10 Easy-Care Holiday Houseplants

Fuss-free and festive, these houseplants deck your halls with vibrant color. They make excellent holiday gifts, too!

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Holiday plants on stands
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Choosing Holiday Houseplants

Freshen up your holiday decor with live plants that last long past the holidays. Keep them looking festive by choosing holiday houseplants that thrive indoors. Look for ones that can handle the cold windows, limited light and low humidity found in our homes in winter. Here are a few suggestions for choosing and caring for holiday plants that are worth celebrating.

Psst—If you’re new to plant parenting, we’ve got you covered with the best houseplants for beginners, too. Bonus: Here’s what you need to know before you buy indoor plants online.

Christmas Cactus (schlumbergera)
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Christmas Cactus

Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera) can live for decades, which proves just how easy they are to care for. They are indeed a true cactus, but do not like to be bone dry. It’s also easy to propagate Christmas cactus. Just break off several segments of their chain-like leaves and stick the broken-off end directly in moist soil. Do this in late winter after flowering to have a nice-sized plant to give as a gift next year.

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Psst—a Thanksgiving cactus is the perfect turkey day centerpiece.

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Red Aglaonema

The pros at Costa Farms recommend Aglaonema, or Chinese evergreen, as one of the best indoor plants for beginners to grow. It easily handles indoor conditions and needs next to no care. The colorful leaves of red Aglaonema come in lots of pretty patterns with bright splashes of red or pink. They look great next to, or instead of, a poinsettia, and will keep their good looks and shiny leaves all year long.

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For a unique indoor plant gift idea, try a mushroom growing kit.

Close-up of a red and white amaryllis.


The bulbs of these gorgeous trumpet-shaped flowers are great for gift giving. In the spring, Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) can be planted directly into the garden to be enjoyed for years as a summer-flowering bulb, if you live in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 7 or higher. Or keep them as a potted plant. Get them to rebloom next winter by withholding light and water from the end of September until early November. You can also grow amaryllis from seed—here’s how.

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These indoor plant gifts will brighten your day.

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If you have a room on the cool side (and who doesn’t in winter?), that’s the perfect spot to prolong cyclamen‘s already long bloom season. Temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees F keep the winged flowers in shades of red, pink and white beautiful for months. These plants will last for years if kept evenly watered, but give them a drying out period of about six weeks if you want to trigger another season of blooms.

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Follow these expert tips for overwintering begonias as houseplants.

Norfolk Island Pine
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Norfolk Island Pine

Norfolk Island pine is perfect as a mini-Christmas tree. Although it’s not a true pine at all, this native of the tropics will enjoy spending summers on a shaded patio. It’s equally trouble-free as an outdoor plant, but will need to be brought inside before frost hits. Don’t try to overwinter it outside like these dwarf conifers. Once “home for the holidays,” give your Norfolk Island pine medium to bright light and keep it out of standing water.

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Check out 8 types of Christmas trees you can grow.

Red poinsettia
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No holiday plant list would be complete without a poinsettia. You’ll find these popular potted plants wrapped in decorative foil at garden centers and even grocery stores throughout the Christmas season. Keep them away from drafts and heat and water once a week for the best results. You can find these pretty plants in a variety of colors, including white, pink and red. Before growing one this holiday season, check out these 5 fascinating poinsettia facts.

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Learn how to care for poinsettias after the holidays.

Orchid plant gifts
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Moth Orchid

These gorgeous flowers look exotic but are surprisingly easy to care for. Even better, the flowers last for months (really!) so they are a great value. Moth orchid (Phalaenopsis) likes the same temperatures we do and prefers to dry out between watering. These flowers do like some humidity, so try them in a guest bathroom to create a spa-like vibe.

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You’ve probably been watering indoor plants the wrong way—here’s what to do instead.

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Stop by any grocery store or florist during the holidays and you’ll find kalanchoe in full bloom in colors like red, gold and white. These pretty plants are succulents, so they will survive even if the busy holiday season distracts you from watering. They don’t need humidity to thrive and are happy at room temperature. They appreciate a sunny spot and can go outside in warm weather, but keep kalanchoe away from your kids and pets — the leaves are toxic if eaten.

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Succulent Christmas trees are the CUTEST new Christmas decoration.

A colorful prayer plant sitting in a wicker basket.

Prayer Plant

Prayer plant (Maranta) gets its name from the fascinating way it closes its leaves each night. Red prayer plant has gorgeous red veining and other distinctive markings decorating its leaves. Prayer plant asks for regular watering and decent humidity; otherwise, it is happy with low light and average household temperatures. With this basic care this plant will live for years, gradually spreading up to two feet wide and occasionally flowering.

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Get inspired with 5 DIY holiday gift ideas from the garden.

polka dot plant
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Polka Dot Plant

Polka dot plant (Hypoestes) was once only available in pink, but varieties like Splash Red twinkle with a heavy sprinkling of cheery red color. Low-growing leaves look great as filler in holiday arrangements or in a centerpiece or tablescape. Keep them as a houseplant year-round or in summer, pop them into a shaded container or flowerbed. Polka dot plants wilt to let you know they are thirsty but bounce right back after watering.

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Next, get tips for growing paperwhite flowers indoors.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman

Helen Newling Lawson
Helen Newling Lawson is a published garden writer and freelance content marketing professional. She is a lifelong gardener, originally from central New Jersey but now digging in Georgia clay. She has been a University of Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer since 2002 and earned the Georgia Certified Plant Professional certification in 2017. A regional director of GardenComm, the Association of Garden Communicators, Helen is a contributor to magazines including Country Gardens, Birds and Blooms, Georgia Magazine, Nursery Management, State-by-State Gardening, and Atlanta Parent. She has also developed content for clients in a range of industries, from tech to the green industry. She enjoys photography, often supplying her own images for editorial use, and hikes and does yoga in her spare time.