Growing and Caring For Plants and Flowers at Christmas
Christmas plants and flowers are a colourful festive addition to your home or office space and make thoughtful Christmas presents for loved ones.
Festive plants and flowers complement both modern and traditional Christmas decor, and allow you to express your personality in how you display them.
Using Christmas plants as decoration is a great hack for sustainable Christmas decorating. Replace some plastic or metal decorations that will end up broken or in the bin, with a Christmas bouquet you can buy or make each year! This can become a great Christmas tradition, that you can also deliver as gifts to your friends and family.
Even if you don’t know the first thing about looking after a plant, by reading this guide you can pick up some tips to become a pro at caring for Christmas plants.
And if at the end you still don’t fancy becoming a plant parent, we’ve provided links to our favourite artificial (but still pretty) Christmas plants at the bottom of the article! Keep reading to find out our favourite artificial plants.
|Top Tip: Take cuttings of your Christmas flowers (or artificial flowers) to use as show-stopping cake decorations! |
Our Guide to Christmas Plants and Flowers
We’ve included some links to our favourite potted plant gifts available online, and also seeds for the green-fingered amongst you.
Amaryllis are a classic Christmas plant, and luckily they are super easy to care for. This article gives you in-depth instructions and FAQs about growing and caring for Amaryllis flowers.
How to Grow Amaryllis
If you’re starting from a bulb, plant it in a heavy pot with soil. Water your amaryllis bulb often and leave the plant somewhere with bright but indirect natural light. Most amaryllis bulbs will take between 6-10 weeks to bloom, so make sure you check the label or online information of the one you’re buying and buy it at the right time for when you want your amaryllis to bloom.
How to Care for Amaryllis
You might need something supporting the plant as it grows, but there’s little effort required to take care of amaryllis plants. To care for a fully grown amaryllis, keep watering often and make sure it’s getting enough natural light.
How to Display Amaryllis
In our not-so-expert opinion, amaryllis are the Christmas lilies. They have a similar shape and height to a lily and work well in a vase or plant pot on their own or part of an arrangement.
About Christmas Rose
Christmas roses are named so festively because of their ability to survive and flourish in the cold winter months. They have gorgeous white petals and a statement shape that will add an elegant touch to any flower arrangement.
How to Grow Christmas Rose
It is possible to grow a Christmas rose from seed, but it will take 3 to 4 years to reach flowering size. Read more about how to grow a Christmas rose here.
How to Care for Christmas Rose
Place your Christmas rose flowers in bright direct light and water often but with small amounts.
How to Display Christmas Rose
The winter-blooming Christmas rose can be displayed outdoors, in a plant pot or as a long-lasting feature in a vase.
Poinsettia are definitely the most well-known, bought and recognised Christmas plants in the UK. Their signature red leaves and star-shape are almost as key to Christmas as holly. Poinsettia plants tend to sell-out in the UK, so make sure you get yours early.
|Top Tip for Poinsettias: Poinsettias from a display outside or close to an automatic door will be damaged by the cold weather and will start to wilt as soon once you get them home. Pick up your poinsettia from a reputable supplier or indoor display.|
How to Grow Poinsettia
Plant your poinsettia seeds after there’s no more chance of a frost. Once you start to see green shoots, water regularly and fertilize the soil. Prune back your poinsettia regularly so the plant doesn’t end up too tall or sparse.
How to Care for Poinsettia
Poinsettia plants originated in Mexico, so they love being light and warm, away from drafts, and watered fairly sparingly. To keep your poinsettia at its best, regularly check the leaves’ colour to see if you’re watering correctly. If the leaves start to turn yellowish, you might be over or under-watering.
How to Display Poinsettia
Poinsettia leaves are so versatile for adding a Christmassy and elegant flourish to your Christmas decorations. Display poinsettia as part of a garland wrapped around a bannister, within your Christmas wreath or even placed throughout your Christmas tree as a natural bauble!
Holly bushes and holly leaves with their signature red berries are staples in Christmas films, Christmas cards and in our Christmassy daydreams. Just the idea of a frosty holly bush gives us that Christmas feeling!
Holly is a top contender for the Queen of Christmas plants and flowers. (Found out why holly a Queen and not King below!)
It’s even in the song! Sorry in advance for getting this song stuck in your head all day…
“The holly and the ivy
When they are both full grown
Of all trees that are in the wood
The holly bears the crown” 🎵
How to Grow Holly
If you’re looking for the signature red berries of a holly bush, make sure you’ve got the female variety as only the female holly grows berries, but require a male nearby. Try and find a variety of holly that is a female plant and doesn’t need a male to produce holly berries.
Plant your holly in the spring or autumn and they will do well left alone with water from the average rainfall. They love light so plant your holly in a sunny part of the garden.
You can find holly seeds here, or a holly cutting here.
How to Care for Holly
Caring for holly bushes is fairly straightforward without requiring much effort. Prune them every so often and fertilise about once a year. Other than that there isn’t much effort required for looking after holly plants. Watering is only necessary if there is an extremely dry period.
How to Display Holly
Weave your holly leaves with signature red berries into your Christmas garland, tinsel, wreath or in your Christmas tree. You could glue a holly leaf and berries.
Mistletoe is a plant that feeds off the nutrients of other trees, usually apple or lime trees. The plant is spread by birds dropping their foraged berries. Mistletoe is a green plant with narrow oval-shaped leaves with touches of white berries throughout.
In the UK Mistletoe is seen as a kissing symbol, but in France mistletoe is given as a gift of luck on New Year’s Eve.
History of Mistletoe
We all know what happens under the mistletoe, but where did the mistletoe tradition come from? There are mixed ideas about where the mistletoe tradition originated. Norwegians and Scandinavians have centuries-old theories of mistletoe representing love. In the UK, there are references to kissing under the mistletoe as early as the 1700s, but it became much more popular in the 1800s.
How to Grow Mistletoe
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to grow mistletoe in a pot or in the ground. Mistletoe grows inside the branches of other trees four or five years after inserting mistletoe berries inside a tree, it won’t kill the tree but it can weaken it. Read more about the process of growing mistletoe here.
How to Care for Mistletoe
Look for mistletoe that is a ripe green colour with lots of foliage, and has bright white berries. This is how you know the mistletoe is fresh and will last a long time. If possible, ask the supplier when their mistletoe was harvested to ensure they last the full two to three weeks.
How to Display Mistletoe
The traditional way to use mistletoe is to hang the plant in a doorway. The mistletoe we hang up in our homes has berries, which is the female variety. If you find a mistletoe plant that’s easy to cut into smaller pieces, hang them on your Christmas tree as decoration. Try using lace, ribbon, or string to add a creative touch to your hanging mistletoe.
About Christmas Cactus
Christmas cactuses are low maintenance and can survive year after year. Christmas cacti offer a more modern and unique addition to your Christmas decor, without looking like they’re too overbearing. They get their festive name because they flower between November and January, so Christmas cactus make the perfect festive decoration or gift.
How to Grow Christmas Cactus
Head to this website for detailed instructions on how to grow a cactus plant from seed.
How to Care for Christmas Cactus
Keep your Christmas cactus in a bright area but out of direct light, as this can burn your Christmas cacti’s leaves. Water whenever the top inch of soil dries out, or if the leaves. Once your Christmas cactus stops flowering, hold back on the watering, light and leave it in a cool area. This is your Christmas cactuses dormancy period.
How to Display Christmas Cactus
Christmas cacti work best in a simple or Christmas plant pot. We love having ours on our desk or coffee table to brighten up the space.
Our Favourite Artificial Christmas Plants Available Online
Although real plants are great, they do require some effort to keep them alive. If you’re looking for Christmas plants and flowers you can use year after year, artificial is definitely the way to go.
Use these as ready-made bouquets or mix and match to create your own Christmas flower arrangement!
1. Artificial Poinsettia and Holly Arrangement
2. Artificial Baby’s Breath – gorgeous on their own or as an addition to any arrangement
4. A Realistic Bouquet of Red and White Flowers
Our Final Thoughts on Christmas Plants and Flowers
We hope this guide has given you some insight into how to grow and look after your Christmas plants and flowers. We’re definitely feeling inspired to put together some festive bouquets with some of those artificial plants and flowers this year.
Mulled wine, Christmas movies and flower arranging anybody?
Related Christmas Plants and Decor Articles:
- How To Look After A Poinsettia | The Best Tips & Tricks
- Types Of Christmas Cactus And All The Christmas Cactus Colors
- History Of Christmas Trees: The Ultimate Guide
- 22 Amazing Christmas Tree Facts You Need To Know
- How To Make A Christmas Wreath In 4 Simple Steps
- The Best Artificial Christmas Trees 2020