Walk into your local garden shop, home center, and grocery store right now and you'll be greeted by the happy faces of holiday plants. The queen of the season is the poinsettia, but there are so many more options that provide cool decorating partners this season. Check out this dazzling array of holiday plants that stay looking beautiful a long time (so you'll even be able to enjoy them well into the new year!).
1. Norfolk Island Pine: These tiny Christmas trees are often predecorated with festive ornaments and glitter. You can also deck out your plant with a small string of battery lights and tiny ornaments and garlands of your own. Remove the decorations after the holidays, and you'll have an easy-care houseplant that looks great all year long.
2. Colorful Aglaonema: One of the easiest-care houseplants there is, colorful aglaonema sports green leaves bedecked with streaks and splashes of red, pink, white, cream, or other colors. It fits right in with your favorite holiday décor but doesn't seem out of place the rest of the year. It adds a pop of color to the other houseplants in your home.
3. Cyclamen: The butterfly-shape, lipstick-hue blooms in this flowering plant add emotional support during winter. Cyclamen blooms come in red, white, and pink. After the plant finishes blooming, cut back on the watering and let it go dormant. Ignore it for a couple of months, then begin watering. Your cyclamen will produce new leaves and bloom again.
4. Amaryllis: Amaryllis are magical. These lifeless large dry bulbs produce long strappy leaves and a stem (or two!) topped with trumpet-shape flowers in red, pink, white, green, or bi-color blooms. After the blooms fade, keep plants in a bright place until spring. After there's no possibility of frost, move plants outdoors to a sunny spot for the summer. In autumn, when frost threatens, stop watering and bring plants indoors. Start watering in November and they'll shoot up another stalk (or more!) of brilliant blooms. They will bloom for years when cared for in this way.
5. Christmas Cactus: This classic holiday plant is an easy-to-grow beauty that produces a bounty of pink, red, yellow, orange, or white flowers. They relish medium-bright light, ample humidity, and consistent moisture. They're exceptionally long-lived; that's why many families pass their Christmas cactus down through generations.
6. Orchids: Exotic yet easy care, moth orchids (Phalaenopsis) produce flowers that last for months in pink, purple, yellow, orange, white, and spotted bicolors. They look stunning in a single pot, grouped together in a basket, or rubbing shoulders with poinsettias for the holidays.
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By Kimberly Toscano, Encore Azaleas,
Photographs courtesy of Encore Azaleas
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