7 Best Christmas Plants

7 Best Christmas Plants

Filling the air with Christmas magic and wonder is easier when you include these delightful Christmas plants in your decor. Not only do they bring the room to life with their delicate greenery and cheery flowers, but many Christmas plants and flowers help to carry on Christmas traditions, too.

Whether you are looking for the best Christmas plants for gift giving or just want to brighten your home this Christmas holiday season there is a perfect Christmas plant waiting for you.

1. Poinsettia

Poinsettias hold the place of honor as the most popular Christmas plant with over 35 million plants sold in the U.S. every holiday season. These delightful plants sport blooms in a range of colors from bright red, pink, and white to dramatic variegated varieties. Like many holiday plants, Poinsettias are forced into bloom in midwinter to bring holiday cheer.

It may surprise you to learn that the flowers on poinsettias aren't really flowers at all. The bright red blooms associated with poinsettias are actually colored bracts. The real Poinsettia flower consists of tiny yellow flowers in the center of the colored bracts.

While most people consider a poinsettia a disposable plant and toss it in the compost bin after the holiday season, these Christmas plants will live for years with proper care.

Move your poinsettia plant to a location that receives bright light from a sunny window and water them when the soil dries. Don't worry if it drops some leaves. New leaves will soon appear and your poinsettia plant will revive.

2. Orchid

Orchids add an exotic flair to the holiday season. While they are not always considered a Christmas plant they make a dramatic and showy holiday display. These tropical plants may look fragile, but they are actually relatively easy to grow indoors. Initial holiday blooming may last for several months.

Place orchids in bright, indirect light in an area free of hot or cold drafts. They do quite well in a bright eastern, western, or even a southern window during the winter. Avoid them in direct sunlight. Water them once a week (or whenever the soil dries) to saturate the soil and then let it dry again.

3. Christmas tree

Christmas trees adorn the homes of both Canadians and Americans in surprising numbers every year. While many urban dwellers may have switched to artificial trees the evergreen tree is still a booming business in the U.S. and Canada. Many people prefer the lovely blue spruce for a Christmas tree, but balsam fir and pine are popular, too.

It seems that all that is really required in choosing a Christmas tree is that the tree has evergreen foliage in the classic pyramidal shape.

The tradition of bringing evergreen trees inside the home to celebrate Christmas dates back to early German celebrations of the winter solstice. The evergreen tree was called a tree of life because its deep green leaves stayed bright all year. It was not known as a Christmas tree until the 17th Century when it was first observed as a religious tradition to honor the birth of Christ.

Christmas trees can be composted, but composted pine can be harmful to other plants and is best avoided if you intend to use your compost for gardening needs.

4. Blue Spruce

Blue spruce is prized as a Christmas tree because of its beautiful blue-green needles, its asymmetrical shape, and its ability to hold needles for a long period inside. It also has stiff branches (and sharp needles) that hold ornaments that may cause less sturdy trees to droop. On the downside, the fragrance of blue spruce is less than desirable. Blue spruce can also be purchased in pots for display as a living Christmas tree and then planted outside after the holidays. 

5. Balsam Fir

Balsam fir is prized for its aromatic needles that fill the air with traditional Christmas fragrance. Balsam Fir trees are typically pruned and trimmed at a tree farm to give them the dense branches and shape you desire. Balsam fir branches are not as sturdy as blue spruce and may droop under the weight of heavy ornaments. Use medium to lightweight ornaments on a Balsam Fir tree.

On the plus side, when you trim the lower branches before setting up the tree, you can use them in pots or decorative buckets filled with water to spread the Christmas cheer throughout the home.

6. Norfolk Island Pine

The Norfork Island Pine makes a captivating living Christmas tree as it is a tropical plant often sold potted for that very purpose. It is typically bedecked with brightly colored ribbons and bows or other miniature tree ornaments. These small-scale Christmas trees are ideal as centerpieces or tabletop trees.

Your potted Norfolk pine will grow for years inside as potted plants when given proper care. Place your Norfolk pine that receives bright light as they need sufficient light to thrive. They can even tolerate direct sunlight, especially during the winter months.

Pot them in well-draining soil and keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy.

7. Cyclamen

Cyclamen is commonly referred to as its scientific name but is sometimes called a Persian Violet. The most common variety of florist plants sold during the holidays is Cyclamen persicum. This delightful flowering plant puts on quite a show with its bold flowers that look like butterflies dancing above the foliage.

Flower color ranges from pink or white to lovely shades of red and lavender. Cyclamen plants drop their leaves after blooming and go dormant for a month or two. Withhold water and place them in a cool, dark place for at least 8 weeks, or until you see signs of new plant growth.

Move them to an area that receives bright, indirect light. Water to saturate the soil and then let it dry out before watering it again. New growth will soon appear and your Cyclamen plant will likely rebloom in a few weeks.

 

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