Winter flowers: The 11 festive plants to add to your home and garden

Royal Horticultural Society reveals how to care for poinsettia

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Winter can be a dull time when it comes to gardening but there are a few cold-weather bulbs which will begin to flourish as Christmas arrives. Hardy florals like cyclamen and Christmas roses are coming into season as the temperature plummets, offering a festive display of stunning petals right through the winter. With plenty more winter blooms on their way, have rounded up the must-have florals and foliage for your home and garden this Christmas.

What flowers bloom in December?

As we reach the end of November, winter-flowering bulbs and pots planted early on in the autumn are preparing to flower and most of them will arrive just in time for Christmas.

With both garden plants and houseplants ready to display their winter petals and rich foliage, there are plenty of ways to incorporate fresh decorations into your festivities.

The most versatile Christmas blooms found in the UK during December are:

  • Christmas cactus – (schlumbergera)
  • Holly
  • Winter pansies
  • Christmas rose – (hellebores)
  • Jingle bells – (clematis cirrhosa)
  • Cyclamen
  • Poinsettias
  • Amaryllis
  • Indoor azaleas
  • Miniature narcissus
  • Heathers

How to care for winter-flowering plants

With everything from outdoor cyclamen to indoor Christmas cactus ready to flower, there are a few crucial pointers you should know to keep your winter blooms thriving over the festive season.

Christmas cactus

The Christmas cactus is the perfect festive houseplant thanks to its red flowers and rich green stem.

Speaking exclusively to, the Botanical Boys explained: “This plant will benefit most from an east-facing window with moderate lighting.

“You should keep the soil evenly moist with occasional misting to give it a humidity boost.”

This easy-growing houseplant will bloom right through the Christmas season, coming into flower from November to January.


The Botanical Boys said: “Cyclamen can offer the sweet, hunter green with a lighter yellow centre on the leaves followed by bright red, pink or white flowers.

“These are low maintenance plants that need to be kept in a bright spot with cooler temperatures to flourish.

“It is essential that the soil is kept moist, but be careful to avoid overwatering.”

You can get both indoor and outdoor varieties though indoor varieties produce much larger flowers for a more impactful display.

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The rich red leaves of the poinsettia makes it one of the most popular Christmas-flowering houseplants.

Potted poinsettias thrive all year round in direct sunlight and prefer moist growing conditions, though you should protect them from cold draughts during the winter.

Keep these stunning red blooms well away from window sills when it is particularly chilly outside and water when the soil is touch-dry.

You can keep the red pigment of poinsettia leaves right through the year by working on a stringent routine which gives your plant 12 to 14 hours of darkness each day – get this wrong and you won’t be able to maintain the red leaves.

How to make a Christmas centrepiece with fresh winter flowers

The Botanical Boys have shared their easy Christmas centrepiece craft using seasonal winter blooms.

Speaking to, the pair revealed: “Red roses or colourful hyacinths are both good choices for your Christmas flowers this year.

“Hydrangeas also make a beautiful floral display, and even when dried out they still maintain their round shape – paired with some eucalyptus, they make an elegant centrepiece.

They shared using leftover herb sprigs such as rosemary, thyme and sage tied together in bunches would make for a warming table display.

The Botanical Boys added: “Lay the herb sprigs out with some Christmas tree cuttings, pine cones or cinnamon sticks, and use some clementines and cranberries for a pop of colour.

“This is sure to bring a nostalgic, ambient table-setting to your festive day that will be one to remember.”

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