Published on 11/24/17

Create a winter wonderland indoors with plants

By Sage Barnard

When you think of Christmastime decor, there are some tried and true plants and greenery that immediately come to mind — poinsettias and Christmas cacti, for instance. While those are great choices to spruce up your home, there’s a whole world of plants out there to add a little more green to your holiday displays.

“Poinsettias are a Christmas classic but there are some many festive houseplants out there,” said Paul Thomas, professor of horticulture at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Check your local garden center and see what you can find. And remember, with proper care, your holiday décor plant can last year round — adding life to your home even after the holidays are over.”

All of the following plants are relatively hardy and low maintenance and will last throughout the holiday season.

Coralberry: The coralberry plant, also known as "Christmas berry," is a great addition to any holiday decorations, as it produces bright red berries that last long past Christmas time. This plant loves bright light, although direct sunlight is harmful to it. The typical humidity of a house is perfect for this plant.

Rosemary: This popular herb makes a wonderful plant to incorporate around Christmastime. It looks and smells great when added to a wreath or placed in vases around the house. Smelling rosemary is also supposed to bring the bearer good luck and protection, according to medieval legends.

Amaryllis: Another plant that encompasses the holiday colors, usually bred in shades of red or white, is the amaryllis. With huge bell-shaped flowers, this bulb thrives indoors at cooler temperatures, out of direct sunlight, and only needs to be misted with water twice a week.

Poinsettia: Poinsettias are one of the most popular holiday plants seen during the holidays. Everyone is used to seeing the original red poinsettia, with its crimson-colored bracts, or colored leaves. But here are a couple of unique varieties that will stand out in your home. The 'Ice Punch' poinsettia has the red bracts that are synonymous with Christmas, but this plant has a pinker tone. Another variety you don’t see very often is 'Winter Blush' poinsettia. The center of the bracts is a bright fuchsia with contrasting light-yellow veins and edges that are ringed with a cream color. 

Coleus: Coleus is a popular plant for both indoor and outdoor usage, but its green and red colors make it a perfect holiday staple. The leaves are usually ringed with a bright green and the center is filled with dark red and pink. Bright light is great for this plant, but if the light is too direct it will wash out the leaves. Water coleus regularly to help retain its bright color.

Sage Barnard is a student writer for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UGA Cooperative Extension.

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