Holiday Plants

Holiday Plants
Holiday decorating is easy when you use live plants. There are so many types that can be used to provide color during this holiday season.

In addition to the tried-and-true species, there are newer types as well. Last year for the first time I found one called Christmas bells heather (Erica canaliculata). This evergreen can be grown as an outdoor plant in some areas of the country. These low growing plants are simply covered with tiny, white bell-like blossoms. Native to South Africa, this is recommended for zones nine through ten. It normally blooms from winter into early spring. The blooming plants are available in many garden centers during the Christmas season.

For something unusual this holiday season, consider the kangaroo paws (Anigozanthos) as a flowering pot plant. These are available in greenhouses and garden centers. Originally from Australia, the flower colors include red, yellow, and green as well as others. However, the red and green are most suitable for Christmas.

The only way to describe kangaroo paws is unusual. These are also called cat’s paw. There are eleven species in all as well as numerous varieties. They’re mostly suited to zones ten and higher. These perennials can reach three to five feet in height. The tubular blossoms open in terminal panicles. As an indoor plant, they can bloom year-round.

I’m very fond of the ornamental peppers. These are sometimes called Christmas pepper. The brightly colored fruits literally cover the plant for an extended time. These are usually grown as flowering pot plants and discarded. Depending on the variety, the fruits can be white, red, blackish-purple, or orange. The ones with variegated foliage are particularly attractive.

Proven Winners Diamond Frost euphorbia is a great flowering pot plant for the holidays. Use it in mixed holiday planters. Combine it with poinsettias. This flowering plant will continue to bloom into January.

Paperwhites and amaryllis require no forcing. Other holiday bulbs like tulips require a cold period. For quick flowers, just buy the pre-cooled bulbs. Otherwise, they need an extended period of forcing in order to bloom.

Nothing says Christmas as much as holiday topiaries. For Christmas, the Angel Vine star topiary would be a great choice. Herbs trained as standards add a nice touch for the holidays. Other ideas include lavender and myrtle topiaries. Rosemary plants are often trained and pruned to create holiday topiaries.

Calla lilies can provide delightful color during the holiday season. The California Callas are available at greenhouses, garden centers, and other sources. They’re sold as flowering pot plants. For a traditional holiday color, choose the deep reds and maroons. White California Callas fit into most any holiday decorating scheme. Other colors include pink. These tender bulbs aren’t winter hardy in all areas of the country.

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