Potted Christmas Trees seem confusing and can be disappointing. We reveal the secrets and offer tips for the best results.
Potted Christmas Trees (or sometimes also known as containerised) is a term used in the trade for Christmas trees that are grown in a field that are then ‘lifted’ out of the soil and potted into a pot. These are different to ‘container grown’ Christmas trees. A container grown plant or tree has been grown in a pot or a series of larger pots from being a young plant. In a container grown plant the roots are never disturbed and the plant you buy like this is guaranteed to grow when planted and nurtured in your garden borders. This process cost the growers more than growing in a field.
Christmas trees are grown as a Christmas ‘decoration’. Not many of us would want to pay the price for a container grown Christmas tree to ‘throw away’ after Christmas.
Potted (containerised) Christmas trees are typically half the price of a container grown conifer. They are meant to be a temporary Christmas decoration that you may be able to keep after Christmas if they receive the best and proper treatment. The nature of growing in a field and then potting them for immediate sale means that the firs have not produced new roots to sustain them. Think of them more like a cut Christmas tree than a properly grown conifer.
Potted Christmas Tree care
Potted Christmas trees have some roots that are able to take up water. This is essential as once your tree is placed in your home it will evaporate water at a very rapid rate. You need to replace it regularly, probably daily. Stand the pot in a plant saucer to hold excess water that your Christmas tree can draw on during the day.
Place away from radiators or switch the radiator off during the festive period.
Planting in the garden after Christmas.
This is a possibility but if you want a guarantee that your potted tree will successfully establish in your garden buy a containerised conifer and plant it straight into your garden.
However, if you buy a potted Christmas tree and only use it as a decoration on your from door step with some battery powered lights and a few resilient baubles it is more likely to live and grow after Christmas. you could continue to grow it in the pot it arrived in although better still would be to repot it into a larger pot with proper potting compost such as John Innes No 3 before the end of March. You can also plant directly into your border soil but also do it before the end of March.
We hear you saying “but i want to use my tree indoors and then try to grow it our side afterwards!”
The chances of success reduce if your ‘outdoor’ tree has suffered central heating for 4 weeks or so to then be abandoned to the coldest part of winter in your garden. Moving it gradually from heat to a cool room to a cold conservatory or greenhouse until March would be best but we know this is unlikely. As long as you realise that it’s a 50:50 chance of success before buying then you wont be as disappointed.
All in all your small potted Christmas tree will be successful as a Christmas tree if you look after it and they are quick and easy to take home and ‘stand’ in position, decorate and enjoy. You don’t need to spend ages applying a stand and making sure it’s uptight. Potted Christmas trees are usually not bigger than 1.2m (4′) and suit smaller rooms and are ideal for a coffee table. You also get the lovely fresh Christmas tree scent on many of them.