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How to Get the Most from Holiday Indoor Plants

Curious about how to take care of poinsettias, or what to expect from a Christmas cactus? Learn more about holiday houseplants.

Maybe you’ve decked your home with holiday plants to brighten the winter days.

Perhaps holiday guests gifted you with a poinsettia plant or Christmas cactus to liven up the living space and spread joy.

Or maybe you’re looking for great last-minute Christmas gifts, or the perfect present for someone with a green thumb.

Houseplants are versatile and liven up a space. Learn more about these five holiday plants, and how to enjoy them even after Christmas is over.

1. Poinsettia plant a holiday classic

Colorful poinsettias make wonderful holiday gifts. With more than 100 varieties, in shades of red, white, pink and more, these holiday plants can be found just about everywhere.

With proper poinsettia care, your plants may last a month or more. Place them in indirect light and water when the soil is dry, but make sure the pots can drain well.

2. Colorful Christmas cactus

Red and green all over, this flowering houseplant is easy to care for and bursts with sweet, red blooms all season.  Enjoy your Christmas cactus year after year — it’s an annual bloomer! (It also has been known to bloom more than once a year.)

3. The stately amaryllis flower

The ultimate statement piece, amaryllis bulbs deliver a big floral punch. Bold, stunning and elegant, the amaryllis flower delights in shades of vibrant red and snowy white.

Amaryllis care: The plant needs warmth and sun while growing. After flowering, placing the amaryllis plant in a cool spot out of direct sunlight will allow you to enjoy the colorful blooms for weeks. Keep the soil barely moist, and avoid getting the top of the amaryllis bulb wet.

4. Stunning Norfolk Island pine

A mini Christmas tree, the Norfolk Island pine looks festive when adorned with mini lights and homemade ornaments or just plain on its own. Plus, they can grow up to 12 feet tall if properly cared for. This includes planting in well-drained soil and giving them exposure to natural light.

5. Delightful cyclamen flower

The cyclamen plant’s densely heart-shaped foliage hugs and surrounds whimsical and amazing flowers. With bright flowers in shades of pink, white or red, they’re great for adding a pop of color where you need it. Under the right conditions, they can bloom for eight weeks or more.

To avoid rot, you can water your cyclamen plant by placing the pot in a tray of water, allowing the roots to absorb what they need through the drainage holes. Do this only when the soil feels dry; drain any excess water from the tray afterward.

Three tips to keep holiday houseplants happy

1.    Wrap it up 

Take holiday houseplants out of original packaging and place in a festive container. Get creative — tie a bow around it or paint the pot. Be sure there are adequate drain holes, and a drainage tray.

2.    The right soil

Follow the directions that come with your plant. Otherwise, fill the pot with organic potting soil that will drain well.

3.    Let it shine

Read the plant tag to learn your holiday houseplant’s sunlight, temperature and water requirements. A south-facing window offers maximum sunlight (but don’t let plants touch the glass).

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is by placing a holiday plant here and there! Enjoy those blooming beauties all season.

This article was originally published at Angie’s List.