Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, and decorating your home is one of the most fun parts of the holiday season. While most people think of lights, tinsel, and ornaments as typical decorations, indoor plants are a great way to bring a touch of nature and freshness to your home.
Christmas indoor plants are a wonderful living decor for a festive atmosphere. Often these are plants with red flowers or berries, as red is the color of Christmas. But other equally beautiful plants leave few people indifferent. What are these plants and how to care for them? Let’s find out!
Top Indoor Plants for a Merry Christmas
Poinsettia, or scientifically Euphorbia pulcherrima, has been one of the most popular Christmas houseplants for more than two centuries. It is not for nothing that a blooming poinsettia is a sure sign of the upcoming Christmas holidays and is widely used to decorate shopping centers, temples, apartments, and houses. The most popular is considered to be a variety with a combination of red and green colors, which are traditional for Christmas.
The optimum temperature for Poinsettia is about 18-22 °C. The plant needs moderate regular watering and responds well to spraying with water. For irrigation, you must use warm soft water. In an apartment, it is best to keep the Christmas star in a sunny place, without drafts and away from radiators.
Mistletoe is a graceful plant associated with many Christmas traditions, one of which is kissing under a hanging mistletoe twig. This original tradition originates in Old Norse mythology, where mistletoe was subordinate to Freyja, the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility.
It is believed that mistletoe reveals its magical properties just around Christmas, bringing health, love, and prosperity to the house. On Christmas Eve, it is customary to decorate the entrance to the house, lighting fixtures and Christmas wreaths with mistletoe twigs. They are also often used when setting a festive table.
In nature, mistletoe lives, or better to say, parasitizes, on the branches of trees and shrubs, where it grows into spherical bushes and takes moisture and nutrients from the inside of the tree on which they grow.
Schlumbergera, aka Christmas cactus, got its name from its flowering period: from the beginning of November to the end of January. Due to its unpretentiousness and long flowering, it is popular with many indoor plant lovers, especially during the festive winter period, when it is so nice to add bright colors to the interior of the house.
This Christmas potted plant prefers partial shade and diffused light and cannot tolerate bright sunlight. Watering should be uniform without excessive waterlogging or drying out. For watering, it is best to use soft, settled, or boiled water. Optimal temperatures for keeping Schlumbergera are from 18 to 20 °C in summer and about 13-15 °C in winter.
Amaryllis is also one of the most popular Christmas plants. For this purpose, however, florists begin to prepare the plant as early as late summer and early autumn, creating the appropriate conditions for flowering in December. Amaryllis has a tall stem and large flowers. By color, the flowers of hybrid hippeastrum can be white, red, pink, orange, and cream.
The color can be both uniform and in the form of a multicolor pattern – strokes, specks, lines. According to the shape of the inflorescence, they can be double or simple. Some associate it as the partner of the Poinsettia. It is important that the soil in the flower pot is moist and light is provided for at least 5-6 hours a day.
Cyclamen is rightfully one of the best flowers associated with Christmas. You can also use them for Christmas potted arrangements, but they should not be large. If you’re short on space for your Christmas decorations, choose miniature potted Cyclamens. Cyclamen pots can be additionally decorated with various details such as feathers, ribbons, cones, fabric, or paper decorations.
Grow them in diffused light, away from direct sunlight and radiators. Cyclamen blooms well even on the northern window, but you should keep it away from the direct sun. Be sure to allow the substrate to dry out before re-watering, as over-watering can do more harm to plants than under-watering.
Holly is a genus of shrubs and trees that is closely associated with Christmas thanks to its vibrant green leaves and eye-catching red berries. As with the Mistletoe, Holly was used as early as ancient Rome during the winter festivities, which were later replaced by Christmas. Today, Holly twigs are widely used in decorating a festive Christmas table, premises, as a material for a Christmas wreath, and decorative compositions. Sometimes it is even used as a substitute for a traditional Christmas tree.
Holly can rarely be found in a house or apartment, but it takes root well in the garden since many of its species are frost-resistant. It is not picky about the soil and feels good in the most unfavorable light conditions.
Surprisingly, Rosemary is also often used to decorate rooms at Christmas. It is a spice, somewhat reminiscent of the smell of cognac in its aroma. The reason for its popularity during the Christmas holidays is that its leaves resemble Christmas tree needles and are found in dark green color with gray tints. Sometimes this plant is cut so that it resembles small Christmas trees. In the past, people believed that the scent of rosemary during the holidays brought good luck.
Rosemary needs a lot of sun in summer, and in winter – coolness up to 10-13 °C. In winter, the dose of light should be 6-8 hours, so the plant regularly requires additional lighting. Due to the lack of light, the upper leaves of the bush can become less dense, stretch out. It does not like too wet or acidic soils.
Orchid is rightfully one of the best Christmas flowering houseplants. The most reliable and easy to care for are Phalaenopsis and Cymbidium. The main thing is to put them on a light window without drafts, provide additional humidification of the air in winter, and not to flood (watering once a week is quite enough). They thrive in offices and homes and require little maintenance from time to time.
Moreover, you can enjoy their luxurious flowers for at least three months. Orchids in deep gemstone hues such as burgundy, purple, pink, and reds are especially festive. On the other hand, orchids with green and white flowers are also perfect for White Christmas themes and this clean, chic, and modern vibe.
The Christmas rose, also known as the hellebore, is a beautiful winter-blooming plant that is perfect for the holiday season. These plants have a unique appearance with delicate white or pink flowers and dark green foliage. The Christmas rose has been associated with Christmas for centuries and is said to have bloomed miraculously during the birth of Jesus.
To care for the Christmas rose, keep it in a well-lit area with indirect sunlight. These plants prefer cooler temperatures, so keep them away from heaters or other heat sources. Water the Christmas rose regularly, but be careful not to overwater. These plants can be used as a decoration on their own or incorporated into wreaths and other Christmas decor.
Norfolk Island Pine
The Norfolk Island pine is a popular Christmas plant that is often used as an alternative to traditional Christmas trees. These plants have a unique shape with long, slender branches and a tall, straight trunk. Norfolk Island pines are native to the South Pacific and can grow up to 200 feet tall in their natural habitat.
To care for a Norfolk Island pine, keep it in a well-lit area with indirect sunlight. These plants prefer cooler temperatures, so keep them away from heaters or other heat sources. Water the Norfolk Island pine regularly, but be careful not to overwater. These plants can be decorated with lights, ornaments, or simply placed in a decorative pot.
Tips for Decorating with Indoor Plants
Once you’ve selected your indoor Christmas plants, it’s time to get creative with how you display them. Here are some tips for incorporating plants into your holiday decor:
- Use plants as centerpieces on your dining table, or arrange them on a mantle or side table.
- Add some lights or other decorations to your plants to give them a festive look.
- Use plants to add color to your holiday decor. For example, you can pair a red poinsettia with green garland or a white Christmas rose with blue and silver ornaments.
- Group plants of different sizes and heights together to create a visually interesting display.
- Use plants to create a natural and eco-friendly alternative to traditional gift wrapping. For example, you can place a small potted plant inside a decorative basket or wrap a plant pot in festive fabric.
Safety Tips for Indoor Plants
While indoor plants can be a great addition to your holiday decor, it’s important to keep safety in mind when selecting and displaying plants. Here are some safety tips to consider:
- Be aware that some indoor plants can be toxic to pets and children. If you have pets or young children in your home, choose plants that are safe for them to be around.
- Keep plants away from heat sources such as fireplaces and heaters, as this can dry them out and increase the risk of fire.
- Make sure plants are placed in stable containers that won’t tip over easily.
- Be careful not to overwater your plants, as this can lead to root rot and other issues.
- If you’re using lights or other electrical decorations on your plants, make sure they are safe and approved for indoor use.
FAQs for Christmas Indoor Plants
1. Can indoor Christmas plants be planted outside after the holidays are over?
Some indoor Christmas plants, such as the Christmas cactus, can be planted outside in warmer climates. However, many indoor Christmas plants are not suitable for outdoor planting and may not survive in colder temperatures.
2. How often should I water my indoor Christmas plants?
The watering needs of indoor Christmas plants will vary depending on the specific plant and the conditions in your home. In general, it’s important to avoid overwatering your plants, as this can lead to root rot and other issues. Check the soil regularly and water your plants when the soil feels dry to the touch.
3. Are indoor Christmas plants safe for pets and children?
While many indoor Christmas plants are safe for pets and children, some plants can be toxic if ingested. If you have pets or young children in your home, it’s important to research the plants you plan to use and choose ones that are safe for them to be around.
4. Can indoor Christmas plants be used as gifts?
Yes, indoor Christmas plants can make great gifts for friends and family. Consider pairing a plant with a festive container or adding some lights or other decorations to make it extra special.
5. How long do indoor Christmas plants typically last?
The lifespan of indoor Christmas plants will vary depending on the specific plant and how well it is cared for. With proper care, many indoor Christmas plants can last for several weeks or even months.
6. How much sunlight do indoor Christmas plants need?
The amount of sunlight required for indoor Christmas plants will depend on the specific plant. While some plants, such as poinsettias, prefer bright, indirect light, others, such as Christmas cacti, can tolerate lower light levels. Be sure to research the light requirements of your specific plant and place it in a location where it will receive the appropriate amount of light.
7. Can indoor Christmas plants be propagated?
Yes, many indoor Christmas plants can be propagated through cuttings or other methods. For example, Christmas cacti can be propagated by taking cuttings and rooting them in water or soil. Research the specific propagation methods for your plant and follow the appropriate steps.
8. Do indoor Christmas plants require fertilizer?
Indoor Christmas plants may benefit from occasional fertilization, but this will depend on the specific plant and the soil it is planted in. Research the fertilizer requirements of your plant and use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
9. Can indoor Christmas plants be kept year-round?
Many indoor Christmas plants can be kept as houseplants year-round, as long as they are provided with the appropriate care. For example, Christmas cacti can be kept as indoor plants and will bloom annually with proper care. Other plants, such as poinsettias, may be more difficult to maintain as houseplants and may not bloom again until the following holiday season.
10. Can indoor Christmas plants be used in outdoor holiday decorations?
Some indoor Christmas plants, such as poinsettias, may be used in outdoor holiday decorations in warmer climates. However, it’s important to research the specific needs of your plant and ensure that it is suitable for outdoor use before incorporating it into your decorations.
In conclusion, indoor plants are a great way to add a touch of nature and freshness to your home during the holiday season. Whether you choose a classic poinsettia, a unique Christmas cactus, or a winter-blooming Christmas rose, there are plenty of options to choose from. By following the care tips and decorating ideas provided in this article, you can create a beautiful and festive atmosphere in your home that will be sure to impress your guests. Happy holidays!