Learn how to care for Christmas cactus and poinsettias
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Retailer Marks and Spencer have previously claimed that poinsettias account for a whopping 42 percent of sales from their Christmas plant range which just proves their popularity. However, the poinsettias’ vibrant red bracts and dark green leaves aren’t to everyone’s taste. With this in mind, experts from Infinite Paving have shared what other festive plants can brighten up our homes over Christmas.
From classics like holly and mistletoe to the less common snake plant, there are many beautiful options available, according to founding director of Infinite Paving Rowan Cripps.
Classic Christmas plants
Holly and mistletoe are by far the most popular festive plants to have in the home. Rowan said: “Whether you want to have a holly jolly Christmas or a kiss under the mistletoe, both plants are European staples.
“Mistletoe was originally prized for its healing properties and romantic symbolism, while holly was regarded as a symbol of fertility and eternal life. Nowadays, mistletoe is a feature of many Christmas romcoms, and many deck their halls with boughs of holly just for its beautiful appearance and sweet smell.”
Oxalis Versicolor (Candy Cane Sorrel)
The Candy Cane Sorrel is one of the most festive-looking plants Britons can have in their homes over Christmas. The plant looks exactly like its namesake – a candy cane.
Rowan said: “With a white base that is striped through with red, this plant is not only stunning but is moreover low-maintenance, making it a perfect gift during the holidays.”
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Lavender shrubs and trees are known for their pleasant scent and sleep-inducing properties. Several studies have shown that using lavender oil for aromatherapy can improve sleep quality.
The popular plant can be found in gardens across the UK, especially in cottage gardens that are known for their more rustic aesthetic. But the plant isn’t just a pretty garden plant but a great decoration and gift too.
Rowan explained: “With a structure reminiscent of a Christmas tree, this elegant plant can be decorated with tinsel and baubles for festivity.
“Once spring arrives, you can relocate the hardy plant outside, where it will bush out and begin to flower – proving that a lavender tree isn’t just for Christmas!”
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Helleborus Niger (Christmas Rose)
For those that need a pick-me-up in the winter months, the Christmas Rose might just be the perfect perennial plant. The plant has dark green leaves and stunning white flowers.
The plant blooms during the winter months, offering plenty of festive cheer. Furthermore, the Christmas Rose is symbolic of “serenity, tranquillity and peace.”
These plants make for very popular houseplants, producing tubular flowers in bright pink and lilac colours.
Rowan said: “With easy care requirements and blooming for an extended period between late November to late January, they put on a great Christmas display. For added fun, the plants are easy to propagate and great fun as an activity for the kids.”
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Pine cones can be found growing on a multitude of coniferous trees and are a winter staple in British homes.
These cones are great as festive decorations, container fillers and for use as mulch. They are also perfect for crafts and activities with children.
Amaryllis are becoming just as popular as poinsettias. They are renowned for their ability to bloom indoors during the cold months, their sweet and mild scent and their elegant appearance.
These plants also flower in a range of white to brilliant red. Amaryllis also rebloom every year, with the plant’s flowering period signalling that Christmas is coming.
Rose of Jericho
Rowan said: “While this plant may seem like an unlikely contender, the Rose of Jerico is also called the ‘resurrection plant’ due to its ability to ‘come back to life’ when soaked in water.
“You can neglect the plant year-round – it’s incredibly hard to kill – before restoring it for the festive season. When placed in lukewarm water, the Rose of Jericho will unfold in roughly four hours.
“While great for humans during the festive season, you should be mindful of the fact that this plant is toxic to cats – so make sure not to mix it up with the Christmas decorations!”
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