The Q&A Archives: Keeping A Dwarf Alberta Spruce Indoors Until Spring

Question: I bought a potted Dwarf Alberta Spruce(very small) for our Christmas tree. Can I keep it indoors until spring, or do I have to plant it now?

Answer: These little trees do not do very well indoors all winter so you may have a struggle. Unfortunately, the trees sold as florists trees have usually already had their natural growth cycle and temperature acclimation severely disrupted through the shipping and retail process and are often very stressed as a result. Follow that with moving it outside in extreme cold and you can severely shock the plant. (Usually a freshly dug tree is held indoors for only about three days, then immediately returned to the outdoors and planted.) On the other hand, they do not survive very well under typical indoor household conditions where it is very dry and a bit too warm. If possible, you might keep it in a cool bright location (above freezing but as cool and bright as you can manage) and then gradually acclimate it to the outdoors in early spring as soon as the temperature begins to moderate. Good luck with your little tree!

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