Winter Flowers for the Holiday Season

Going green — By on December 1, 2010 at 6:41 am
narcissus 2 Winter Flowers for the Holiday Season

Forced bulbs like these Narcissus are beautiful winter flowers

I cannot believe that its December already!  If you are decorating your home, why not consider some of these lovely winter flowers for the holiday season?  Even better, these potted plants make a nice hostess gift or thoughtful present for someone who deserves some Christmas cheer.

Sure, the poinsettia is a seasonal favorite, but there are a wide range of indoor plants that are equally beautiful, and a little more interesting (in my humble opinion).  Just because its cold outside doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy bright flowers and foliage.

Try one of these winter plants for a change!

cyclamen coum mixed1 edited Winter Flowers for the Holiday Season

Cyclamens are a winter flower favorite

Cyclamens

I love how easy cyclamens are to care for.  They are one of the most beautiful winter flowers, and they bloom for weeks.  Cyclamens come in deep reds, purples, pinks and whites.  A few rare varieties even have multi-color blooms.

Cyclamens do well in cool climates.  Don’t expose them to a warm vent or in a place where sunlight is too intense.

large hg10cact2 Winter Flowers for the Holiday Season

A beautiful, bright Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus

The word “cactus” should be a hint here!  The Christmas Cactus is hardy, drought-tolerant and easy to care for.   Unusual bright pink or red blooms extend from the ends of the stems, with bright green leaves flanking the flowers.  Christmas cacti do well as hanging plants, but are equally happy to sit on an end table in your living room.

The plant blooms during the holiday months (hence the moniker, “Christmas”) and is fairly easy to find at greenhouses.

 Winter Flowers for the Holiday Season

Fragrant Paperwhite flowers

Paper Whites

My mother-in-law always gives me Paper White bulbs to force in December.  Its an annual tradition of ours for the past 15 years.  I love bulbs, and I so enjoy watching the green stems shoot up from smooth river rocks, then… a few days later… delicate white blooms.  An added bonus – the flowers have a beautiful fragrance.

Sadly, the forced flowers don’t last long – less than a week.  Try to time your indoor planting of Paper Whites (also called Narcissus) between December 8-10.

Amaryllis Winter Flowers for the Holiday Season

Many colors of Amaryllis to delight

Amaryllis

Like Paper Whites, Amaryllis are forced bulbs.  Much larger than their delicate cousin, Amaryllis come in many different colors (white, pink, red, striped, purple, orange and “black” – a deep maroon) and varieties.  These flowers usually only have 1-2 blooms per stem.

Again, you’ll want to time the blooms to be at their peak on Christmas, if possible.  Start forcing your Amaryllis bulb no later than December 10.

4437120627 c1479898cb Winter Flowers for the Holiday Season

Red Kalenchoe blooms (image by JayJayC on Flickr)

Kalenchoe

I’ve always been partial to Kalenchoe plants.  Like Cyclamen, they are hardy and so easy to care for as indoor plants.   Kalenchoe is also not picky about sunlit windows.  In fact, it thrives there!

There are over 130 varieties of Kalenchoe and the long-lasting blooms come in many gorgeous colors.  The leaves of this succulent plant are a deep, glossy green – beautiful even after the flowers have faded away.

hellebores 2 Winter Flowers for the Holiday Season

I love the purple color of these Lenten Roses

Hellebores

Also known as Christmas or Lenten Rose, Hellebores are evergreen perennial plants, usually planted outdoors, but that also do very well as long-blooming indoor plants.  Although they can be hard to find, Hellebores are quite the gift when you locate them.  Intricate blooms colored purple, pink, white and green can thrill even the most difficult to shop for recipient.

After the season is over, you can plant Hellebores outside, if the conditions permit.

POINSETTIA Winter Flowers for the Holiday Season

Poinsettias - pretty, but predictable

Don’t get me wrong – I think Poinsettia plants are very nice during the holiday season.  But they are so… ho hum!  Winter flowers for the holiday season can be more than pretty and predictable.

Pick one of these beautiful indoor plants for your home, or for a memorable gift.

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