A potted Christmas tree for life

Through my 64 Christmases, the range of Christmas trees experienced over the years has been one of variety. From Tasmanian bushland cut Casuarinas and native cherry trees, the same ever faithful silver plastic tree through much of my childhood, to Christmas trees derived from farms for a few years.

I once worked part-time at a retail plant nursery. Every Christmas the owner would decorate one of his bigger potted plants for Christmas. One year a multi-stemmed Golden Cane Palm, another year a Weeping Fig (Ficus Benjamina) and the Aussie alternative for a Christmas tree: a Norfolk Island Pine. I felt inspired!

The next year, I bought a small Weeping Fig about half a metre high, a decent ceramic pot that costed more than the tree, potted it up and voilà, it grew happily and became my Christmas tree for the next few years. It was passed onto my housemate who brought it inside for Christmas festivities for at least the next five years. After that? Am not sure, but I hope it was decorated for many more years.

From those days forty years ago, the potted plant has been and still is my preferred Christmas tree. During the year they can bring green happiness to your garden or balcony and for two to three weeks you can bring them inside and decorate for the Christmas cheer.

What makes a Christmas tree?

Is it just the traditional Conifer trees that do the job? I don’t think so! The most important thing about being a Christmas tree, is the fun of adding decorations and Christmas lights. That is what makes any tree a Christmas tree. As soon as the baubles are hung and the lights turned on, then Christmas it certainly is. Previously a Japanese Bamboo had Christmas pride of place in the condo for some years.

The Gold Crest Cypress has a lovely conical shape and will last for many years in a lovely pot.

An unlikely looking member of the Conifer family is the tropical Podocarpus, with its straight trunk, horizontal branching and glossy narrow leaves, making it the perfect decoration chandelier. Most local nurseries stock this plant and is available in all sizes. Prices vary from the smallest around RM25 to four metres tall trees priced around RM350.

Where to find suitable potted trees?

Here in Kuala Lumpur, some of our plant nurseries cater for Christmas with potted plants that provide the feel of a traditional Christmas.

  • Fang Kiat Florist in Happy Valley at Sungai Buloh sells Gold Crest Cypress plants for RM98. They do have smaller ones at RM35 as well. If you’d like to find out more about other Sungai Buloh nurseries, please read Valley of Hope.
  • Ikea has small Norfolk Island Pines reasonably priced at RM25. They sell gorgeous poinsettias as well.
  • At home our current Christmas tree is a Blue Pine bought four years ago from Lot 54 Weng Thye Plant Nursery in Petaling Jaya. It was quite advanced costing RM110 at the time.

Go on, have some Christmas fun and bring a living tree to life inside your home for those few weeks each year and for many years to come. The variety? Let your imagination run wild… Very Merry Christmas to all!


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