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Can you think of anything more closely associated with the holidays than a beautiful tree? Evergreens have been part of Winter festivities for thousands of years. Throughout the centuries, they’ve symbolized joy, happiness and hope for eternal life. It is then slightly ironic that many trees are cut down for our celebrations only to slowly dry out and die*. While their aromatic scents and lush bows and needles fill us with a temporary joy, we have taken the time to reflect on a more sustainable alternative. One that allows for year-long benefit, and seasonal joy. Enter the indoor potted holiday tree. These precious, easy-to-grow alternatives bring their own kind of magic into your homes.

*Did you know that some tree farms utilize something known as “stump-culturing” or “coppicing”? This is where Christmas trees are cut leaving a large portion of the stump which can continue sustaining and growing new trees. So while the cut piece may die in your home, its original root stump will continue growing!

Indoor Potted Holiday Trees | Emerson Wild

Indoor Potted Holiday Trees to Bring Home this Season

Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla

The first on our list is a whimsical, dainty and almost fairly-tale conifer. Incredibly soft-needles (that won’t drop), make this lush, true green evergreen an ideal candidate as a traditional alternative. The billowy branches do well with garlands, paper and miniature ornaments.  Basically, the branches here aren’t as sturdy and do best with very light decorations.

This popular house plant thrives in a slightly humid environment and loves the light. With proper care (and repotting as needed) this confier can eventually grow to be around 7 feet tall. If that eventual height is daunting, smaller and miniature varieties are additionally readily available.

Dwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca ‘Conica‘)

This indoor potted holiday tree is a delightful miniature evergreen. The needles are soft to the touch and can either retain a traditional “Christmas tree shape” or grow out in its natural form. Dress with tiny fairy lights or hand made mini-ornaments for a festive and fun addition to any room. You can even find flocked versions that really bring the winter wonderland spirit alive.

For best results, use a well-draining soil and water only when the topsoil is dry. Like a traditional holiday tree, select a location in your space that is bright but does not receive direct sunlight or gets too hot. Even though “dwarf” is included in its common name, these spruce trees can grow to be at least 13 feet tall. If you have an idea location outdoors, consider a few years indoors and then plan to eventually plant outdoors!

European Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)

With a compact form and dense foliage, the soft-feathered branches of this dwarf conifer is a beautiful holiday addition. Consider skipping any decorations to allow for festive natural-touch. So, rather than a focus on ornaments or decor, add visual intrigue by selecting a decorative pot in either a neutral or metallic sheen.

We love incorporating this cypress into tabletop decoration, as mantle accents or as a quaint decorations for kids’ rooms. Keep in mind however, these plants are considered toxic to cats. If you have furry friends, potentially select an alternate potted holiday tree.

Lemon Cypress (Hesperocyparis macrocarpa ‘Goldcrest’)

Enjoy the fresh lemon scents year-long, with this pleasant mini-tree that provides a lovely pop of vibrant colour. Simply run your hands over the soft foliage to release the comforting and invigorating lemon scent. During the holidays, brighten up any space with one of these potted holiday trees. We additionally love using these lemon cypresses in indoor potted arrangements which pairs beautifully with Gaulteria, English ivy, gardenias and azaleas.

Overall, this is a low-maintenance option that thrives in bright indirect light. Like other options on the list, only water when the topsoil is dry, and be sure to use a well-draining soil.

Sustainable Holiday Tree Alternatives | Emerson Wild

This holiday season we hope you enjoy introducing a new addition into your homes and spaces. May these indoor potted holiday trees bring you all the comforts and joy of this special time of year. If you’re looking to add other botanicals into your home, read about 10 of our favourites here.  The Wild Blog, will be returning in the New Year with insightful and thoughtful content on all things home, garden and lifestyle. P.s., we’d love to connect, if you don’t already, be sure to follow us on Instagram and Pinterest!

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