Potted plants make a great holiday gift for so many people on your list: the hostess of a Christmas buffet, your child’s teacher, or your officemate. Here are five beautiful blooming plants that are sure to provide holiday cheer:
Cyclamens are hardy houseplants that can be counted on to produce delicate blooms in reds, whites, purples, and mixed colors throughout the winter months. They like a sunny but cool spot, as nighttime heat can affect the quality of their blooms. They are drought intolerant and should be watered whenever their soil is at all dry.
The showy gerbera daisy, with its familiar sunflower shape in shades of yellow, orange, pink, and red, is the perfect potted pick-me-up for the dark winter months. The flowers will last a long time in a sunny spot that doesn’t get above about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Gerbera daisies don’t like too much water and their soil should be allowed to dry out completely between waterings.
Amaryllis bulbs planted in potting compost will be ready to bloom in seven to ten weeks with large and colorful flowers. After the blooms are done, they can be snipped off and the stem cut back to the bulb. Set the plants in the garden after the danger of frost in the spring and keep well-watered. In early fall, cut back the leaves and bring the bulbs inside. Store in a cool dark place for six weeks, then repot for another season of holiday blooms.
This hardy and bloom-covered succulent can be found in holiday displays throughout the season. Make sure the Christmas cactus has a sunny spot and is watered as soon as the first inch of soil in its pot dries out. In the summer, the Christmas cactus can be set outside in a semi-shady area then brought back in in early fall. Placing the plant in a cool dark place like a closet for 12 hours a night for about seven weeks will force another round of holiday blooms.
The poinsettia may be the quintessential holiday plant. It is hardy, readily available, and easy to care for. Place your poinsettia in a sunny place away from drafts, and let it dry out between waterings. Most commercially produced poinsettia should bloom through the winter with minimum fuss.
No matter how picky the folks on your holiday gift list are, they are sure to enjoy one of these beautiful blooming houseplants this season.