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Holiday Plants

Choosing, Growing and Caring for Holiday Plants

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Plants play a big role in our holiday celebrations. Whether we're giving holiday plants or using them as decorations, indoors and out, certain plants have become an intrinsic our holiday traditions.

Beautiful as they are in the store, holiday plants don't always make an easy transition into your home. Here are some tips for choosing holiday plants and caring for them through the holidays and afterward.

1. Poinsettia

Poinsettias are everywhere at Christmastime. Red flowers would seem an obvious choice for Christmas, but now poinsettias come in pastel shades of cream and pink and you’ll even find them dyed, painted and done up in glitter and bows. Now poinsettias can be used to celebrate multiple holidays and look right at home in any decor.

2. Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus
Photo courtesy Meve13/stock.xchng.

Who would have thought a cactus would become a symbol of Christmas? Cactus make excellent houseplants, if you can resist the temptation to fuss over them. And unlike the poinsettia, the Christmas cactus just seems to know that Christmas is the perfect time to bloom and let it all hang out.

3. Cyclamen

There are many cyclamen species that are grown in the garden, but Cyclamen persicum, or the Florist Cyclamen, is often grown as a house plant and is popular around Thanksgiving and Christmas because that’s when it tends to be in bloom. Cyclamen make a wonderful holiday plant because they adapt well as houseplants, blooming again for next year’s holidays.

4. Live Christmas Trees

Maybe you don’t think of Christmas trees as holiday plants, but when you stop to think about it, a live Christmas tree is just that. It can be a tree you intend to plant outdoors, after the holidays, or a potted evergreen you want to keep as a houseplant or display on the patio. Take care in choosing which type of live evergreen you want for your Christmas tree, because it’s only going to get bigger.

5. Amaryllis

Much like Poinsettias, Amaryllis plants have been popular at Christmas time partly because they comes in so many shades of red. Also like Poinsettia, Amaryllis don’t necessarily bloom at Christmastime, when left to their own devices. The Amaryllis is a huge bulb that’s actually very easy to grow and care for. The bulbs are widely available in December, so they make a great gift. They may not bloom until later in the spring, but unlike Poinsettia, they are eager repeat bloomers.

6. Paperwhites

Talk about instant gratification. Paperwhites,Narcissus tazetta, can bloom within 3 weeks of potting up. They don’t even need soil. Bulbs are usually available through out winter and you start new batches every couple of weeks, for continuous bloom.

7. Easter Lilies

As with most holiday plants, the white lilies sold at Easter time have been forced into bloom. They have to do that, to guarantee plants will be flowering at the right time. But they’re still just lily bulbs and there’s no reason you can’t enjoy them at Easter and then plant them outdoors. They don’t all adapt, but you never know until you try.

8. Cut Flowers for All Occasions

Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, birthdays or any special occasion is made even more special with a gift of flowers. Here are some tips on which flowers last longest, how to keep them looking good and what your choice of flower means.

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