General Question

Carmella's avatar

Can I grow a Christmas tree in a big plant pot?

Asked by Carmella (123points) December 30th, 2009

For Christmas, I got one of those cute ’‘grow your own Christmas tree’’ kits. It comes with a tiny pot, some compost, and a few seeds.

Obviously, it will outgrow its teeny tiny pot and need transplanting. But I live in an apartment, and don’t have anywhere to transplant it to.

Hopefully, I won’t be in an apartment for more than a year or two – so would the tree stay small enough to fit in a pot on a balcony during those 2 years, and then be ready for transplant into a garden?

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14 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

If it’s a Norfolk pine it might.A friend had hers in a large pot for a few years.

ccrow's avatar

It probably will; most actual trees grow fairly slowly. Is there a tag that says what it is?

Carmella's avatar

@ccrow Yes, it’s a Norway Spruce.

faye's avatar

I have heard spruces need seasons, a cold winter to thrive. I don’t know if it’s true but Canada has a lot of spruce trees so maybe!!

ccrow's avatar

Yeow, those get huge!! :-) Wikipedia says “It can grow fast when young, up to 1 m per year for the first 25 years under good conditions, but becomes slower once over around 20 m tall.” Still manageable, though… they are attractive trees. There were a few around the neighborhood where I grew up.

Carmella's avatar

@ccrow Thanks, I never even thought to Google the tree type. Embarrassingly, I assumed the tree would stop growing once it reached Christmas tree size :)

ccrow's avatar

Hehe, maybe it will if you ask it nicely!! :-D

JLeslie's avatar

I wonder if you can cut it back like a bonsai?

marinelife's avatar

Yes, you can grow it in a pot for a couple of years. Just watch the pot size and change it as needed.

We have grown trees that way and then planted them. One, a redwood that I grew from a test tube is now several stories tall.

john65pennington's avatar

Drug addicts would say grow the pot and forget the tree.

faye's avatar

@john65pennington it is a pretty plant. My friend was housesitting a big pot plant and had no idea what it was until years later.

ccrow's avatar

I had a houseplant that got funny looks when I took it to my high school’s greenhouse to be sprayed for spider mites!

njnyjobs's avatar

If you plant your tree in a pot, it will only grow to a certain height that can be supported by its roots. When the root base fills up the pot, its growth will begin to stunt.. . . potted Spruce grown indoors usually do not last a long time.


Yes you can. If it’s an outdoor type spruce tree (Picea species), you can grow it in a pot indoors, but in the winter it will need a resting period in a cold (below freezing) place with some natural light. Spruce and pine trees (except semi-tropical conifers like Norfolk Island Pines) need a winter rest period where they slow down in growth. If you keep them in the warm indoors all year round, they will eventually “burn out” and die. You can take the potted tree and bury it in the ground in late fall just before freezing, and give it a good watering before the snow hits. This is practical if the pot is small enough to be buried. Don’t worry, spruces and pines are very winter hardy——the soil around them should be an “ice ball” throughout the winter. If you leave the pot outside without burying it, there is a chance the tree will die because the roots need protection from rapidly changing temperatures. But I have left small potted white spruces and pines outside all winter where I live without burying them, and they have survived, especially white and Colorado spruces (Picea glauca and Picea pungens). And I live in north central Canada where the winter temperature dips to minus 35 sometimes. If you have a Norfolk Island Pine, you don’t have to worry about giving them a winter rest. They do well indoors all year round. Other “Christmas trees” like the normal spruces and pines do not do too well in the dry warm air of most homes. A cool lighted area inside the house would do, but again, they need the winter rest, and indoors, they need a little cool humidity too. Your balcony would do nicely for the time being, and the tree can stay outdoors all winter as long as it doesn’t get too cold. If it does, you should give it a good watering so that the soil in the pot freezes——evergreens need the moisture all winter, even though the soil is frozen solid. Unlike deciduous trees, they do not go completely dormant in the winter, but they still have to rest.

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