While people generally don't associate flowers with Christmas, there are lots of blooms that thrive and blossom during the festive season. These flowers and greenery can add a beautiful touch to your holiday decor, and they make a perfect gift especially for hostesses and teachers. Here are some of the most commonly found seasonal flowers.
- Poinsettia - The poinsettia is by far the most popular Christmas flower. Nearly everywhere you go during the holiday season you'll see these large red or white blooms decorating storefronts and offices. When purchasing poinsettias, choose plants with moist soil and lush leaves. Look for a sturdy, healthy plant with lots of petals that don't fall off easily. Note: poinsettias are poisonous to cats, so keep that in mind when gift-giving.
- Holly - The bright red and green of the holly leaves and berries were the inspiration for traditional Christmas colors. Decorating your home with holly is a custom that predates the Christian celebration of Christmas, and can be traced back to early Roman times. Holly is generally a bit brittle, so handle with care. Do not purchase holly that appears to have holes in the leaves or brown spots anywhere - this can indicate disease or insects have damaged the plant.
- Mistletoe - Mistletoe is customarily hung over doorways or on the ceiling. It is said that any couple standing under the mistletoe must kiss; after the kiss, the man should remove one of the berries. When all of the berries have been taken from the mistletoe, the kissing is no longer required. This evergreen plant has lovely yellow or white berries, and is usually sold in bunches. Mistletoe is poisonous and should be kept away from pets.
- Christmas Cactus - While the Christmas cactus is a tropical plant, it actually thrives in cooler temperatures. It's a tricky little plant to keep in bloom, but the red blossoms are absolutely beautiful. Avoid cacti that have tinges of red on their leaves, as this indicates that the cactus has been exposed to too much light, which causes the leaves to burn.
- Amaryllis - Amaryllis is native to Africa and grows from a bulb. The plant looks somewhat delicate, but it is actually quite hearty and will thrive indoors during the winter months. The blooms come in various colors, but at Christmastime red and white are most popular.
- Christmas Roses - Christmas roses are most commonly found in Britain, as the tradition of the Christmas rose was started and became popular there. The rose was named for the story of a shepherdess who witnessed the three wise men arriving with gifts for the baby Jesus. She had no gift to offer of her own until an angel appeared and guided her to a beautiful rose hidden under the snow.
Virtually any type of cut flowers that feature the traditional colors of green, red, and white can be displayed proudly for Christmas. You can also pick up wreaths, centerpieces, and candle displays to further enhance the floral element of your holiday decor.