How to Keep a Potted Christmas Tree Alive

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Potted Christmas trees are biodegradable and can be recycled into mulch or help reduce erosion. Living trees can also be used for several holiday seasons before you must purchase a new one. When you purchase a potted Christmas tree in the winter, it is in a dormant state where it remains inactive until the spring weather arrives. It can lose its needles, turn brown in color and eventually die if you disrupt the dormancy, so keep your Christmas tree attractive by caring for it properly.


Keep a Christmas tree alive so you can enjoy its beauty during the holiday season.

Things You'll Need

  • Saw

  • Antitranspirant Spray

Step 1

Spray the Christmas tree needles with an antitranspirant spray to keep the moisture in the needles.

Step 2

Slice 1/2 inch off the bottom of the tree trunk with a saw before you place it in a pot. This allows the tree to absorb water so it stays fresh. If you purchase a tree already in a pot, soak the root ball in 1 to 2 inches of warm water for approximately one hour.


Step 3

Keep the tree outdoors in a shaded location away from the direct sunlight and wind until you are ready to bring it indoors. You can also store it in the garage if the weather becomes too cold so the root ball does not freeze.

Step 4

Store the Christmas tree in your home for no longer than seven days. The tree must remain in dormancy, and the warm temperatures will affect the health of the plant.

Step 5

Water the soil to keep it damp. If you do not have soil in the pot, keep the tree stand full to the level of the tree base. Inspect the water level or soil dampness daily.


Step 6

Find a location in your home away from direct heat and air ducts. The heat causes the tree to lose its moisture quickly.

Step 7

String lights on the Christmas tree that release little heat. Turn the lights off when you do not use them to help keep the tree dormant.


Purchase an antitranspirant spray at the location where you purchased the tree or at a local home and garden store.

Move the tree into the garage to acclimate it to the winter weather for three to four days if you plan to transplant it outdoors. Keep the soil moist while it remains in the pot.


Do not leave Christmas tree lights unattended because they can make the tree catch on fire if they get too hot.