There are many reasons why some people like to have live trees or cut or artificial trees. They can be more environmentally friendly, and they also add life to the home. With a live Christmas tree, you will get the smell of pine needles and they also provide a beautiful centerpiece for your holiday decorations. 

If you don’t have a great amount of space, why not try growing a houseplant as an alternative to a traditional Christmas tree? 

Here are five options to consider:

Norfolk Island Pine – This houseplant is very popular during the holidays. It looks like a Christmas tree but does not take up as much room. Be careful when putting ornaments on the tree as the branches are not that sturdy. The needles on the plant are soft and will not fall off, so you will not have a mess. The plant does not have a fragrance. I got one of these plants several years ago and it is still going strong. It prefers the sun but can handle periods of limited light. Depending on where you live these plants can be planted outdoors. Hardiness zones 10-11

Rosemary – During the holidays you will find the herb Rosemary available as trees that are grown in pots. They are considered herbal topiary plants and are trimmed to a conical shape. When you touch or brush up on the plant you will get a wonderful aroma. When you bring it home, make sure it is wrapped to keep it warm. This plant needs plenty of light, so find a south-facing window or get a grow light. The soil needs to be kept moist but make sure the plant is not sitting in water.

Lemon Cypress – These trees are known for being an excellent substitute for a Christmas tree. The plant is a variety of Monterey Cypress and is also known as Goldcrest. They do not require much maintenance and are slow growing. The plant also has a wonderful lemon fragrance when the branches are moved.  It is very important that the plant is grown in well-draining soil. Make sure you get a dwarf version as a regular tree will grow up to 16 feet.  This tree can be planted outdoors. It is hardy for zones 7-10. They prefer temperatures below 80 degrees and above 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Indoors the plant needs to be kept in temperatures between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit even in the winter and receive five to six hours of sun a day.

Snake Plant – A snake plant might not be a plant you consider a holiday tree, but it can look nice with some ornaments on it. If you are a beginner looking for a low-maintenance plant, try a snake plant. They are almost impossible to kill. The upright leaves project positive energy. The plant is known to be an air purifier and helps alleviate air-borne allergens. These plants prefer bright indirect light but can survive under a range of conditions. If you grow it in low lighting conditions, the temperature will need to be warmer. The plant will not grow very large under this condition. Variegated varieties can lose their coloring.

ZZ Plant – ZZ plant is another non-traditional plant that can be used for the holidays. This plant is tough and can last for months without being watered. It has long elegant stems that tamper to a point. The stems have fleshy oval shaped shiny leaves giving the plant a feathered appearance. It will grow about 2.5 feet tall and can be grown in low to bright indirect light.  This is another plant that you can put ornaments or lights on it for a festive holiday plant. It is easy to grow and a great plant for a beginner. 

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