6 Houseplants That Make The Perfect Alternative Christmas Tree - Backyard Boss
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6 Houseplants That Make The Perfect Alternative Christmas Tree

With the holidays around the corner, you may be eager to jump into the festivities. The happiness of decorating your Christmas tree is beyond imagination. Curating your perfect tree adorned with your favorite trinkets and cherished ornaments is the perfect lead-up to the big day. However, if you can’t get your hands on a real Christmas tree, there are still amazing houseplants options out there.

If you want something smaller or would prefer to use a plant that can be repurposed into a houseplant later, here are six perfect options.

1) Norfolk Island Pine

Image credits: Panooh via Shutterstock

Norfolk Island pine is a small, potted tree. It perfectly replaces the Christmas tree with its soft needles and tiered branches.

The plant is available during the holiday season and can be used as a houseplant for the rest of the year. However, you have to choose your ornaments depending on the size of the tree. Opt for small, lightweight trinkets for a smaller plant.    

Norfolk Island pine is also easy to care for as it prefers bright cool rooms and can tolerate temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place it under filtered sunlight from a south window or a brightly lit spot, watering only when the top 2 inches of soil feels dry. It also likes humidity, so keep your pot on a pebble tray. 

2) Areca Palm

Small Areca Palm in a Pot
Image credits: Liam Huyberechts via Pexels

Areca palm makes another viable candidate with its arching fronds ideal for hanging baubles.

It has a segmented trunk with a whole bush look that provides ample room to display your most beloved ornaments, as long as they are not too heavy.

Areca palm is a popular houseplant as it is excellent for removing toxins from the air and requires low maintenance. While it can survive in full sun to partial shade, it thrives in bright, indirect light. It requires moderate watering to keep the soil lightly moist constantly.

While people used to keep it indoors previously, it has become a common landscaping plant. This means when the holiday season is over you can plant it outdoors!

3) Corn Plant

Dracaena fragrans (Massangeana) decoration in the living room. The concept of minimalism. Houseplant care concept. Indoor plants.
Image credits: Mid Tran Designer via Shutterstock

Corn plant, also known as Dracaena Fragrans, is a tropical African evergreen tree that can also be used in place of a Christmas tree. If you are buying a new plant, look for one with a full crown of broad arching leaves to provide you with a lot of space for decorating.   

As with most houseplants, keep your corn plant out of direct sunlight. Instead, place it in a warm spot (between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit) that receives filtered light from the windows.

However, the plant can tolerate temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the soil constantly moist during active growth and reduce the frequency in winter, watering only the soil is dry. Since it prefers humid conditions, you can place the plant on a pebble tray. 

4) Rosemary

two plants on a table
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Besides being an aromatic herb, rosemary is an excellent alternative to the Christmas tree. It is often pruned into a small topiary tree, which resembles the Christmas tree acutely. However, the potted plant is much smaller, often sold at six to eight inches in length, so decorate it with tiny trinkets. Once the holidays have passed, you can use the herbs from the plant for cooking.

To keep the rosemary plant growing for the rest of the year, place it on a sunny windowsill, providing six hours of direct sunlight and water thoroughly when the soil feels dry. If you want to use the same plant for next Christmas, you can prune it as often as needed during the growing season in late spring and mid-summer to maintain its cone shape. 

5) Weeping Fig

Ficus Benjamina tree or weeping fig in brown pot
Image credits: Ilina Yuliia via Shutterstock

While the name of the plant, the weeping fig, may not sound very cheerful, it is more than equipped to function as a replacement for the Christmas tree.

The tropical houseplant has a large size, cascading, glossy green leaves, and open branches, providing plenty of room for adornments and merriment. Just make sure to hang your baubles according to the weight the branches can support. 

Weeping figs needs bright, indirect sunlight and moderate watering. Thus, irrigate when the soil is dry to the touch. Do not worry if your plant starts dropping leaves, as it is common when there is a change in light, humidity, or temperature; For example, when you move the plant outdoors from indoors. You will soon see new leaves sprouting again when it gets comfortable in its new home. 

6) Dwarf Alberta Spruce

Snow covered potted dward Alberta Spruce Pine tree in winter in a mountain community in Prescott, Arizona
Image credits: Malisa Nicolau via Shutterstock

Dwarf Alberta spruce has the classic conical Christmas tree shape with dense, tightly-packed, needle foliage. Thus, it is not a surprise that it is a popular alternative.

The term dwarf in its name indicates that they grow only three to six inches in height yearly. Thus, if you have opted for the plant for its small size, you can reuse it again next year. Eventually this plant can reach up to 10 feet tall but it will take almost 30 years.

To make sure it survives until then, water the plant when the soil is dry. Keep the potted plant in a cool location after Christmas to acclimatize it to a cooler temperature before moving it outdoors. Choose a mild winter day when the temperature is not below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, as the plant can only tolerate temperatures above this value. 

Make Your Own Twist on a Classic Christmas Tree

So there you have it, the easily available houseplants that make a suitable substitute for the majestic Christmas tree. You may have to opt for lighter trinkets and fewer decorations than what you use for the conventional tree. However, you can easily make the plant look festive and cheerful enough to brighten up a corner of your home. 

Have you ever used an alternate or makeshift Christmas tree? Write below in the comments!