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Favourite Christmas Plant 2023

on Thursday, 23 November 2023. Posted in News

Over the past few years we have had a committee of well known people from the industry vote from a selection of plants to pick their favourite for Christmas. This year we are embarking on a similar idea but the choice is from the top plants listed over the last few years.

So we are asking which is your favourite Christmas plant from the following list? Things to consider should be its resilience, how it adds to your Christmas decorations or just the one you love best.

We will be involving a panel of judges from the industry as usual to make the final decision but meanwhile anyone can vote - send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We look forward to seeing your choices!

Poinsettia - Stars for Europe
Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) has taken the top spot before – I wonder if it will again this year? They are truly popular potted plants, particularly during the Christmas season. Originally from Mexico, their brightly coloured bracts or crisp and clean white bracts make them a good choice for Christmas.
Things to know: Very sensitive to the cold and draughts.

Christmas star

Poinsettia

Poinsettia images courtesy of 'Christmas-Star.info' 

Christmas Cactus aka Schlumbergera

In the wild, Schlumbergera grow in tropical rainforests attached to trees. They need different growing conditions to desert cacti. So they need to be kept away from bright sunlight and do best in a humid environment. Be careful not to over water.

Schlumbergera flower over the Christmas period, from late November to January. They add to your Christmas decorations and make good Christmas gifts – their bright, trumpet-shaped flowers in shades of red, white, pink and purple bring a welcome splash of colour to any room. Their flat, segmented and trailing stems look attractive all year round.

 Cactus 2

 Amaryllis aka Hippeastrum

These exotic lilies are easy to grow and have the most exuberant blooms. Water sparingly until you see signs of growth then water regularly, keep in a bright space but not in direct sunlight.

Hippeastrum FCH lr 2

Amaryllis 1

Paper whites - all white Narcissi
Paperwhites (Narcissus papyraceus) can be grown in soil or water and pebbles. They like the autumn sun so keep them in a light preferably sunny place. Pots stacked full of them or glass vases, also packed, for the water and pebble versions, will make a great display using several of the same.

Narrow glass vases will keep your paper whites straight or in pots, use decorative twigs as ‘stakes’. Their delicate perfume is another plus.

Narcissi 2

Hellebore
Hellebores are essentially an outdoor plant that flower from December through spring regardless of bad weather. The Christmas Rose or Hellebore Niger is no different. Using them as an indoor plant especially at Christmas time is fine as long as you remember a couple of things: it likes the light but not the heat inside most homes.

So it is fine to use as part of your Christmas decorations when you have guests as long as you keep it in a cool, well lit spot the rest of the time i.e. an enclosed porch or a drafty hallway!
Water sparingly but don’t let it dry out. After the Christmas period you can slowly acclimatise it to life outside.

Hellebore

White Muscari
With thoughts of spring, there is always room for bulbs at Christmas. A planted bowl/container of white Muscari is perfect as part of your Christmas decorations and have the benefit of being transferred to the garden after the celebrations.

White Muscari courtesy of Claudia de Yong

Rosemary/fir trees

For the perfect Christmas feel, use miniature fir trees or even Rosemary ‘trees’ to give that seasonal feeling. All of these ‘trees’ also have their own perfume as an added bonus. They can be decorated simply to embrace the feeling of Christmas too.

Rosemary tree

Hyacinth

These heavily perfumed flowers are another seasonal favourite filling homes and offices with thoughts of spring. Of course you can show them off in planted bowls but they are now often available as waxed bulbs, which means they need no extra care. They can sit as part of a display, a dinner present or however you choose.

White hyacinth

Cyclamen

Cyclamens are well known for their colourful flowers in shades of pink, red, white and even purple. They certainly add a cheerful look for winter. Caring for Cyclamen is relatively easy too just 

Keep the soil moist - don't let it dry out

Remove any dead or fading flowers by pulling out the whole stem

Cyclamen Pinterest

Phalaenopsis Orchid
Orchids still feel exotic even though they are in plentiful supply and are easy to care for. There are many different species but we are sticking to the most popular, Phalaenopsis for our Christmas choice.
We’re also selecting white or red orchids for the Christmas season. Pure white orchids are easy to find but red Phalaenopsis are a little more difficult – although there are other species of orchid that often appear in red (Miltonia, Cambria).

Caring for orchids is relatively easy: they like a light place but not direct sunlight or too close to central heating. They don’t like wet feet either so be sure they are drained well after watering.
Images courtesy of orchidsinfo.eu

White orchid

Orchid red

Images courtesy of orchidsinfo.eu

In previous years, the following plants have won the prodigious title of Favourite Christmas Houseplant:

2022   Chrismas Cactus

2021   White Muscari

2020   Paperwhite

2019   Poinsettia

Which plant will be this year's winner?

Selected information from At Home with Plants by Ian Drummond and Kara O’Reilly

Images from various sources and via Pinterest