Whether you're going all out for the holidays or you just want to keep it simple, blooming houseplants are a great way to put the finishing touches on your yuletide decorating. Christmas plants are one of the easiest ways to show your holiday spirit, and you'll find more varieties this year than ever before. And, as you get ‘wrapped’ up in the frenzy of the holiday season, remember plants make the perfect gift too. Placing any flowering plant in a gift bag, wicker basket, or decorative foil is a quick and easy way to decorate or use as a last-minute gift. Here are some traditional and not-so-traditional holiday season plants to consider for decorating or for gift-giving:
Introduced in the United States by our first ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett, the poinsettia is the quintessential Christmas plant. Today, poinsettias may be found in many different sizes and colors including red, pink, gold, white and variegated hues. When purchasing your poinsettia, look for a plant with dark green, healthy foliage, strong stems and bright colored bracts. Place your poinsettia in a well-lit location, out of direct sunlight and drafts. Water often enough to keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. To learn more about poinsettias click here.
Add a little quirkiness to your holidays this season with this grinch-inspired table-top tree. The foliage of the Monterey cypress is a vibrant chartreuse, perfect for spreading holiday cheer wherever it is displayed. When the holiday season is over, simply remove the wiring and allow the tree to take its natural shape. Indoors, place in a full sun location. Water once a week as it prefers moist, well-draining soil. Mist to provide humidity.
This cool weather bloomer boosts unusually shaped, colorful blossoms and variegated gray-green elliptical leaves. Depending on the variety, the blossoms may be pink, lavender, deep purple, white, or red. Cyclamen needs cool temperatures to continue blooming, so be sure to keep this plant away from heat sources and, preferably, in the coolest part of the house.Water often enough to keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. To learn more about cyclamen
Norfolk Island Pine
A holiday favorite with a pyramidal shape and soft, dark green needles that add a pop of green all year long. For a festive vibe, consider decorating it with ornaments and twinkling lights. This slow-growing tree loves a sunny spot. During the warmer months, you can move it outdoors and place in partial sunlight. Water thoroughly once a week or when the soil becomes dry to touch.
Tillandsia (Air Plant) Snowman
This adorable, little ceramic figurine features a hardy tillandsia (air plant) atop a whimsical snowman wrapped in a colorful scarf. The placement of the air plant gives this snowman the look of spiky green hair. This cute little guy makes a great living gift- and the perfect petite companion whether at home or in the office. Indoors, place in bright light or filtered sun. To water, simply mist 2-4 times a week with a water bottle or mister. To learn more about tillandsia
There's something so special about citrus. How can you not adore these beautiful, evergreen plants with lush, bright green foliage and heavenly fragrant blooms? We love tucking these plants around our homes, so we can enjoy their sweet fragrance and delicious fruits. Keep indoors during winter, and once it warms up, these beauties love to vacation outdoors.
Another good choice if you’re looking for a plant for the holidays but want something a bit different. Known for its silvery foliage that resembles frost on a cold winter morning, this plant infuses a soft, evergreen feel indoors, making it the perfect plant for the holidays and beyond. Not really a fern, but a clubmoss, Selaginella ‘frosty’ has flat, scale-like leaves, much like an arborvitae. Keep this plant in bright, indirect sunlight and the soil evenly moist, never allowing it to dry out. Provide humidity for the frosty fern by placing the potted plant on a saucer of pebbles or gravel and water. Drainage is a must and misting is not recommended.
Phalaenopsis 'Moth' Orchids
Phalaenopsis, 'Moth' orchids, are some of the least expensive and longest-blooming orchids available. In fact, one bloom spike can look great for four months or more. We love orchids paired with other holiday favorites like poinsettias and cyclamen. Orchids are surprisingly easy to grow. In the right setup at home, they can be extremely low maintenance. Be sure to give them a spot in low, medium, or bright light and water weekly or every other week. To learn more about growing orchids
This thornless member of the cactus family has flat green foliage, which blooms periodically. Blooms are tubular in shape and come in varying shades of reds, pinks, whites and yellows. This houseplant is easy to care for, making them the perfect gift for those without a green thumb. Prefers bright, indirect light and, unlike most other cactus, requires light to moderate watering. To learn more about Christmas cactus click here.
Of all flowering bulbs, amaryllis are the easiest to bring to bloom. The large, striking flowers and bold colors make this a must-have, holiday classic! Amaryllis bulbs are available in so many beautiful varieties including various shades of red, white, pink, salmon and even orange. There are also striped and multicolored varieties, usually combining shades of pink or red with white. Place in a location that receives bright, indirect light. Water sparingly until you see about 2" of new growth. From then on, water regularly. As the plant grows, turn the pot periodically to encourage the flower stalks to grow straight. To learn more about growing amaryllis click here.