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The best festive houseplants for Christmas

White Anthurium from Suttons

Fill your home with festive houseplants this Christmas. Whether you want scented flowers, bold colour displays or glossy green foliage, you’ll find it all possible with our top festive indoor plant picks. 

How to care for your festive houseplants

Whichever houseplants you choose to decorate your home at Christmas, giving them the right care will extend their shelf life and improve their foliar and flower displays. Follow this basic checklist to keep your plants happy:

  • Check moisture levels in the potting medium regularly, making sure it stays moist, not wet
  • Deadhead spent flowers from your flowering houseplants to keep them looking fresh and healthy. 
  • Keep your plants away from dry heat, and increase humidity around the leaves by placing your potted plants on pebble-filled trays of water. 

Following these steps will keep your festive plants happy however you want to use them in your home.

Best houseplants for the Christmas table

Amaryllis Red Bulb - Giant Wax Gold from Suttons
Festive houseplants make the perfect table centrepiece
Image: Amaryllis Red Bulb – Giant Wax Gold from Suttons

For the Christmas table, choose scentless plants that won’t put you off your turkey. Amaryllis bulbs are tall, compact, and not only are the flowers completely scentless, they’re striking, multi-headed and come in a range of colours too. Amaryllis bulbs are also great value for money, as they have the capacity to flower again at Christmas year after year, unlike any other forced bulbs which only tolerate forcing once. 

Choose amaryllis ‘Minerva’ for its block red flowers with white centres, and for a quieter colour scheme amaryllis ‘Picotee’, which flowers in pale white with petals delicately edged in red. Or to escape red completely, plant a cream and green flowering ‘Lemon Star’ for a fresh addition to your seasonal colour scheme. For something a bit different, take a look at our wax coated amaryllis bulbs. These bulbs produce a flower three to five weeks after purchase, requiring no messy soil, large pots or even any water! Simply place your wax coated bulb on the table and leave it to flower. 

Other scentless table toppers include the bushy azaleas. Try a white azalea for a sophisticated and light centrepiece, or, for a bit of fun, enjoy pink and white picotee flowers from the Christmas tree shaped bi-colour azalea plant.

The best festive houseplants for gifting

Orchid ‘Brassia Summer Dream’ from Suttons
Give your loved one a tropical house plant this Christmas 
Image: Orchid ‘Brassia Summer Dream’ from Suttons

For an extra stylish Christmas gift, check out our Fair Isle jumper covered amaryllis bulbs. This fun gift produces a flower from its own unique hand knitted sweater. Or to fill a loved one’s room with warm Christmas cheer – our amaryllis with lights gently adds to festive illuminations. As a complete Christmas decoration in its own right, with both flowering bulb and festive fairy lights inside a decorative moss-filled vase, this thoughtful decoration just needs placing in a prominent position to enjoy. 

The classic festive houseplant must be the Christmas cactus, whose trailing stems bear brightly coloured blooms. Choose a red flowering Christmas cactus or a white flower with subtle pink detailing in the throat. These plants require little attention and flower prolifically, so do make a fantastic Christmas gift especially for low confidence growers!

If you want to give a truly special gift this Christmas, opt for the exotic. Orchid ‘Brassia Summer Dream’ is a great gift for plant lovers with a little more growing experience. The recipient of this beautiful orchid will get to enjoy three to seven spider-like blooms in crimson and yellow for six weeks of the year!

The best festive houseplants for festive colour & scent

Azalea ‘Darious’ from Suttons
Buy an Azalea ‘Darious’ if you want block red festive colour 
Image: Azalea ‘Darious’ from Suttons

Fill the house with magical reds, greens and golds, using brightly coloured flowering plants. Try Indoor potted azaleas for their brightly coloured flowers. Azalea ‘Darious’ produces dark green, glossy foliage which sets off its crimson flowers and creates a Christmas colour combination to bring to mind festive holly berries.

Add blush pink and crimson to your colour palette with the classic ‘moth’ orchids, ‘Rose Magic Art’ flowers, with eye-catching watercolour effect petals which look almost unreal. Forced indoor bulbs will flower in time for Christmas – use hyacinth, narcissus, tulips and crocus flowers to bring a whole range of different colours, scents and flower shapes to your Christmas decorations.

Add a gentle scent to your home by growing the orchid ‘Star Class Apollon’. This beautiful plant produces its perfumed blooms on compact stems, making it perfect for placing on a windowsill or side table. Stephanotis is a slightly stronger scented blossom, try placing it in a hallway at Christmas for a subtle decorative touch — guests will enter your home and instantly appreciate the sweet perfume. Jasmine polyanthus is another classic strongly scented plant. Both stephanotis and jasmine arrive trained in attractive loops to provide instant visual impact in the house.

The best festive houseplants for foliage

Begonia ‘Escargot’ from Suttons
Begonias are best for their festive leaf colours
Image: Begonia ‘Escargot’ from Suttons

If you prefer a pared back, Nordic house at Christmas time and enjoy natural minimalistic colour schemes, invest in some wonderful foliage houseplants. Use ferns to complement your Christmas tree or natural pine bough decorations. Their feathery fronds provide a soft touch of green, so plant up an indoor ‘grotto’ using natural effect containers. Dryopteris affinis is an excellent fern, producing attractive fronds that mature from delicate yellow green to a deep green, and reach up to one metre in height! 

For a stand out conversation starter, consider an umbrella plant grown on porous lava rock — the roots of this tree cling toa porous piece of volcanic rock, extracting moisture and nutrients from its surface and the surrounding air. Foliar plants provide a display all year round so provide great value for money and are a great option for eco conscious households too.

Choose begonias for their eye-catching foliage in fun shapes, patterns and colours. Just like the name, Begonia ‘Escargot’ produces deep silvery foliage in attractive tight spirals with crimson lining, perfect for drawing the eye and softening edges. Opt for a begonia ‘Blackberry Swirl’ if red is your favourite Christmas colour, these leaves are silvery with an edging of deep red and purple. ‘Maculata’ is a popular begonia with luminescent leaves that look like they’ve been splodged with snow, perfect for bringing out darker areas of the house.

We hope you like our festive house plant suggestions! If you think we’ve missed any of your favourites, drop us an email. Share a picture of your Christmas houseplant displays with us via social media, either on Twitter or Instagram. Send a plant gift to a loved one this Christmas for a beautiful way to show you care.

Lead image: White Anthurium from Suttons

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