Christmas in the Greenhouse
Care Tips for Our Most Popular Christmas Plants
Many plants make wonderful Christmas gifts and decor, but a few of the most popular are the Amaryllis, the Norfolk Island Pine, the Christmas Cactus, Cyclamen and of course, the Poinsettia. Use the guides below to help your holiday plants thrive through the Christmas season and beyond.
If you are looking for show-stopping holiday flowers, these tropical flowers are the best choice you can make, as each flower may measure up to 8 inches across. Amaryllis prefer about 2 hours of bright light, and dislike drafts. You can water these plants whenever the soil is dried out.
Christmas cactus is a tropical plant that hails from the rainforests of Central and South America and features showy, bright flowers in pink, red or white. This plant requires water and less sun than other cacti and should be placed in bright, indirect light, and allowed to dry slightly between waterings. If possible, bring this plant outdoors for the summer and place in light shady spot, where it can thrive in the warmth and humidity. Fertilize throughout the growing season with an all-purpose plant food. Allow the plant to stay outdoors until temperatures begin to drop below 50 degrees, and then bring back indoors. The cool temperatures will cause your Christmas cactus to form buds and begin flowering.
Although they aren’t typically associated with Christmas traditions, cyclamen bloom in red, white, pink and lavender during the holiday season and are great plants for holiday decorating or gift giving. The flowers hang in the air like butterflies over green leaves with silver markings. Get the most from your cyclamen by placing them in bright, indirect light in a cool location. They prefer 45 to 55 degree nights and 55 to 65 degree days. Cyclamen should always remain moist, but not wet. We suggest setting the pot in a shallow pan of water so the plant can absorb water from the bottom of the pot.
Norfolk Island Pine
This pine lookalike is not actually a pine, but a native of Norfolk Island off the coast of Australia. It is frequently decorated like a Christmas tree during the holidays. These plants prefer bright, full sun. Let them dry out a bit before watering again. If you need to give your plants a bit more humidity, place them on a humidity tray.
Perhaps the best known of all Christmas plants, this plant comes in all shades of red, pink, white, spotted, speckled and marbled. With proper care, poinsettias will last several weeks or even months in your home. Place them in bright, indirect light away from drafts. They prefer to be in a warm location (68 to 70 degrees) and kept evenly moist.