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The Christmas Guide: Festive Plants

The Christmas Guide: Festive Plants

How to Make Your Christmas Plants Thrive 'til Santa Arrives

Keep your holiday plants beautiful the whole season long and beyond.

Greenery and flowers add colour and life to your home on a chilly winter's day. But if yours never seem to last once you get them home, you may be treating them all wrong. "Many holiday plants can thrive for years with the right conditions and care. Here's how to ensure your plants won't end up as the Ghost of Christmas Past before the festive period arrives. We have chosen some of our favourite plants to help you curate your festive greenery. 

CHRISTMAS CACTUS

These are one of the hardier holiday plants and can last for years and years. Different species bloom at different times of year including late November and Easter.

HOW TO CARE FOR IT

Place in a bright window. Flower buds that drop before opening may be caused by warm temperatures or overly dry soil. Water when dry, but don't let the plant sit in water. They're a succulent and the pads get soft and mushy if you overwater. Check pot every seven to 10 days.

KEEP OR THROW?

Keep! To get flowers to set next year, take the plant outdoors for about three weeks in late summer to early autumn, bringing it indoors before temperatures dip. They prefer to be pot-bound, so no need to re-pot for years. Fertilize monthly between April to October.

FROSTY FERN


These adorable tiny fern-like plants tinged with white are a newcomer to the festive scene. 

HOW TO CARE FOR IT

Place in low to medium light. They prefer consistent humidity, so they do well in terrariums. Keep the soil slightly moist. Use room temperature, not cold, water. Water from below by placing in a saucer of water, letting it absorb for 15 minutes, then removing the plant.

KEEP OR THROW?

Keep, if you're lucky. The plant is on the finicky side and often dies long before you get tired of it. No worries. Enjoy its delicate form as long as you can.

NORFOLK PINE


This long-lasting plant is native to the South Pacific so it cannot be planted outdoors in most climates.

HOW TO CARE FOR IT

Keep it in medium-bright light such as an east or west-facing window. It needs about six to eight hours of light per day. Light conditions that are too low may cause lower branches to drop. Water when dry to the touch, but don't let it dry out too much or you'll get loads of brown needles.

KEEP OR THROW?

Keep! Every two years, refresh the planting medium by topdressing with new soil. It prefers to be pot-bound. You can take it outdoors in late spring if you like, but keep it shaded. Bring inside before temps drop. Fertilize every 6 to 8 weeks with a standard fertilizer. Throw-away when it gets too leggy because it won't re-grow lower branches that are lost.