There’s nothing quite like a real Christmas tree for getting you into the festive spirit. However, there are some downsides, including the cost, the annoyance of pine needles dropping all over the place and the hassle of disposing of it at the end of the festive season. That’s why so many of us are tempted the idea of buying a live tree in a pot that we can bring indoors year after year. The only problem is that keeping them alive and in good condition can be a little tricky. That’s why we’ve put together this guide, so if you’ve opted for a live tree this year you can get the most out of your festive foliage and keep it going until next year.
Photo by Stephen Woods / CC BY
Keep it cool
Christmas trees are various species of conifer, usually spruce, pine or fir. All of these do best in colder climates, so a warm living room is a long way from being their ideal environment. If you want your tree to stay healthy you should keep it in a cooler spot, such as a conservatory, where it will feel more at home. Ideally you shouldn’t keep the tree inside for more than a couple of weeks maximum, so the traditional twelve days of Christmas would be a good guide.
Treat it gently
Although they are generally quite hardy, the less contact you have with your tree the better it will do. Try not to load it down with too many heavy decorations and don’t place it in a high traffic area, such as near a doorway or in the middle of a room. If you find your tree is suffering from broken branches or is starting to drop its needles you may need to move it to somewhere less busy or even transfer it outside.
Keep it hydrated (but not too much!)
Make sure you keep your tree watered, but do not overwater it as this can do just as much damage. Try keeping the pot that contains your tree in a shallow tray and placing the water into the tray. Your tree can then absorb as much liquid as it needs and no more, keeping its roots safe from waterlogging.
Give it room to expand
Conifers can grow relatively fast, so you should ideally repot your Christmas tree at least once a year to give its roots room to expand. If you don’t choose to repot, your trees growth will be limited, but you should make sure you keep it feed with a good quality fertiliser. Choosing the right food for your tree will ensure it puts on lots of healthy new growth, so it will look its best come next Christmas. Proctors John Innes base fertiliser has the ideal mix of nutrients for growing on a Christmas tree, being made from a mix of mineral and organic matter, including sulphate of potash and hoof & horn.
Conifers need relatively little attention when it comes to pruning for health reasons. However as the main purpose of a Christmas tree is to be decorative it is important to keep on top of any new growth to make sure you are maintaining that classic Christmas tree shape. The key thing is to remove any growth than spoils your trees outline and to cut away any vertical shoots that could potentially compete with the main stem of the tree. You should also keep an eye out for any signs of disease and any dead or branches should be quickly removes to allow new healthy growth to take their place.
If you’re looking for a place to buy top quality fertiliser for a whole range of applications, head over to our online shop. For more advice about getting the most out of your plants and how the products we sell can help, feel free to call Proctors today on 0117 311 1217 or fill out our online contact form.