Apartment plants

Care for spruce in the home

Synthetic tree or a real fir tree?

The Christmas atmosphere is felt more and more early, already in November: to make this moment unique it cannot however lack the tree: small or imposing, it will become the heart of the festivities. Obviously we could opt for a synthetic product: it does not require maintenance and can be reused for several years; it is undoubtedly true that a real fir tree, with its dark green needles and the unmistakable scent, is the only one capable of transmitting the authentic magic of year-end parties.
The required attentions (especially if it is a real tree with roots) are not many, but allow the specimen to be kept in perfect shape from November until at least half of January. They will be amply reciprocated by its great scenic impact.
After the Epiphany we can decide whether to keep it (by changing the jar it will still be usable for a few years, especially if it was small at first) or donate it to the many environmental associations that deal with reintegration in a suitable environment.

Where to place it?

Unlike an “artificial” tree, in this case it is extremely important to choose a scenographic location, but at the same time suitable to preserve its state of health. In particular, it is necessary to choose a room that is as bright as possible, but avoiding direct light. A good solution is to use white curtains in the middle of the day, especially if we have large windows, perhaps facing South. However, the opposite situation should also be avoided: the total lack of light will quickly lead to a general weakening of the tree. We therefore avoid keeping the shutters closed: good lighting must be guaranteed for at least 6 hours a day.

Why do you lose needles?

A drawback that frequently occurs is the drying and falling of the needles: it involves, in addition to the continuous effort in cleaning, the loss of the sparkling beauty. This phenomenon is largely due to the extremely dry environment of our homes. To avoid this we immediately place many humidifiers on radiators. It is even better to start up the appropriate electrical appliances, especially during the hottest hours of the day. A further help can come from a very deep saucer filled with expanded clay: it will have to be wetted regularly, avoiding however that the water level reaches the base of the vase. In this way we will significantly increase the rate, but we will avoid water stagnations and dangerous rots at root level. If we have not decorated it with electric lights we can vaporize the entire foliage with demineralized water, even several times a day (especially during the hottest hours).

Other causes of decay

The decay of these trees is always somehow connected to the environment in which they live. Another important factor is the temperature: usually, in the winter months, our houses are very hot. Many of us regulate the thermostat between 20 and 22 ° C. On the other hand, the fir trees need a cooler climate: to help them withstand an environment that is "unnatural" for them, it is better not to rise above 18 ° C during the day. Very useful is to artificially create a good temperature range, as there is normally in the mountains during the winter months. If we can, during the night, we let the temperature drop even up to 12 ° C: you will see that the plant will benefit by showing itself in perfect shape for all the holidays.
We then avoid sudden changes in temperature, drafts and even heat sources in the vicinity (not with radiators or fireplaces!).

Care of spruce in the home: Routine maintenance and how to behave after the holidays

Irrigation should never be excessive: the substrate should remain only slightly damp. Excessive dryness will lead to desiccation, while a water-soaked soil will certainly cause root asphyxiation and rot. Under normal conditions it is advisable to irrigate abundantly once a week or in any case when the soil is dry in depth.
When we reach Epiphany and put away the decorations, we will have to commit ourselves to keeping the fir for the years to come. The ideal is to move it outside gradually. For example, let's put it first in an unheated room or on a veranda and then put it out in the afternoon hours, gradually increasing its permanence.
Summer, especially in the plains, can be devastating: we place the vase in the shade of a large deciduous tree and commit ourselves to maintaining high environmental humidity. Possible repotting is done in spring: an excellent substrate is obtained by mixing acid garden soil and compost, in equal measure.