Houseplants for Festive Christmas Decorating

10 Best Houseplants for Festive Christmas Decorating

The holidays are the perfect time to bring some natural greenery and festive plants into your home decor. Houseplants are a beautiful way to get into the Christmas spirit and deck your halls for the season. Certain types of indoor plants add a traditional touch and holiday feel better than others. Read on for the top houseplant varieties to use in your Christmas decorating!

Christmas Cactus

The Christmas cactus is the ultimate holiday houseplant, blooming in late fall and winter with bright flowers in shades of red, pink, purple, orange, and white. The flattened stem segments look like leaves and the blooms emerge from the tips. To the fullest , flowers provide bright indirect light. These epiphytic cacti make excellent gifts and holiday centerpieces.

To get a Christmas cactus to bloom, start exposing it to longer darkness in October to initiate bud development. Keep in a cool room around 60-65°F and give 12+ hours of uninterrupted darkness each night. Discontinue darkness exposure once buds form. Increase watering and humidity when buds appear. The colorful flowers last for many weeks, especially in cool temperatures.

Display Christmas cacti in decorative planters or plant sleeves on mantles, countertops, and tablescapes. Surround with holiday decorations like pinecones, ornaments, and faux snow. The cascading shape looks beautiful in hanging baskets. For parties, incorporate into table centerpieces with evergreens, candles, and other festive accents.

Houseplants for Festive Christmas Decorating


Few plants are as iconic for Christmas as the poinsettia. Available in December with rich red, pink, white, or multi-colored bracts, these tropical plants are holiday superstars. Display poinsettias in decorative plant sleeves or cache pots. Look for long-lasting varieties if you’ll decorate early. Give plenty of sunlight, water when dry, and mist leaves often.

For the fullest, longest-lasting poinsettia display, choose plants with tightly clustered, not yet fully open blooms. Avoid plants with pollen showing or faded, damaged bracts. Protect poinsettias from cold and heat during transport home. Discard any wrappings and place in indirect sunlight right away.

Give poinsettias at least 6 hours of bright, filtered sunlight daily. Turn occasionally for even sun exposure. Check soil daily and water when the top inch becomes dry. Add a humid tray or mist leaves to increase moisture. Keep temps between 65-70°F for ideal bloom life of 6-8 weeks or longer.

Show off poinsettias by centering them on mantles surrounded by pinecones, greenery and holiday figurines. For parties, line a table runner with the red plants. Or cluster several together on an entryway table with evergreen boughs and white fairy lights for a welcoming display.

Houseplants for Festive Christmas Decorating

Norfolk Island Pine

Resembling a miniature pine tree, the Norfolk Island pine lends a charming evergreen element to Christmas décor. The pyramid shape looks lovely decorated with mini ornaments and lights! Provide bright light to maintain the rich green color of the short, fern-like leaves. Prevent needles from drying out in winter heat. Mist leaves frequently and water when just slightly dry.

The Norfolk Island pine enjoys the same warm conditions inside your home as you do during the holidays. Keep away from cold drafts by windows and doors. Water thoroughly when the top half of soil is dry. Yellowing needles indicate too much or too little moisture. Give bright, filtered sunlight to prevent browning. Turn the plant periodically for even growth.

Dot mini string lights over the branches for a twinkling display. Hang lightweight mini ornaments if the branches are sturdy enough. Place wrapped faux presents underneath on the soil as fun decorations. Surround the base with evergreen boughs, pinecones, or red poinsettias. For parties, adorn multiple Norfolk pines together on the table or buffet.

Houseplants for Festive Christmas Decorating

Christmas Pepper Plant

Add a burst of cheery color with the Christmas pepper plant (also called Acalypha). The red and green leaves resemble peppermint candy sticks! Keep soil moist and give these tropical plants medium to bright light and warm temperatures above 65°F. Display alone or incorporate into garlands and wreaths. The unique foliage keeps the holiday spirit alive indoors!

The Christmas pepper’s festive coloring looks brilliant when displayed in a red or green container. Place in bright, indirect light near a window. Pinch back leggy stems to encourage bushier growth. Water when the top inch of soil is dry and mist leaves often for humidity. Fertilize monthly during the holidays with a balanced houseplant fertilizer.

Use Christmas peppers as accents in holiday wreaths, tablescapes, and centerpieces. Tuck stems into Christmas tree garlands or swag over a fireplace mantle. Group together on entry tables or scatter among other wintery decor. Let the playful colors and shapes shine as fun touches in your Christmas decorations.

Houseplants for Festive Christmas Decorating


For traditional holiday cheer, include holly plants with glossy, spiky-edged green leaves and red berries. English holly varieties work well indoors. Give holly medium to bright indirect sunlight. Keep soil evenly moist. Toxic if ingested, so keep away from pets and kids. Use holly in table centerpieces and mantle garlands for classic Christmas beauty.

English holly grows well as a houseplant year round. Allow soil to partially dry between waterings and mist leaves often. Fertilize monthly during winter with a balanced fertilizer. For safety, opt for holly plants with fake berries if decorating around children or pets. The spiky leaves alone lend festive flair.

Display small holly plants in planters on side tables and mantles. Cut stems to create traditional wreaths and swags over doorways and on stair railings. Incorporate holly leaves and stems into evergreen centerpieces and garlands. Pair with pinecones, flowers, and red berries for classic Christmas appeal.

Houseplants for Festive Christmas Decorating

Mistletoe Cactus

Named for its white berries and thick, oval-shaped leaves, the mistletoe cactus brings Southwestern flair to Christmas decor. Also called the zig-zag cactus, the segments grow in a zig-zag pattern. Display alone in a red or green pot or incorporate into desert-themed decor. Bright indirect light keeps it thriving. Water weekly and mist occasionally.

Give the mistletoe cactus as much sunlight as possible indoors to maintain its compact shape. Allow the soil to dry between waterings, then soak thoroughly. Turn the pot periodically to prevent uneven leaning growth. Control growth by limiting fertilizer over winter. If desired, suspend strings of mini lights over the cactus for fun holiday sparkle!

Use the mistletoe cactus’s unique shape and berries to add festive texture to southwestern Christmas decor. Display potted mistletoe cacti on mantles and countertops with other succulents. Use cut sections in Nativity scenes. Add faux berries if needed. Include in wreaths, trees, and centerpieces focused on desert-inspired hues and textures.

Houseplants for Festive Christmas Decorating

Christmas Orchids

Add an elegant touch with Christmas orchids, available each holiday season in festive colors like red, white, green, pink, purple and gold. The most common types have spiky flower spikes with ruffled or speckled petals. Provide humidity, indirect sunlight, and thorough watering after drying. Use orchids as living centerpieces and holiday gifts.

Holiday orchids thrive in temperatures between 60-80°F with moderate humidity levels. Water by soaking the potting mix thoroughly then letting excess drain. Water again once the potting mix is partly dry. Give bright indirect sunlight or 12-14 hours under grow lights daily.

Display Christmas orchids on tabletops and mantles surrounded by holiday decorations. In centerpieces, pair them with evergreens, candles, ribbons, and ornaments. For an elegant look, place several orchids together in a decorative planter on the dining table or entryway. Use orchids in holiday wreaths and garlands for pops of festive color.

Houseplants for Festive Christmas Decorating


Cyclamen produce dainty flowers in white, red, pink, and purple atop marbled round leaves. They bloom in winter and look beautiful in wreaths, centerpieces, and planters. Keep soil moist and water from the bottom. Give bright indirect light. Grow cool, around 60-65°F. Add lovely form and festive blooms to your holiday decorating with cheerful cyclamen.

Give cyclamen bright, filtered sunlight to prolong its winter blooming period. Water from the drainage holes whenever the soil surface feels dry. Avoid overwatering and letting water touch the tuber. Mist leaves often for the humidity cyclamen prefer. Remove spent blooms promptly to encourage new buds. Repot annually after flowering.

Use cyclamen as living decorations on holiday tables and mantles. Display in planters with holiday greenery and decor. Tuck into fresh Christmas wreaths for pops of color. Group together cyclamen of different colors for pretty holiday pots. Let their delicate blooms and forms shine as centerpieces or thoughtful holiday gifts.

Houseplants for Festive Christmas Decorating


Kalanchoe plants bloom in winter with swirls of colorful flowers in red, pink, orange, yellow, or white. The succulent leaves add fun texture. Kalanchoes thrive in average room humidity and temperatures. Allow soil to dry between waterings. Give bright indirect sunlight. Use kalanchoes in mini gardens, centerpieces, and decorations for lively holiday cheer.

Give kalanchoe medium to bright indirect sunlight. Water thoroughly when the soil is partly dry, then allow to drain completely. Avoid misting the leaves, which can encourage mold to form. Display kalanchoes indoors in temperatures between 65-80°F. Remove faded blooms to prolong the winter flowering period.

With their festive colors and drought-tolerant nature, kalanchoes are perfect low-maintenance holiday plants. Display on mantles and tabletops in decorative pots with bows or ornaments. Use stems in wreaths, garlands, and tree decorating. Plant several together in mini indoor gardens with succulents, evergreens, and holiday decor.

Houseplants for Festive Christmas Decorating

Holiday Cacti

For easy care, opt for hardy holiday cacti varieties like the Crab Cactus and Easter Cactus that bloom in late winter with red, white, orange, or purple flowers. Provide bright light, minimal watering, and average room temps around 65-75°F. Use as tabletop plants and in southwestern or winter-inspired decorations.

Holiday cacti are among the lowest maintenance houseplants for Christmas decorating. Allow soil to dry completely between waterings, then soak well and drain. Turn occasionally and prune lightly after flowering. Give as much sunlight as possible for the most prolific blooms. Avoid drafts and protect from frost when transported outdoors.

Holiday cacti are perfect for decorating on the lighter, easier side. Their minimal needs allow them to thrive through the busy season. Display holiday cacti in rustic planters with ornaments, pinecones and burlap bows. Use in centerpieces, wreaths, and garlands to complement other festive blooming plants.

Houseplants for Festive Christmas Decorating

With a little basic care, these holiday houseplants will thrive through the season to provide long-lasting living beauty your Christmas decor scheme! Adorn your home with their green foliage, festive flowers, and traditional holiday spirit.

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