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10 Festive Houseplants for the Holiday Season

How To Decorate Small Space With Plants

Maybe you’re bored with the usual decorations for the holidays. Or maybe you’re looking into more sustainable, environmentally-friendly solutions to celebrating the season with minimal costs.

Whatever your reason, we get how you want to elevate your mood as the time festivities draw closer. Here’s a list of holiday-houseplants that are perfect for jazzing up your home!

1. Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)
Image by Britannica
FactorsInformation or Description
Ease of GrowingModerate ●●○○○
Unique FeaturesVibrant red bracts
Symbol of the holiday season
Plant TypeDeciduous shrub, grown as a potted plant indoors

Nothing is as holiday as the greens and reds (and sometimes pinks and whites) of the poinsettia plants! They do well in a sunny room but should be shielded from direct, strong sunlight.

Poinsettias grow slowly, especially when indoors. They usually peak during the holiday season. 

2. Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera)

Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera)
Image by Dammann’s Garden Company
FactorsInformation or Description
Ease of GrowingModerate ●●○○○
Unique FeaturesStunning winter blooms Segmented leaf structure
Plant TypeEpiphytic, grows on trees or rocks in its native habitat

There’s a reason why this plant is called the Christmas cactus! Vibrant greens, striking reds, and blooms prolifically during the holidays? Yes, it’s true.

Christmas Cacti do well in bright, indirect light so avoid direct sunlight, especially in summer. The ideal soil is well-draining and slightly acidic and a mix of potting soil and perlite is good.

3. Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla)

Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla)
Image by The Spruce
FactorsInformation or Description
Ease of GrowingModerate ●●○○○
Unique FeaturesResembles a mini Christmas tree 
Plant TypeEvergreen conifer

For that greenery all year round, go for this tiny holiday tree. Norfolk Island Pine does well in bright, indirect light. 

This plant prefers well-draining soil, like a mix of peat, perlite, and pine bark. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.

4. Mistletoe Cactus (Rhipsalis baccifera)

Mistletoe Cactus (Rhipsalis baccifera)
Image by North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox – NC State University
FactorsInformation or Description
Ease of GrowingEasy ●○○○○
Unique FeaturesThin, trailing stems resembling mistletoe
Plant TypeEpiphytic, succulent cactus

How about a low-maintenance hanging green plant that reminds you of mistletoe? The Mistletoe Cactus does well in low to medium light and can handle fluorescent light. 

This cactus grows slowly, staying compact and suitable for hanging baskets. Plus, you won’t need to repot it frequently.

5. Amaryllis (Hippeastrum)

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum)
Image by Edmonton Horticultural Society
FactorsInformation or Description
Ease of GrowingEasy ●○○○○
Unique FeaturesLarge, showy flowers Given as a holiday gift
Plant TypeBulbous perennial

With their trumpeting flowers, Amaryllis plants are like the floral heralds of the season. These plants grow well in bright indirect light, so avoid placing them in direct sun.

Amaryllis grows quite fast, especially when it’s actively growing. You should see flowers within a few weeks after planting. 

6. Holly (Ilex aquifolium)

Holly (Ilex aquifolium)
Image by Plantura Magazin
FactorsInformation or Description
Ease of GrowingModerate ●●○○○
Unique FeaturesGlossy, spiky leaves
Bright red berries in winter
Plant TypeEvergreen shrub/tree

This is definitely a Christmas plant, and we all know it. But you can always grow it the whole year for a bit of cheer even when the holidays aren’t near.

Holly grows well in both full and partial sun, making it suitable for various garden locations. It can also handle some shade but prefers more sunlight for optimal growth.

7. Christmas Rose (Helleborus niger)

Christmas Rose (Helleborus niger)
Image by Homes & Gardens
FactorsInformation or Description
Ease of GrowingModerate ●●○○○
Unique FeaturesEarly winter bloomer Attractive evergreen foliage
Plant TypePerennial herbaceous plant

This low-growing evergreen produces beautiful flowers in the winter when other plants are dormant and hibernating – hence the name! It’s not truly a rose as it belongs to the buttercup family, but it does come in various colors like purple, pink, yellow, and white.

Christmas Rose is great for shaded gardens and prefers partial to full shade, especially in hot areas. It’s best when kept indoors, but you can grow it in pots and bring it in during the winter season.

8. Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum)

Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum)
Image by Clemson HGIC – Clemson University
FactorsInformation or Description
Ease of GrowingModerate ●●●○○
Unique FeaturesDistinctive, colorful, butterfly-like flowers
Plant TypeTuberous perennial

If you’re bored and need a bit of a gardening challenge for a change, then the Cyclamen is for you. We have to admit, it’s better for intermediate to expert gardeners, but getting one to bloom is worth the effort!

Cyclamen likes indirect sunlight, so avoid direct sun. A windowsill with filtered light works well.

9. Christmas Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)

Christmas Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)
Image by Pacific Royal
FactorsInformation or Description
Ease of GrowingEasy ●○○○○
Unique FeaturesVibrant, colorful blossoms in winter
Succulent leaves
Plant TypeSucculent perennial

Like the poinsettia and the Christmas cactus, this plant’s flowering is triggered by the shorter days of the season. Left alone, it tends to bloom in early spring but reducing the daylight hours causes it to bloom earlier.

Christmas Kalanchoe needs bright, indirect sunlight. Don’t put it in direct, harsh sunlight; it can harm the leaves.

10. Red Aglaonema

Red Aglaonema
Image by Plantura Magazin
FactorsInformation or Description
Ease of GrowingEasy ●○○○○
Unique FeaturesStriking, red and green variegated leaves
Plant TypeEvergreen, low-growing houseplant

What can be more festive yet tropical in a plant with large leaves in green and red? Whether you’re in warmer regions or prefer to grow this as a year-round indoor plant, the Red Aglaonema will never fail to keep your space colorful and cheerful!

It’s pretty forgiving if you occasionally forget to water but it prefers to have the soil stay consistently moist. The Red Aglaonema grows slowly so it doesn’t overcrowd your space quickly, which is great for indoor settings. 

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