7 Surprising Facts About Holiday Flowers and Plants

Get in a festive mood with these surprising facts about your favorite holiday plants, like Christmas cactus, amaryllis and poinsettia.

Poinsettias Are Even More Popular Than You Think

Poinsettia Plant Christmas Star FlowerMatic Grmek/Getty Images

Over 34 million poinsettias are sold each year. This makes them one of the most popular holiday flowers and plants in the United States. Learn how to care for poinsettias after the holidays.

Christmas Trees Are a Top Farm Crop

Shutterstock 122212507Nadiia Korol/Shutterstock

Though artificial trees are still a more common choice for American households, 25 to 30 million real Christmas trees are sold in the U.S. each year. The top Christmas tree growing states are Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Washington.

Discover more fun facts about Christmas trees and the learn the types of Christmas trees you can grow in your own backyard.

Delaware Has a Festive State Tree

holiday flowers and plants, american holly, cedar waxwingCourtesy Stewart Spielman
Cedar waxwing in an American holly tree

American holly—the cheery evergreen with bountiful red berries—was named the state tree of Delaware in 1939. Do you know the national flower, bird, and tree?

Psst! Meet the festive flock of birds in the 12 Days of Christmas.

This Dwarf Christmas Tree Can Grow Giant

holiday flower and plantsLynn Hunt / EyeEm/Getty Images
Norfolk island pine surrounded by other holiday plants

Norfolk Island pines make charming tabletop Christmas trees. Most people know the miniature version, but in the wild the pines can reach 200 feet.

Check out the top 10 dwarf conifers for small spaces.

Amaryllis Flowers Add Needed Winter Color

holiday flowers and plantsCourtesy Michael Abel
A red amaryllis with four blooms

The United States imports 10 million amaryllis bulbs every year, mostly from South Africa and Holland. Once an amaryllis flowers, each stalk can produce 2 to 6 blooms in a range of colors, including red, white, green, pink and orange.

Check out our favorite 10 easy-care holiday houseplants.

There’s a Trick for Growing Paperwhite Flowers

Paperwhite Narcissus flowerCoinUp/Getty Images

Paperwhite flowers look and smell lovely, but often grow too tall and flop over. Curb their climb by watering with a 5% alcohol solution. They’ll be shorter but just as pretty. Get more tips for growing paperwhites indoors.

Keep Christmas Cactus in the Dark

Christmas Cactus careSARATM/GETTY IMAGES

Christmas cacti are attractive holiday flowers but the plants but very picky. To get your Christmas cactus to bloom, provide them with cool nights (55 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit) and 14 hours of darkness.

Next, learn how to grow a Thanksgiving cactus.

Lori Vanover
Lori has 20 years of experience writing and editing home, garden, birding and lifestyle content for several publishers. As Birds & Blooms senior digital editor, she leads a team of writers and editors sharing birding tips and expert gardening advice. Since joining Trusted Media Brands 13 years ago, she has held roles in digital and print, editing magazines and books, curating special interest publications, managing social media accounts, creating digital content and newsletters, and working with the Field Editors—Birds & Blooms network of more than 50 backyard birders. Passionate about animals and nature, Lori has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural and Environmental Communications from the University of Illinois. In 2023, she became certified as a Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener, and she is a member of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology and sits on the organization's Publications Advisory Committee. She frequently checks on her bird feeders while working from home and tests new varieties of perennials, herbs and vegetable plants in her ever-growing backyard gardens.