As the snow starts to fall across the northern U.S., you may be ready to bring some greenery into your life. Festive plants will help you get into the holiday spirit and stave off seasonal depression during the winter months.
If you’re not ready to put up your Christmas tree yet, that’s ok — there are plenty of other decorative holiday plants to try out this season!
Classic Christmas Plants
These traditional holiday plants are standard holiday decorations for many families. Many of them are evergreen with dark green foliage and white or red berries.
These plants are sure to make your house feel ready for Christmas time!
This bright plant is native to Mexico and became popular for Christmas decorations in the U.S. after Joel Roberts Poinsett brought the plants to the U.S. in 1825.
However, the Poinsettia’s association with Christmas is hundreds of years older than that. Legend has it that a little girl in Mexico didn’t have money to bring anything to the celebration of Jesus. Inspired by an angel, the little girl gathered the prettiest weeds from the ditches that she could find.
The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to represent the Star of Bethlehem, with the bright red flowers symbolizing the blood sacrifice of Jesus.
Though several plants called mistletoe grow around the world, the traditional mistletoe plant is native to the British Isles and much of Europe. The white berries of mistletoe represented male fertility in pre-Christian times, especially for the Druids.
The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe dates far beyond Christianity. In fact, early Christians attempted to ban mistletoe in the festive season.
It’s unclear why the British Christians gave up attempting to ban mistletoe and its kissing tradition and embraced it, but sources suggest this took place around the 18th or 19th century.
Tradition suggests removing a white berry from a hanging mistletoe every time someone kisses under it (which is good luck). When all the berries are gone, the kissing is, too!
Sure, you’re unlikely to flood your front yard for a cranberry display. But stringing cranberries up, especially with popcorn, is a beautiful decoration for indoors or outdoors. The birds will love it! Use a needle and fishing line to create beautiful red garlands of cranberries and put them wherever you like.
Of course, cooking with cranberries is another common use of these little red fruits during the holiday season. Whether you’d like to decorate with cranberries or just make cranberry cake, there’s no denying that these fruits have something to offer around Christmas.
Christmas pears, also called comice pears, are popular around the holiday season. Rather than trying to grow a whole pear tree for years in preparation, simply purchase a few and put them in a bowl.
This healthy snack bowl will give your home a classy, festive feel and tempt you to eat fruit instead of another of Santa’s cookies.
Evergreen Trees and Shrubs
From Rosemary Christmas Trees to cedar boughs for wreaths, there’s just no beating the evergreens for holiday season. These dark green conifers bring welcome color to our lives and really make it feel like a traditional Christmas.
Evergreen shrubs, planted outdoors, can provide enough trimmings for small wreaths and accents indoors. If you’re near pine trees or cedar, use those instead. Pine cones and cranberries make excellent accents to the dark green of evergreens.
Unique, Unusual, and Chic Christmas Plants
We’re not all in love with purely traditional plants. While most of us just love our Christmas trees, that doesn’t mean you can’t spruce up your home with some unusual Christmas plants. Pun intended.
Why not? Though the muted colors of succulents don’t generally scream “festivity” at us, changing out the accents in a succulent bowl can really make these year-round plants feel like winter.
A few of our favorite ideas to holiday-ize your succulents include:
- A red ribbon on hanging succulents
- Birchbark tin can planters.
- Red, gold, or silver glitter succulent planters.
- Cranberries, pinecones, or evergreens as accents in the bowl.
You don’t even have to get new plants to make your succulents feel ready for the winter solstice!
These hardy, beautiful flowers will grow in just stone or pebbles and water. You can order the bulbs online and plant them in soil or water. They grow well indoors as winter blooms, making them popular as a Christmas plant.
Unlike many traditional Christmas plants, there doesn’t seem to be any lore surrounding paperwhites. They’re just beautiful and easy to care for, making them a perfect addition to your holiday decorations!
These flowers are traditionally red and white for Christmas, but also come in colors ranging from pink to orange. Known as one of the easiest plants around to get to bloom during the winter, it’s no wonder that this tropical plant is popular around the holiday season.
You can keep amaryllis alive with proper care to encourage it to bloom again next year.
Yet another popular winter bloomer is the Christmas cactus. These plants naturally grow on top of other plants (making them an epiphyte) in the rainforests of Brazil. With beautiful pink flowers that bloom readily in the late fall and winter, the Christmas cactus will keep your home feeling bright and festive for winter after winter. This plant is generally pretty easy to care for and will readily sprout from cuttings — making it a perfect last-minute gift!
If you’ve got a favorite Christmas plant that we missed, let us know in the comments below. If you’re not sure what that plant is that you love, download the PlantSnap app to find out!