80103thumbAfter all the Christmas decorations get put away for next year, and the Christmas tree eventually gets undressed from all its ornaments, and retired to the compost pile or greenwaste, all the pretty seasonal potted plants remain. Some will bloom, or at least maintain their current bloom, for months. Some might eventually get planted out in the garden. Others might stay potted in the home.

Poinsettias are the epitome of seasonal potted plants for Christmas. Their flashy red bracts last a very long time, even after the tiny yellow flowers are gone. Some are pink, white, pale yellow, peachy, marbled or spotted. They can be grown as foliar houseplants, but will not likely bloom next Christmas. If protected from frost in the garden, they get tall and lanky, and bloom in January.

Christmas cactus is an excellent potted plant either indoors or out where protected from frost. The pendulous growth cascades nicely from a hanging pot. It blooms in phases, but does not stick to a tight schedule. Amaryllis should also stay potted only because it does not do well in the garden over winter. Foliage that develops after bloom will die back next autumn before bloom next winter.

Holly and azalea can be planted directly into the garden where appropriate. Azalea will probably look shabby until it gets new growth. Cyclamen is a perennial in the garden, but dies back over summer. It just might come back with a surprise in autumn. Paperwhite narcissus is perennial too, but exhausts its resources on bloom, so takes a year or more to recover before blooming again.

Small living Christmas trees are more variable than they seem. Rosemary can either be kept potted and shorn, or planted into the garden and allowed to grow wild or into another form. Dwarf Alberta spruce can likewise stay potted or get planted into the garden, but needs no shearing. Both rosemary and dwarf Alberta spruce will want larger pots as they grow. Italian stone pine and Canary Island pine grow into large shady trees, so should only be planted into spacious landscapes that can accommodate them.

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9 thoughts on “Potted Plants For Christmas Color

  1. This year we have a poinsettia and a rosemary christmas tree. Also the lavender plants that I brought indoors for the winter. Usually we plant Hippeastrum or Amaryllis, but didn’t get around to it this year. I suppose it’s not too late.

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  2. I’ve not heard of rosemary being used for a Christmas tree. I have it rambling around in the garden and I used to prune and donate the cuttings to the council for the annual remembrance day and they distributed them to the veterans to wear in their lapels when they marched in the local parade.

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    1. Well, I have never heard of anyone wearing it. In my old neighborhood, the backside of a property across the road was covered with it. (The frontage was on Los Gatos Boulevard, so the back side of the property faced the fronts of our homes. I sort of dislike it, but my neighbor had me plant a two different varieties for cooking. The cultivar across the road was not good enough. It can be shorn like topiary, which means that it is sometimes shorn into cones.

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  3. I love Poinsettias. I kept one in a pot for about 10 years. I cut the branches right down to about 5 inches every year and put in partial shade in the garden. It was going well until I went on holiday for 2 weeks and the person looking after the house and garden drowned it and left it soaking in water. By the time I came back and noticed it was too late.

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