I happen to like Poinsettias. Yup, it’s true. Their big, showy colored leaves always put a big ole smile on my face during the holiday season. But I know for a fact that many people don’t want to have anything to do with them, much less have them in their homes at Christmas time. The good news is, there are other choices.
Do you not like Poinsettias? Now worries, I have you covered with 13 flowering plant alternatives to the quintessential blooming plant for Christmas. You’ll find a wide range of plants most of which come in a wide range of colors. We have many different blooming plant choices available in the Santa Barbara area but that’s because this region is nicknamed “The Flower Basket” because of all the greenhouses and growers. Here’s a roundup of blooming plants, some of which you should be able to find at your local florist, garden center, super market or big-box store like Home Depot, Target or Lowes. If not, then check online from all the many sources and order yourself some blooming holiday cheer. There are 13 choices listed below so I’m sure you can find something you love!
Step 1: CYCLAMEN
These are popular bedding plants here in coastal California for the winter season. Cyclamen flowers tend to open slowly but the foliage is so lovely & interesting.
Step 2: CHRISTMAS CACTUS
I remember these distinctly from my childhood & they’re still very popular. Christmas Cactus make a long lasting houseplant & will bloom again for you next year.
Step 3: PHALAENOPSIS ORCHID
Phalaenopsis Orchids are a lovely choice, as their flowers are on tall stalks & tend to be long lasting. Cymbidium Orchids are another choice if you can find them.
Step 4: AZALEAS
I worked for a florist/event company in San Francisco for 5 years & they sent out a lot of white & red azaleas during the Christmas season.
Step 5: BROMELIADS, THESE ARE GUZMANIAS
Bromeliads give you much more of a modern feel but a word of warning, cats love to chew on them!
Step 6: MORE BROMELIADS, THESE ARE NEOREGELIAS
Also modern in feel & much lower than their relatives above. These are pretty as an underplanting.
Step 7: KALANCHOES
Kalanchoes have lots of colorful blooms which cover the plants, & because they’re succulents, they can take the winter time dry air in our homes.
Step 8: BEGONIAS
These are Rieger Begonias which are oh so floriferous. Be careful not to overwater them or mist their leaves because they’re susceptible to mildew.
Step 9: HYDRANGEAS
The white as well as the green Hydrangeas were popular with some of my clients in the San Francisco Bay Area. For big blooms, they’re hard to beat.
Step 10: ANTHURIUMS
Anthuriums, with their glossy green leaves & shine flowers, really give you a tropical feel. There’s a deep red variety which is very eye catching.
Step 11: PAPERWHITE NARCISSUS
Paperwhites are often sold as bulbs which you plant yourself, usually in pebbles, rocks or glass chips. It takes anywhere from 3 to 5 weeks after planting for them to bloom. They can also be planted in soil.
The blooming plants I’ve mentioned above can all be used in mixed gardens. Although this 1 pictured isn’t a holiday garden, I’m sure you can just imagine a cyclamen, azalea & begonia in here to create some living holiday cheer.
Step 13: AMARYLLIS
Amaryllis are another popular seasonal bulb & have large, beautiful trumpet-shaped flowers. They bloom within 6-8 weeks of planting & although traditionally seen growing in soil, can also be started in pebbles, rocks or glass chips too.
I just hand to sneak this 1 in here. If you have other eye catching blooming plants in the pot, like these Cymbidium Orchids, the Poinsettias are not the star of the show. In case you’re reading this & you do like the Christmas Flower, I’ve done a video & post with 6 Poinsettia Care Tips for you.
No matter what beautiful holiday blooming plant you choose, I wish a wonderful, colorful and joyous holiday season!