The chilly temperatures and short days of winter can bring down even the cheeriest individuals. Luckily, the holiday season perks most people up again, partially due to the festive décor popping up everywhere you look. Incorporating natural elements into your home decorations can put you back in touch with nature while adding a whimsical touch to any setting. With both traditional and unique options to pick from, you’ll have no trouble finding the best plants for Christmas decorating to suit your tastes.
The Amaryllis has an exotic, six-pointed flower that sits atop a thick step and is framed by a few wide, pretty leaves. It takes about six weeks for this plant to bloom, so for a holiday decoration, it needs to be planted in early November to see those red, white, pink, coral, or burgundy blooms at Christmas.
When the flowers fade, cut the stalks and maintain the leaves, giving them plenty of bright light and moist soil until the plant goes dormant in the summer. Then, remove the yellow leaves, place the bulbs in a basement or garage, and forget about them until the next holiday season. Easy to care for and beautiful, it’s no wonder this is such a popular holiday plant.
The Christmas Cactus is a lovely succulent that only blooms during this festive time of year. The colorful flowers range from pink to red, matching your other holiday décor perfectly. It isn’t hard to care for, requiring moist, well-draining soil and partial sun for the healthiest plant. Keep in mind that there are varieties that bloom at Easter and Thanksgiving, so choose carefully to ensure your cactus blooms during the season you have in mind.
The Poinsettia is a traditional plant for Christmas decorating, so they aren’t hard to find during the holidays. The large blooms come in classic red with green foliage to match your holiday decor, though there are white and pink varieties as well. These plants prefer indirect light and warm temperatures and only need water when the soil feels dry, so they are easy to care for during the busy holiday season.
Norfolk Island Pine
The evergreen is a classic choice for a Christmas tree, but not everyone has room for such a large decorative plant. The Norfolk Island Pine is a fantastic replacement, featuring a similar look but at a fraction of the size. The branches are thinner, so they can’t handle heavy decorations, but some simple lights and bows are perfect for this little holiday tree. Place it on a tabletop where it will get plenty of bright light and keep the soil slightly moist.
There are about 600 species of holly from around the world, so you can pick anyone you like to add to your Christmas décor. Of course, those that want a traditional holiday plant will likely stick with English holly. As part of the evergreen family, English holly won’t lose its dark green leaves and sprouts red berries in the winter. The color combination matches classic Christmas décor perfectly. Holly is also a symbol of good luck, protection, eternal life, and fertility. The plant grows well in full sun or shade and needs well-draining, acidic soil to thrive.
Lemon cypress trees have a natural Christmas tree shape, which makes them a fantastic choice for tabletop decorations. Depending on the variety you’ve chosen, they can grow up to 30 feet tall, though with consistent pruning, their small size can be maintained year-round for a permanent indoor plant. The delicate, light green needles have a citrus scent that matches other holiday fragrances perfectly. For a healthy plant throughout the holiday season, keep the sandy, well-draining soil evenly moist and give it plenty of sunlight.
Though they aren’t traditional holiday plants, the delicate snow-colored blooms and light fresh scent accentuate your other Christmas décor. They take 4 to 6 weeks to bloom, so plant them in November to ensure they add their special touch to your home. Paperwhites need loamy, well-draining soil, even moisture, and lots of sunlight to thrive. They are also relatively inexpensive, so having a few of these around won’t break your holiday budget.
Cyclamens are another plant that isn’t normally associated with the holidays but still adds a whimsical touch to any celebration. The winter-blooming flowers have a butterfly-like shape and come in several colors, including the traditional red and white hues. The leaves are heart-shaped, with silver frosting that resembles a light dusting of snow.
Though they look beautiful on their own, you can add foil wrapping and ribbons or bows to give them a festive look. Cyclamens favor cool temperatures, pebble trays for moisture, and partial sun, so are the perfect winter plant.
White chrysanthemums have been part of the festive season in German homes for centuries, but these pretty plants are becoming more popular in other parts of the world. They are symbols of joy and optimism, so are the perfect addition to any home.
Their gorgeous blooms last for 3 to 4 weeks, mixing nicely with your other holiday décor. Mums need well-draining soil and lots of sunlight to thrive during the winter months. If you want to add more color to your home, there are yellow, orange, purple, lavender, and red options available as well. You can even choose bicolor flowers for a mix of these pretty shades.
It isn’t an accident that the pear tree is mentioned in a popular Christmas carol. There are several varieties to pick from, though the late-season pear tree can provide you with enough fruit for all of your tasty holiday dishes. Though these trees are medium-sized when grown outdoors, you can add a dwarf variety to your home for tasty winter fruit. Pear trees don’t like a lot of moisture or heat, so ensure it’s getting a lot of airflow and sunlight for them to bear fruit.
If pears aren’t your favorite fruit, you can add a citrus tree to your home instead. Like pear trees, these add tasty flavors to your holiday meals and desserts, though they need higher levels of indirect light to survive.