Christmas Plants and Flowers for Your Home

Want an easy way to decorate your home for the holidays? Set out a few Christmas plants and you'll spread cheer to all who visit this season.


christmas plants, amaryllis, christmas flowersHoliday favorite Amaryllis is sought-after for its bright and festive flowers.

Amaryllis

Big, crimson trumpets of amaryllis herald the season on your mantel or buffet table.

Red still rules for the holidays, however new cultivars offer a spectacular variety of shapes, colors and patterns to choose from each year. 'Red Lion' is unsurpassed for its brilliant red blooms. Popular cultivar 'Minerva' brings cheer with a red and white starry pattern.


red spider lilies, christmas plantsRed spider lilies are a relative of the amaryllis and just as easy to grow, if you can find them.

Red Spider Lilies

Red Spider Lily (Lycoris radiata), shown above, is another dependable bloomer in the amaryllis family. Its striking clusters of blooms add gorgeous crimson color to your home in an unexpected twist on the traditional.


christmas plants, christmas rose, helleboreDisplay Christmas Rose where all can admire its blushed blossoms. Image by Couleur

Christmas Rose

Sweet, nodding flowerheads adorn this winter-bloomer. Christmas Rose (Hellebore sp.) is native to alpine regions of Europe and come into flower when the rest of the garden is blanketed in snow.

It has become increasingly popular as a houseplant, nudging its way into the holiday season.


poinsettia, christmas plant, holiday plant

Poinsettia

There's a reason poinsettia is the best-selling flowering plant in the U.S. -- just look at those vibrant red bracts! Newer varieties may be snowy white, burgundy or pink, but red is still the hands-down best-seller.

These holiday favorites are tropical, brought into bloom by greenhouse growers in time for Christmas. Keep them at room temperature, with potting medium barely moist at all times.

Christmas Plant Care Tips

Although these festive plants are popular in the winter months, keep in mind that many are tropical and like the same warm temperatures that we do. Don't display them close to drafty doors and windows.

Tropical plants also enjoy higher-than-average humidity. That can be a little challenging in a centrally heated home, where humidity levels can drop drastically during the winter. However, there are a few things you can do to keep your plants healthy. Check out these easy tips for raising the humidity for your houseplants.

paperwhites, paperwhite flowers

Paperwhites

Fragrant paperwhite blooms nestled in a pot make a glorious display.

Just about the easiest bulbs to force indoors, it's no wonder why paperwhites are popular Christmas plants. Newer cultivars have larger flowers...and more of them. 'Ziva' and 'Ariel' are just two prolific bloomers you'll want to try.

Paperwhites (shown at right) are often sold as kits for the holiday season. They're virtually foolproof -- just add water.




christmas plants, red azaleasCount on azaleas for an abundance of blooms, making them gorgeous Christmas plants.

Florist's Azalea

Fresh blooms from the florist make ever-easy Christmas décor. You can count on azaleas for a generous showing of flowers that will carry through all your holiday gatherings.

No need to repot -- just slip the growers pot into a cachepot (a decorative container without drainage holes). I put small rocks in the bottom of cachepots to keep the inner pot above the drainage water.


cyclamen, christmas plantsCyclamen pops up in florist's shops in winter. Pick one up to add fresh color to your home.

Cyclamen 

Winter-blooming cyclamen makes a beautiful Christmas plant for any room. Even those leaves are attractive, marbled with a silvery white pattern.

Unlike most house plants, cyclamen likes to stay fairly cool (around 60°F/15°C). Find a brightly lit spot for it, away from drafts and you'll enjoy several weeks of gorgeous, upright blooms.


Christmas plants, norfolk island pine

Norfolk Island Pine

Let this small conifer stand in for your Christmas tree. Or simply set this Norfolk Island Pine on a table as a fresh accent for the season. Go ahead -- decorate its boughs with tiny ornaments, bows and tinsel.

Keep this conifer indoors year-round -- it's tropical, not hardy. Give Norfolk Island Pine lots of light and plenty of moisture, and you'll find it's practically care-free. Best of all, you'll enjoy it for years to come.


christmas plants, christmas cactus, holiday cactusMagnificent pendulous flowers in all their splendor adorn tropical Christmas cactus every year.

Christmas Cactus

Given enough light, you can expect blooms every year in time for the holidays. Treat it right and you'll enjoy it for many years. Some of my visitors tell me they've had their Christmas cactus for 20 years or more. It's an easy plant to propagate, too, so you can start new plants and share cuttings with friends. 

Christmas cactus has become wildly popular as Christmas plants in recent years, and it's easy to see why. If you haven't grown one before, give it a try. You'll soon wonder why you waited so long.



kalanchoe, christmas plantsRed, double-petaled flowers make this Kalanchoe a spectacular addition to the holiday season.

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana

Small but mighty, Kalanchoe blossfeldiana makes up for its petite size with the sheer number of blooms. Each flower stem holds dozens of flowers for a captivating Christmas display. Double-bloom varieties (shown above) remind me of bouquets of tiny roses.

Give this flowering succulent its place in the sun, and it will give you a delightful show of color for the holidays -- and into the new year.