Living Christmas Tree

Susan Sanders-Kinzel

A living Christmas tree is ecological, practical and saves you money year after year. You can enjoy it year round on your balcony or in your garden.

Make sure the tree is small enough to fit in your house and either buy it potted or find a planter to fit it. If you pot it yourself, use a fast draining potting soil or mix your own with river sand, garden soil, and compost in equal parts. Leave about 6 inches of space above the soil. If you can find a tray with casters all the better for moving it around for years to come.


You can keep your tree outside until a few weeks before Christmas, then bring it in a slightly warmer area (porch or garage) so it has some time to acclimate to the warmer temperature of the house. In a few days, bring it into the house.

When you decorate the tree, make sure you use LED lights so there won't be too much heat on the tree. You can keep your tree inside for up to 2 weeks.

If you live in a cold climate, make sure you give it a little time in the garage or in a slightly warmer location so that the soil will thaw before you move it in. Also when taking it back outside, give it some time in the same place to adjust to the cold, then in a sheltered location before moving it back to it's normal location.

Plastic sheeting will prevent carpet and floor damage. Keep it watered with ice cubes (about 2 trays daily) on the surface of the soil.

In the spring, you can prune half the new growth to maintain its shape and increase its bushiness. Every few years, repot the tree with new soil in the spring before new growth begins. Slide it out of the container and shave off 1 inch of the root ball, using an old kitchen knife. Repot and add fresh soil and water well.

Santa with a living Christmas tree.

About The Author: ThriftyFun's founder, Susan Sanders-Kinzel was the editor and a main contributor on the site until she passed away in 2008.

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