Beautiful Holiday Plants: Christmas Cactus and More
Christmas in Simcoe wouldn’t be the same without fresh greenery and beautiful holiday plants, and the Christmas cactus is undoubtedly one of the most iconic. They make gorgeous additions to your home decor, brightening things up throughout the rest of those cold winter months. They also make fantastic gifts that are very unlikely to get returned to the store—after all, who doesn’t love new houseplants? Here’s a rundown of how to care for your favourite Christmas flowers and plants, for a winter season that’s extra merry and bright!
The Christmas Cactus And Other Holiday Plants
These colourful cacti remain popular picks year after year, not only because of their fabulous floral displays but because they’re quite hardy. With proper care, they can last for many years. The most common variety has bright red flowers, but you can also find purple, pink, white, and even gold flowering cacti!
To keep their flowers lush and bright, keep your cactus near a sunny window and water it whenever the soil gets dry, about once per week. Don’t worry if the windowsill is a bit chilly—these cacti may actually drop their blooms if it gets too warm. If you’d like it to bloom for a second year, fertilize it once a month from April until October, and put it outside for a few weeks at the end of the summer. They prefer to be cozy in their pot, so you won’t have to worry about repotting them for several years.
Our Other Favourite Christmas Plants
Poinsettia: These quintessential winter flowers never fail to add an extra dose of holiday cheer to your home decor.
You can find poinsettias in stunning shades of cardinal red, creamy white, and soft pink. When it comes time to pick one out, always make sure they’ve got tiny little yellow flowers in their centre. These are called cyathia, and if they’ve dropped from your poinsettia, that means it’s well past its prime. When you take it home, make sure you cover it to protect it from the cold. Overwatering can cause poinsettias to wilt, so it helps to poke some holes in the bottom if it’s in a pot wrapped in decorative foil.
Amaryllis: These fast-growing bulbs are so much fun to watch as they grow and develop. Their bulbs make great stocking stuffers, maturing within 4 to 6 weeks after planting. Keep them near a sunny window, because if they don’t get enough light, they’ll start to wilt. Give the pot a 90 degree turn each time you water it, so your amaryllis grows nice and evenly. Contrary to popular belief, you can keep your amaryllis for another year with proper care. Once the blossoms fade, you can snip off the stalk, keeping the leaves intact, then wait until spring to plant your amaryllis outside. By summer, you can bring it inside with no light or sunshine from June until the end of October. Start watering it again in November, and get ready for round 2 of beautiful blooms!
Christmas Rose: Also known as the black hellebore, this lovely evergreen flower looks quite similar to the buttercup, only white. They’re incredibly low-maintenance and last quite a long time if you cut them and add them into mixed arrangements. Indirect sunlight and a bit of water should keep your hellebores happy. They usually bloom in December, but they may surprise you with blossoms from any time between November and February. Be careful when removing any dead leaves, because the sap will irritate your skin.
White Chrysanthemums: Often considered a fall flower, the snow-white variety of these bushy blossoms are perfectly suited to the winter season.
Chrysanthemums look fabulous on their own in a pot or added into a festive container arrangement. They need at least 5 hours of direct sun every day and weekly watering. They’re generally quite easy to care for, but if you happen to notice any spider mites pop up on the underside of their leaves, give them a spritz with some insecticidal soap, and your mum should recover just fine.
Cyclamen: These vibrant blossoms can last as long as eight weeks during the chilly winter months. They like indirect sunlight — not too bright — and they need to be watered from the base, unlike most houseplants. It should come in a pot with several holes in the bottom, which you can place in a saucer of water for 20 minutes at a time to soak up the moisture. Try not to get any water on the leaves, keep it away from warm drafts or space heaters, and when the flowers start to wilt, pluck them off from the base of their stems.
Rosemary: These fragrant herbs actually make great holiday plants! Not only are the delicious rosemary sprigs perfect for flavouring traditional dishes like roast beef and turkey, but the plants can be shaped like topiaries or mini trees with some artful pruning. Rosemary, like many other culinary herbs, is more cold tolerant than many houseplants, so they’re perfect for adding a little greenery to your home and an extra pop of flavour to your recipes.
For all your Christmas plants and winter evergreen decor, visit Eising’s, and we’ll help you put together a grand display for your home. We’ve also got plenty of DIY workshops going on this season to help you create some gorgeous arrangements of your own. Call our store to reserve your spot!