Indoor Plants for Christmas
Christmas decorations needn’t just be tinsel and luminous baubles - potted plants, textural foliage and beautifully fragrant flowers create a warm, welcoming atmosphere, and the garden is a great source of home-grown decorating materials. Whether it’s a pot-grown Christmas tree, holly and ivy cuttings used to create stunning table centres and wreaths, or potted-up flowering plants – there are so many plants that can make our homes more festive.
Why go wild?
Bringing decorative plants and foliage indoors in the depths of winter certainly isn’t a new idea – it’s a tradition which goes back thousands of years. Holly, ivy and fir tree branches have long been used as festive decorations, to celebrate Christmas and make us think about the new growth of the springtime to come.
The beauty of using live plants instead of manufactured decorations is that they keep on living (and giving) long after the festivities are over. Just pot up, plant outside or even compost after the festive season is over.
Top 5 festive favourites
- Poinsettias really are a true Christmas plant – their bright red colour isn’t actually their flowers but bracts, and they need a little TLC as they hate being overwatered, direct sunlight and cold draughts. If you have young children or pets, it’s best to pop your poinsettia on display out of their reach, as the plant mustn’t be eaten and the sap is a skin irritant.
- Kalanchoe, otherwise known as flaming Katy, is a superb indoor Christmas houseplant. It comes in many different flower colours, but at this time of year the white and red varieties are particular favourites to brighten up indoor spaces. Their fleshy emerald-green leaves store water which makes them very easy to keep long after Christmas.
- Schlumbergera bridgesii, commonly known as Christmas cactus, is an old favourite which brightens any room. It’s easier to look after than a poinsettia and is a great choice for family homes, as – despite its name – doesn’t have painful spikes on its foliage. The bright red or pink flowers are long-lasting, and they love a little humidity, so it’s a great choice for the kitchen windowsill.
- Phalaenopsis (moth orchids) are great houseplants for all-year-round flowers and release oxygen at night, so they’re a great choice for brightening bedrooms. Their slender stems, height and delicate appearance - coupled with the amazing range of colours and shades available - make them a dependable favourite and a popular gift at any time of year.
- Indoor cyclamen are at their brightest in the garden centres right now – they make excellent houseplants, with so many flower shades to choose from whites to reds, pinks and multicoloured too. But its not just about the beautiful swept back flowers held high on stalks its also the truly stunning foliage of emerald green marbled by silver markings it’s a real Christmas indoor favourite.
Foliage for the family
The easiest way to welcome festive visitors to your home and bring a pop of colour to the whole street is with a Christmas wreath on your front door. Save any branches trimmed from your Christmas tree, or take cuttings of conifers, holly and ivy from the garden, and bind onto a moss-covered ring frame using florist’s wire – both available from your local garden centre. Add fir cones, cinnamon sticks, pheasant feathers and dried orange slices for a truly natural look and wonderful aroma, or miniature candy canes and tiny wrapped gifts for extra brownie points from the kids!
So, this Christmas, why not try decking your halls with living indoor plants for decorations that really stand out.