Last-Minute Christmas: Mini Tree in a Pot

Christmas is almost here. In case December has slipped away and you still do not have a tree, make the look of mini trees with fresh cuttings in classic containers — or plant a living seedling in a pot.

The cuttings offer a fast, affordable way to bring in the Christmas spirit. And unlike cut Christmas trees which get placed into the curb come the new year, a little living tree can be planted in the ground and appreciated for several years to come.

More holiday decorating ideas

Christmas cuttings. Last year, I generated such potted pine cuttings as an alternative to a traditional Christmas tree. I adored having their fresh pine scent — and a little reminder of Christmas — about the coffee table following the holiday season.

This endeavor was simple to create. First, I picked a mix of classic containers to use as vessels. I opted to get a mix of classic mason jars, a metal measuring cup, and a ceramic marmalade jar.

My local florist added a modest floral foam into the bottom of each vessel and created a reservoir for the cuttings. I added that the cuttings, sticking the branches into the floral foam. I added potting soil around the foundation of the cuttings to fill out the jars, then put a layer of wood chips on top to get a closing woodsy touch.

To care for all these cuttings, water every day (especially if your house has the warmth going strong). With the reservoir and floral foam, these cuttings lasted for almost two months.

Hint : One small cutting implanted in a jar can seem a bit Charlie Brown Christmas. But I feel a group of those cuttings in a mix of preferred vessels feels complete. It’s a legitimate alternative to your cut tree which can sit on your table.

Linda Merrill

Living trees. You also can keep a little living tree indoors for a short time around Christmas. A dwarf conifer could create a pretty choice, and a garden pot adds country charm.

You’re able to keep your potted shrub in its own nursery container, and simply place it in a larger decorative pot for the holiday season.

Michelle Edwards

Should you wish to keep it in a kettle past the holidays, you might want to give it a larger container.

To replant:

ensure the roots of the shrub are soaked in a bucket of water. Fill out the foundation of your pot with potting soil. Loosen your tree’s roots and plant in the container. Use potting soil to fill the spaces around the root ball in the kettle. Firm the soil around the roots.

Continue to add more potting soil until the container is complete (to just under the rim.) Water your tree to thoroughly, and be sure to water regularly.

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Do not maintain a potted tree indoors for longer than a month. You can awaken the tree out of dormancy with all the sun and warmth indoors. In early spring, re-pot your tree in a large outdoor container or plant it in the ground.

Should you bud a pine sapling for Christmas and you intend to plant it on your yard come spring, be sure to keep this advice in mind:

Find the right spot for your tree. Your tree will need room to grow.

Young shrub saplings are delicate. In the nursery, read the tag or inquire about the tree’s needs for soil, water, light and drainage.

To plant, tip the pot upside down and pull out the main ball. Adhere to the nursery’s planting directions, and water thoroughly. Keep your eye on your tree to make sure it has plenty of water in its first year, as its roots become established.

Tell us: Have you planted a living Christmas tree or decorated with cuttings? Post your photo below!

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