Blooming plants are an essential component to any holiday decorating and design, and are filling our greenhouse shelves throughout the month of November. Luscious options like poinsettias, amaryllis, Christmas cactus, and cyclamen are in full bloom this time of year, adding beautiful bursts of reds, whites, and pinks to your festive holiday displays. Don’t forget about fragrant options like hyacinth and paperwhites, too!
Bloomers can be used as table toppers, centerpieces or decorative accents for your home or office. Their soft petals and leaves create a wonderful compliment to the dark green tones and rigid needles of evergreen trees, wreaths, and boughs. Holiday bloomers also make great traditional holiday gifts that can be enjoyed through the holiday season and beyond.
Make poinsettias, Christmas cactus, bulbs, and cyclamen part of your decorating and gift giving plans this holiday season!
Poinsettias are not only one of the most popular plants of the Christmas season, they are also one of the most potted flowers in the United States with over 34 million grown each year. Poinsettias have small yellow flower clusters that are surrounded by brightly colored leaves called bracts which are the true star of the show. Poinsettias have become more and more popular with the introduction of long-lasting cultivars that keep their color well into March. While the red-leaved varieties may be the most popular and common, poinsettias grow naturally in a range of colors including the following that are available at Fort Collins Nursery:
- Ice Punch (Bicolor punchy pink/red with white splash in middle)
- Jingle Bells (Red with white speckles)
- Picasso (Red with whitish/yellow dusting)
- Winter Rose Red (Red compact curled bracts)
- Maren (Salmon pink)
Care: Poinsettias thrive in indirect, natural sunlight so place your plant near a sunny well-lit window but not directly in the light (direct light may fade the plant’s color). South, east or west exposures are ideal. Poinsettias are tropical plants and prefer warmer temperatures of 65-75°F during the flowering season. Avoid drafty locations near exterior doors to prevent cold air from shocking the foliage. Keep your soil evenly moist and well drained but be sure not to overwater.
Ask our staff for tips to extend the life of your poinsettia after flowering.
Amaryllis are another popular holiday plant, revered for their massive long lasting trumpet-like flowers. These tropical beauties are a great source of vibrant holiday color. Like poinsettias, the red varieties are more typically associated with the holidays but they also come in other shades of white, pink, and mixed colors. Amaryllis are easy to grow bulbs – simply plant the bulb in good potting soil, water regularly, and provide bright indirect light. Of all the flowering bulbs, amaryllis are the easiest to grow and your plant should begin blooming six to eight weeks after planting. As a general rule of thumb, plant your bulbs by October 15th for them to bloom by Thanksgiving, early November for them to bloom by Christmas, and mid-November for them to bloom by the New Year.
Care: Amaryllis prefer bright light with evenly moist soil. Be careful not to over-water.
Ask our staff for tips to extend the life of your amaryllis after flowering.
Christmas cactus are great holiday bloomers that produce exotic flowers in a variety of colors that hang down like lovely Christmas ornaments from the end of the plant’s leaves. Their long-lived blooms span all the seasonal holidays from November through January. They are low maintenance and easy to grow which makes them a popular choice for indoor growers this time of year. Fort Collins Nursery has a great selection of Christmas cactus in red, pink, white, violet, and apricot.
Care: Christmas cactus prefer a well-lit spot, shaded from direct sunlight. They prefer warm temperatures in the 55-70°F range. Water your Christmas cactus when the soil begins to dry and be sure not to let them go completely dry while in bloom.
Ask our staff for tips to extend the life of your Christmas cactus after flowering.
Cyclamen are another popular and easy to care for winter bloomer. They have long stalks of beautiful upswept flowers that grow in shades of red, white, pink, violet, and salmon and bloom for weeks. Their attractive foliage features dark green heart-shaped leaves, often with a silver marbled pattern. Cyclamen have a compact growth habit reaching only about 8 inches tall, making them a great fit for small spaces.
Care: Cyclamen prefer bright indirect light away from direct sunlight. They also like cooler temperatures around 50-60°F at night and no more than 65-68°F during the day. Warmer temperatures can cause the plant to yellow and the flowers to fade. A north or west facing windowsill is an ideal location to accommodate the plants lighting and temperature needs. Keep the soil moist but not soggy at all times. Deadhead to promote more blooms.
Ask our staff for tips to extend the life of your Cyclamen after flowering.
Originally published on November 2nd, 2018. Updated on December 9th, 2020.