmas tree” is this year’s must-have Christmas decor trend. Fortunately, there are quite a few options to choose from in terms of the trees themselves and how to decorate them.

Mini Christmas trees are available as fresh trees or faux trees. Most fresh options are mini potted trees that can be transplanted outdoors after the holidays. Many faux options come pre-lit with either white or multi-colored lights. Most mini Christmas trees are dwarf pine, fir, or spruce trees.

Read on to learn all about mini Christmas trees!

Mini Christmas Trees: Fresh vs. Faux

Where To Buy A Mini Christmas Tree

Caring For Live Mini Christmas Trees Indoors

How To Decorate A Mini Christmas Tree

Mini Christmas Tree Decorations

Planting Mini Christmas Trees Outdoors After The Holidays

Norway Spruce Mini Christmas Trees

Douglas Fir Mini Christmas Trees

Dwarf Alberta Spruce Christmas Trees

Mini Christmas Trees: Fresh vs. Faux

The first option when choosing a mini Christmas tree is a fresh real tree or a faux artificial tree. Fresh-cut trees are a classic option for bringing a small tabletop tree into your space. Choose a potted live tree if you’d like to plant it outdoors after the holidays (see details later on in this article). Faux trees are perfect for those who’d like to use the same mini tree year after year.

Where To Buy A Mini Christmas Tree

Here are some retailers that offer fresh mini Christmas trees:

  • Mini Fresh Spruce Tree with Ornaments & Lights from Terrain
  • Douglas Fir Fresh Mini Potted Christmas Tree from Nature Hills
  • Fresh Tabletop Fraser Fir w/Lights (Cut) from Williams Sonoma
  • Fresh Tabletop Fraser Fir (Cut) from Terrain
  • Mini Norway Spruce Christmas Tree from Nature Hills
  • Dwarf Live Alberta Spruce from Williams Sonoma

Here are some shops that sell faux mini Christmas trees:

  • Mini Alberta Spruce Christmas Tree (Pre-Lit) from Target
  • Pre-Lit Artificial Mini Christmas Tree from National Tree Company
  • Mini Pine Artificial Christmas Tree from Walmart
  • Pre-Lit Potted Faux Blue Spruce Tree from Pottery Barn
  • Mini Cypress Faux Christmas Tree from Williams Sonoma
Mini Grinch Christmas Trees at Home Depot

Caring For Live Mini Christmas Trees Indoors

The most important part of caring for live and fresh-cut mini Christmas trees is to keep them well-watered. Place cut trees in a basin of clean tap water inside the box or bucket they are positioned in. Potted mini Christmas trees generally have an inner plastic nursery pot that can be slipped out of the decorative outer planter. Take the whole mini tree over to the sink and water it every few days. Let the excess water drain out the bottom drainage holes before placing the tree back into the outer decor planter.

Humidity is key to the health of mini trees when kept indoors. These trees are not well-suited to dry indoor air. Consider adding a plant humidifier nearby (you can even use this Christmas Tree Essential Oil Blend to boost the holiday scent).

Mini Christmas trees generally don’t require fertilizer or plant food in the first month or two. Potted Christmas trees can be fed with all-purpose plant food or with an organic houseplant fertilizer. You can also use a starter fertilizer when transplanting the mini tree outdoors.

Some fresh mini Christmas trees are living potted trees while others are freshly-cut trees.

How To Decorate A Mini Christmas Tree

Decorating a mini Christmas tree involves finding Christmas lights with a very thin wire as well as small decorations that are in proper proportion to your tree and aren’t too heavy for the small branches. Lightweight lights like LED Twinkle Lights are a great option (if you can find them in short 6′-10′ lengths). Lights with silver wire or gold wire may add a bit of twinkle to the tree. Twinkle lights can be battery-operated or plug-in LED lights.

Mini Christmas Tree Decorations

Mini Christmas trees need mini decorations! Here are some tiny ornaments that might be a good fit for a mini Christmas tree:

  • Mini Glass Ball Christmas Ornament Set (25 mm wide) from Target
  • Modern Multi-Colored Glass Ball Ornaments (30 mm wide) from West Elm
  • Mini Vintage-Style Christmas Ornaments from Kohl’s
  • Miniature Ornament Set by Kurt Adler
Some mini trees come pre-decorated!

Planting Mini Christmas Trees Outdoors After The Holidays

Different types of evergreen trees can be planted outdoors once the holidays are over. Trees can be planted outdoors in the ground in climates where the ground doesn’t freeze in the winter. Planting will have to be delayed until spring in areas where the ground freezes solid during the winter.

Different types of trees grow in specific climates. If you intend to plant your mini Christmas tree outdoors after the holidays, be sure to choose a tree that will survive in your local climate zone. If you don’t know your local climate zone, check the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.

Norway Spruce Mini Christmas Trees

Norway Spruce Trees (Picea abies) grow well outdoors in climates Zones 2-7. This wide growing range includes some of the coldest areas of the country up to temperate areas where the ground may not freeze solid. While the trees are mini when purchased, this type of Christmas tree can grow to 50′-80′ tall when planted in the ground outdoors. Here is a Potted Mini Norway Spruce Tabletop Christmas Tree that can be planted outdoors after Christmas.

Douglas Fir Mini Christmas Trees

Douglas Fir Trees (Pseudotsuga menziesii) grow well outdoors in climate Zones 4-6. This is a narrow growing range that consists mainly of areas with hot summers and snowy cold winters. Douglas Fir Trees can grow 50′-60′ tall when grown in the ground. Here is a Mini Potted Douglas Fir Christmas Tree to plant outdoors after the holidays.

Dwarf Alberta Spruce Christmas Trees

Dwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca) can be grown outdoors in Zones 3-8. These trees stay small after being planted in the soil outdoors, growing to a mature height of 8′-12′ tall. Here is a Mini Potted Dwarf Alberta Spruce Tree that can go outdoors after Christmas.

Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a gardening expert and founder of Home for the Harvest. She's also an engineer and certified permaculture garden designer. Mary Jane has been featured by publications such as Real Simple, Mother Earth News, Homes & Gardens, Heirloom Gardener, and Family Handyman.

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Caring for a Christmas tree in a pot at home

Buying a Christmas tree in a pot, I was not sure that it would last long at home. But for several years now, this green beauty has been pleasing to the eye. Now every year I buy a Christmas tree in a pot - I plan to plant it soon, I will create my own small coniferous garden.

In this article, based on my experience, I will tell you how to properly care for a Christmas tree in a pot, how to choose a plant, which varieties are best suited for the Russian climate, and give advice on care and transplantation.

Content of Article

  • Care for a Christmas tree in a pot
    • Selection of location
    • The required temperature
    • irrigation and moisture
    • 9001

    Caring for a Christmas tree in a pot

    Before bringing a Christmas tree in a pot into the house, you need to leave it in a cool room for several days. Otherwise, the plant, due to a sharp change in temperature (getting from a cool environment to a warm one), may begin to grow, deciding that spring has come.

    If you think this is good, I have to disappoint you. Together with the tree, its roots grow and they become crowded in a pot, and this weakens the root system and the tree as a whole.

    Choosing a location

    Spruce loves coolness and humid air, so the place should be appropriate: there should be no heaters or any thermal objects nearby.

    The Christmas tree cannot be placed in a room with dry air, so ventilate and humidify the air more often. It is also important to remember that the plant should not be in room conditions for more than 2-3 weeks. In winter, spruce is at rest, so it needs to be taken out to a cool place.

    Tip: Place a container of water in the room where the plant is located to provide humid air.

    Required temperature

    As mentioned earlier, spruce cannot be kept in a room for a long time, it will be best for it on a balcony or in another cool place. In winter, the plant needs a temperature from +6 to +10 ° C, while negative temperatures can also be easily tolerated by the Christmas tree, but not by its roots.

    Therefore, if the temperature has become negative, you need to wrap the pot with a thick blanket, scarf or other thing that retains heat. If there is straw or hay, then they can also be used.

    Tip: if you decide to take the plant to the garage - do not put it on concrete, otherwise the soil with the roots will freeze. In summer, it is worth taking the spruce to fresh air, where it will be more comfortable, while avoiding direct light rays on the Christmas tree.

    Watering and moistening

    A potted tree loves moisture, so it should be watered every other day (or at least 3 times a week, use about 2-3 liters of water). But do not overwater the plant - it can die from waterlogging. If there is a lot of this amount of water for your spruce, then you need to monitor the soil and water when it dries.

    You also need to moisten the needles, feel free to take a spray bottle and spray the needles at least 1-2 times a day.

    In winter, spruce rests and is at rest, so watering should be reduced to 1 time in 3 weeks, provided that the temperature is optimal (+6 - +10 ° C), if the temperature drops below 0 ° C - you need to water 1 once a month. (You need to water every day in summer)

    Tip: Place a spray bottle near the tree so you spray the plant more often. It is better to use settled water.


    Spruce needs light, no need to put it in a completely unlit place. Diffused but bright light works best. Especially young trees need proper lighting.

    Therefore, you should not ignore the light factor if you want your pet to have green and lush needles. But avoid getting sunlight on the Christmas tree, they burn the needles.

    Tip: for a uniform and even color of the needles, you can turn the tree around its axis from time to time.


    During the active season of the Christmas tree, that is, from May to September inclusive, the plant should be watered with the addition of conventional mineral fertilizers once or twice a month.

    They can be bought from flower shops or other specialized shops. Spruce does not require other additives; in this regard, it is not whimsical. In winter, during the dormant period (from November to March), it is not necessary to feed the tree with fertilizers, because it is resting and should not grow.

    Tip: you can use onion peel tincture as a source of trace elements.

    Repotting tips

    1. These plants are under a lot of stress when repotting, so the tree can be repotted about once every two or three years, and this is a crucial moment. But if the spruce is actively growing, its roots are growing more and more, then you need to replant as this growth.
    2. For transplanting, it makes sense to take a transparent plastic pot in order to observe the growth of the roots and the moisture content of the soil. Be sure to make large holes that do not clog. If you do not like the look of such a pot, you can always buy a planter.
    3. The plant must be pulled out with a whole clod of earth without bare roots.
    4. The soil must be acidic, it can be made at home from earth from coniferous forests and ordinary universal earth mixture. But it’s easier and better to just buy special land for coniferous plants. Put expanded clay drainage and some charcoal at the bottom.
    5. Do not cover the neck of the plant, otherwise it will die.
    6. It is better to transplant into another pot in winter, when the tree is at rest.

    But it is important to remember that spruce is not a house plant. Sooner or later, if you do not want the tree to die, it will have to be planted in open ground.

    How to choose a plant

    It must be remembered that if you grow a coniferous tree in a pot, then its height will be 15-30 cm, while in open soil the height can reach 2 meters (usually about 170 cm). Therefore, if you decide to purchase a Christmas tree in a pot, you should consider the following factors:

    1. Pot size - if the pot is small relative to the crown of the tree, then the roots were cut off during transplantation. It makes no sense to buy such a plant, because it will die.
    2. Shoots at the ends of a tree - if in winter there are shoots at the ends of a spruce tree, then it was forcibly awakened. Soon the spruce will start to hurt.
    3. Decorations - if the tree is decorated with something (shiny spray or varnish), then the tree will die, because the pores of the needles will become clogged with aerosol. (But you can try to wash it off with warm water)
    4. Stem Position - If the stem is loose in the soil and moves, it has recently been transplanted. You should not take such a plant, because the transplant could be done incorrectly. This will kill the plant. Carefully move the barrel to check.
    5. The location of the roots in the pot - the roots should fill the entire volume of the pot, this will mean that the spruce has not been transplanted. To check, you need to pick up the soil a little, while paying attention that it should be slightly damp.
    6. Frost Resistance - Frost resistance should be 1-2 points higher than your zone. Therefore, if you have a 6 zone, then you need to take spruce for 5 or 4 zones. Check this information with the seller.

    For the Russian climate, frost resistance is perfect:

    • German spruce
    • dwarf fir
    • Serbian spruce
    • conic spruce
    • western thuja
    • decorative blue spruce

    Key Findings

    • Christmas tree in a pot needs special care
    • it is important to transplant the plant on time and correctly
    • spruce will need to be planted in open ground anyway
    • the right choice of a plant determines its further fate in your home

    How to care for a Christmas tree in a pot and save it after the holidays?

    The Christmas tree is one of the main attributes of Christmas and New Year, both adults and children love to decorate it, competing to see who has the most beautiful Christmas tree.

    And every year, environmentalists sigh that thousands of Christmas trees are dying for a short moment of joy.

    You can avoid the sad moment when a crumbling Christmas tree goes to the stove or, in the worst case, to a landfill, by buying an artificial Christmas tree, which every year you can get out of the attic, shake off the dust and use almost forever. Another alternative is a Christmas tree in a pot, which you can keep indoors until warmer weather, and then give it a second life by transplanting it in the garden or in the garden. However, as experience shows, often Christmas trees in pots crumble rather quickly or die immediately after landing in open ground.

    Dimzas nursery gardener Andrei Vitolinsh does not hide the fact that he often has to answer the question of how to preserve Christmas trees grown in pots and bought for Christmas.

    “Christmas trees in pots are sold in many places. Previously, they could only be found in nurseries or gardening centers, but now they are also found in hardware stores and food supermarkets. Once, one buyer told me that, having decided to transplant the purchased Christmas tree after the holidays, he found only a chopped trunk in the pot. The other carefully looked after the Christmas tree all winter, but after transplanting in the garden, it still crumbled and died. But there are also those who already have several planted New Year's beauties growing in the yard.

    The gardener says that there is no universal answer to the question of why this happens. “There may be several reasons. More often problems arise with the imported goods, but sometimes our local nurseries also sin. It is possible that the root system was damaged during transplantation or the roots were cut off too much. Or the Christmas trees were poorly cared for and they were poorly watered. But I can say that Latvian nurseries, which have been operating for several years and also grow seedlings for plantings, as a rule, make sure that Christmas trees please as long as possible,” Andrey shares his experience.

    There are several significant differences depending on the purpose for which the Christmas tree was grown

    Andrei Vitolinsh emphasizes that a Christmas tree intended for the garden and a Christmas tree in a pot are far from being the same thing. Christmas trees, which will subsequently be planted in the garden, are usually not heavily cut and placed in pots earlier - at the end of summer or spring, and gardeners usually use spacious tubs for them. The emphasis is on ensuring the viability of the seedling. In turn, when preparing Christmas trees, more attention is paid to their appearance. Nurseries that grow Christmas trees for both, and also offer cut Christmas trees, are trying to find a reasonable middle ground.

    Spruces intended for transplantation are pruned very carefully, mainly to correct the crown and top. Therefore, such Christmas trees usually have a rarer, but symmetrical crown. In turn, most Christmas trees are heavily pruned, sometimes twice a year. They have a beautiful, but unsuitable crown for normal growth. The resulting seals increase the risk of disease and shedding of needles; as the tree grows, the crown turns out to be asymmetrical - denser at the bottom and sparse at the top. Therefore, in order for the Christmas tree to look beautiful in the future, the new owners will have to constantly form it, and this is very laborious and difficult, especially when the height of the tree "passes" over two or three meters.

    How are Christmas trees grown in pots?

    Andrei Vitoliņš says that Christmas trees are not usually grown in pots. Theoretically, this is, of course, possible, but most often Christmas trees are grown on open ground, and then placed in pots or tubs. Here lies one of the snags. The Christmas tree should be placed in a pot in advance so that the tree has time to take root, restore that part of the root system that is responsible for the absorption of nutrients and moisture from the soil. As a rule, this is done in spring, late summer or autumn. Newly planted trees are usually placed in a greenhouse (if the nursery has the option) where they are constantly moistened. After a few weeks, the Christmas trees are ready to "move" to a new home.

    A herringbone that has been potted too late tends to have a weak root system, which can lead to her death despite regular watering and careful care.

    The size of the pot also plays a big role. There is only one rule - the larger the spruce, the larger the pot should be. Accordingly, the larger the pot, the more roots and the higher the viability of the tree. In spruce, like any other tree, the roots are commensurate with the crown. Therefore, it is easy to imagine what size pot is needed for a three-meter tree with a natural root system.

    Even if you have found the Christmas tree of your dreams - symmetrical, the right size, with a uniform, dense crown and in a large pot, it doesn't end there. Make sure the seller has watered it well so it doesn't dry out. This sometimes happens with Christmas trees that are sold in supermarkets, as sellers do not have the proper knowledge about plant care.

    How to recognize a healthy Christmas tree?
    • You can make sure that the plant has been well watered, by feeling the soil in the pot, as well as checking the flexibility of the twigs and the color of the needles. Remember that spruce branches become more fragile and brittle at low temperatures.
    • The vitality of the Christmas tree can be judged by the color of the needles, but here it is important to know what natural tone of the needles the Christmas trees of a particular breed have. For example, in sharp spruce, the color of the needles can be from green to silver. In turn, fir needles can differ not only in color, but also in size, while Canadian and black spruce are so similar that it will be difficult for a non-specialist to assess the viability of a tree solely by the color of the needles.
    • The condition of the Christmas tree can also be indicated by intensive shedding of needles . It should be borne in mind that in the fall, Christmas trees naturally shed some of the needles that are closer to the trunk. As a person's hair and skin are renewed, so the needles of a Christmas tree change, and the unnecessary part that does not take part in photosynthesis, especially inside the crown, crumbles almost completely. However, heavy shedding of needles, as well as faded or yellowish needles and stiff branches, may indicate an unhealthy condition of the tree.
    • Before bringing the Christmas tree into the room, give it time to acclimatize by gradually raising the room temperature to room temperature. For example, first hold the Christmas tree outside at zero temperature, then place it in a garage or basement where the air temperature does not exceed 10 ° C, and only then bring the tree pot into the room at 20 ° C). Compare with yourself how you feel after jumping into an ice-hole after a bath. The Christmas tree experiences about the same thing.
    • Humidity . Don't forget to maintain a constant humidity level! After you bring the Christmas tree from the street into a warm room, you need to water it abundantly. These two conditions (warmth and moisture) tell her that spring has come. In a week, the tree will begin to grow rapidly, letting out new green shoots. If you waited for this, only abundant watering will help save the tree. Even for growth, the Christmas tree needs a lot of light, but it is almost impossible to provide it in winter, so it is important that the Christmas tree stands in the brightest room. But if you take it out of the house to the street, i.e. from plus 20°C to minus 20°C, she will die immediately.

    Why are imported Christmas trees bad?

    Christmas tree nurseries operate on a slightly different basis. Moreover, this applies to both foreign and Latvian nurseries. They usually put the trees in pots a little later, cut their roots harder, choose tighter pots, and trim more branches, sometimes even twice a season.

    Trees are planted in pots later so that the Christmas tree retains its juicy color for as long as possible. Manufacturers are well aware of the problems associated with care, transportation, storage in wholesalers or supermarkets. The roots are cut more strongly so that the Christmas tree can be placed in a smaller pot. This is due to the laws of economics - it is very expensive to carry back and forth excess land. An evenly trimmed crown is beautiful! At least that's how Christmas trees look like in Hollywood movies.

    Therefore, if you really want to plant a Christmas tree in your garden, it is better to do it in spring or summer.

    In turn, following the advice of an expert, you can increase the survival rate of the trees you bought for Christmas. Be that as it may, each of us has our own idea of ​​how to create a festive mood in our home, so this excursion into the world of growing Christmas trees should be taken solely as useful information, and not as a guide to action.

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