Whether you’re looking to decorate a small space for the holidays, or just want to add a little extra holiday fragrance to your home, indoor Christmas trees can be the answer. From pine to cypress and herbal topiaries, small indoor Christmas trees bring big holiday spirit. Just like with any plant, these trees require precise care to continue to flourish and grow in your home. Follow these care instructions for the four most popular indoor Christmas trees, your tree will thank you.
Buy your rosemary tree early in the season, preferably before the cold weather sets in. Since Pennsylvania has been unseasonably cold recently, proper care from the moment you purchase your tree is essential. This protects the plant from the shock of cold as it exits the warm greenhouse. If you’re shopping around town that day, make sure the greenhouse is your last stop. Try not to leave your rosemary tree in your vehicle with fluctuating temperatures.
Your rosemary tree is a houseplant and needs to be cared for like one. The plant will need plenty of light, preferably under a grow light or in a south-facing window.
The tree will keep its shape through the holiday season but will require a trim to reshape as it grows out.
Danger Signs for Rosemary Trees
Shriveled Leaves – If you find your tree is looking shriveled or silver, it is dried out. To try and recover your plant, remove any wrapping on the pot and place the whole thing in the sink with 1 inch of tepid water. Let the plant sit for 30-minutes. Allow excess water to drain before rewrapping. Place the plant back into the sunlight.
Browning Leaves or Fallout – When the leaves turn brown and begin to fall off when you move the plant slightly, it is too far gone to be rescued. At this point, it is time to prune back your rosemary tree to living wood and water.
First things first, don’t eat your lavender Christmas tree. These trees are ornamental, silvery-green in color to help boost the holiday spirit. They are not meant for human consumption. These trees are easy to care for. Place your tree on a windowsill in direct sunlight for 6-8 hours per day. Unlike other houseplants, lavender trees prefer to be a little dry. Water once per week and allow for proper drainage. Alternatively, you can place the plant in the kitchen sink in one inch of water for 30 minutes to absorb from the bottom. During the warmer months, fertilize with acidic fertilizer once every 6 weeks. After the holidays, you can plant your tree outside in May in a sunny spot for continued enjoyment!
The Norfolk Island Pine is often used as a Christmas tree, but it also makes a handsome long-lived house plant year-round. It grows 3 to 6 inches a year and bears branches that are thickly covered with ½ inch needles. This tree does best in bright indirect, or curtain-filtered sunlight. In the winter it can stand full sun. The soil of these trees should be barely moist so water only when necessary. Feed established plants every 3 to 4 months but wait 6 months if it is a new plant. You can use house plant food for the tree. A special item to note, Norfolk Pines often lose their bottom branches as they grow.
Cypress are conifer trees which grow easily in containers. Be sure your soil is well-draining and sandy. You can amend the soil by using up to a 50% mixture of peat. Place the tree in an area with morning sun and light shade in the afternoon. Water the tree thoroughly and keep the soil constantly moist. When it is dry to within one inch of the top of the soil, it is time to water. In the spring when it is time to repot, place pebbles at the bottom of a decorative container that is two inches larger than the existing container.
Enjoy your indoor Christmas tree this holiday season! If you’re looking for more information, you can always speak to any of our knowledgeable staff.
Looking for other care instructions? Visit our Gardening Guides page for more tips and tricks for gardening.