How to Care for Your Real Potted Christmas Tree

How to Care for Your Real Potted Christmas Tree

Like any living thing, real Christmas trees need a little love and care. Our potted Christmas tree care guide will help you keep yours alive until next year!

So, you’ve bought yourself or been gifted a tiny potted Christmas tree. Lucky you! Tiny potted trees are absolutely adorable, and they’re a much more sustainable option than artificial Christmas trees.

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Like any living thing, real mini Christmas trees need a little love and care to keep them happy and healthy.

So if you’re looking to learn how to care for a real potted Christmas tree, you’ve come to the right place!

white spruce tree in the snow

Get to know your tree

Our mini Christmas trees are baby white spruce trees (picea glauca). These coniferous trees can mostly be found in boreal forests across Canada, Alaska and in northern parts of the United States, such as Minnesota, Wyoming and Wisconsin.

Ours, however, are grown right here in Australia, on farms in Victoria. 

White spruce trees are among the most popular Christmas tree varieties. They have a lovely angled shape and, once mature, they have quite stiff, strong needles that are spaced nicely apart. This makes them ideal for hanging baubles, bells and all sorts of other ornaments.

Right now, your tiny tree is probably about 50cm tall, at most. But if left to grow naturally, white spruce trees can reach up to 60 feet—that’s almost 20 metres tall! Don’t worry though, that’s only after many, many, many years of growing.

Your picea glauca tree may reach up to 1.3m in height and 80cm in width within the first 10 years of growth. You can restrict your tree's growth by keeping it in a pot rather than planting it directly in the ground.

How to care for your potted spruce over Christmas

When you first receive your Tiny Christmas Tree, pot it immediately in the pop-up pot provided. The tree will need a few days to get used to its new home, so don’t water it straight away.

After a few days, if you notice the soil feels dry, give your tree a little bit of water to drink.

Continue to water your tree once or twice a week whilst it is in the plastic and pop-up pot. Water more often if the soil feels completely dry, and if the weather is extra hot (Queenslanders, take note).

It's important to note that while the tree is in the plastic, the water cannot drain away. This can lead to root rot, so we encourage you not to water the tree so much that the soil is dripping wet. Once you re-pot your tree into a proper pot, it can handle a more thorough watering (more on that below).

Keep the tree inside, in an area that receives indirect sunlight. Though white spruce trees are rather hardy, the high temperatures and harsh sunlight typical of an Australian summer will do more harm to your tree than good, so be careful not to leave your tree in the sun for too long.

If possible, keep your room in the coolest spot in the house.

When decorating your tree, try not to use ornaments that are too heavy, as they may cause the branches to sag and the pine needles to fall off. We provide all the decorations you need along with our tiny trees, including baubles, bells, fairy lights and a star topper, so you shouldn't need to add any extra decorations unless you want to.

The pine needles may also be quite sharp, so take care not to prick your fingers!

Additionally, ensure you don't leave your fairy lights switched on for long periods. The heat from the lights can dry out the needles, so only use them in short bursts.

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Post-Christmas tree care

Unlike full-size living Christmas trees, which you typically have to throw away at the end of the holiday season, a mini living Christmas tree can be re-potted or even re-planted after Christmas. If done successfully, you’ll be able to enjoy your little tree year after year. You might even end up with a full-grown Christmas tree in your backyard one day!

Pot & Soil

As you move your tree from the pop-up pot into its new proper pot, take care to disturb the roots as little as possible. Remember to remove the outer plastic, as well. 

When you repot your tree, ensure you use high-quality, well-draining soil. A premium all-purpose potting mix should suffice.

Choose a pot with drainage holes at the base, to allow excess water to run out and prevent root rot. If you want your tree to stay tiny, re-pot it in a pot that's roughly the same diameter as the pop-up pot, about 15–20cm. If you want to encourage your tree to grow, you may choose to replant it into an even larger pot once it's outgrown the smaller one.

Once re-potted, give the tree a few days to acclimate to its new accommodations; don’t water or prune it straight away.


After Christmas, place your tree outside in a shaded spot and then gradually reintroduce it to filtered sunlight. Too much too soon will shock your tiny tree and may scorch the needles.

In the wild, white spruce trees enjoy full sunlight. However, in the high heat of an Australian summer, it’s best to keep your mini Christmas tree out of direct sunlight and in an area with at least partial shade.

White spruce trees will tolerate low light conditions, but we recommend placing them in an area that receives at least indirect sunlight. If your tree doesn't get sufficient sun, the needles may start to turn yellow.

During the cooler months of the year, when the UV rays are less harsh, you may wish to move your potted spruce into an area of your front or backyard that receives several hours of full sun. Morning sun and afternoon shade is best!

Additionally, white spruce trees do most of their growing in spring into early summer. They will need ample sunlight during this time.


Take care not to overwater your spruce, but at the same time ensure you don’t underwater it, either. Check the soil regularly, and if the top few centimetres of soil feels dry to the touch, it’s time to give the tree some water. 

Water it thoroughly, enough that the water reaches the roots lower down in the pot. This will encourage deep, healthy root growth.

These trees prefer a good occasional soaking, rather than just a little splash of water every day.

The soil should be damp, but not soaking wet. You don't want to drown the roots.

Allow the water to drain properly out of the bottom of the pot. Do not leave your tree in standing water as this can lead to root rot. 


Spruce trees prefer high nitrogen, acidic fertilisers. It’s best to fertilise in the spring, during the tree’s growing season, when it will need the most nutrients.

Where to put your potted spruce after Christmas

Your tiny tree should ideally live outside after Christmas. 

A potted spruce makes a wonderful lawn ornament, and also looks great on a balcony or verandah beside your front or back door.

Wherever you choose to place your white spruce after Christmas, ensure it’s in a spot that isn't overly exposed to the elements, but which receives plenty of filtered sunlight for at least a couple of hours each day to help it grow.


And there you have it! A simple guide to caring for your mini potted Christmas tree both during and after Christmas.

By following these tips, you should have a happy and healthy tree to bring inside and decorate when Christmas rolls around again next year.

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