Skip to main content

Add holiday cheer to your home with these colorful houseplants

Low-maintenance plants for furnishing your home this holiday season

Most people think of Christmas trees when it comes to ringing in the holidays with plants. Striking as they may be, Christmas trees don’t last well beyond December, no matter how fun it is to furnish them with bright twinkling lights and sparkly garlands. What can last, however, are colorful houseplants. And luckily, there are plenty of winter plants that thrive indoors and heighten the yuletide cheer. If you’re looking to bring in greenery beyond a chopped-down or artificial pine this Christmas, read ahead!

Christmas poinsettia
Image used with permission by copyright holder


The cheerful poinsettia is synonymous with the holidays, coming predominantly in red, pink, and cream. Luckily, there’s no shortage of the plant in November and December. You’ll find this bright plant at your local supermarkets and garden centers without a hitch. What is usually mistaken for flowers are actually colorful leaf bracts. To care for a poinsettia, err on the side of underwatering, and give your plant bright indirect light and warm temperatures to help it flourish.

Christmas cactus
TSViPhoto / Shutterstock

Christmas cactus

It’s in the name — the Christmas cactus is one of the most common holiday plants. This houseplant features bright red, pink, or purple blooms and flat succulent leaves. It’s technically a cactus, but you’ll want to go above the typical succulent care to help it thrive. In order to yield blooms, the Christmas cactus needs a period of darkness and coolness. It also appreciates moderate humidity and occasional waterings to keep its leaves happy. With a little extra mindfulness, you’ll have beautiful flowers to proudly display come Christmas.

Red fittonia
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Red-veined nerve plant

How much more festive does it get than with the red-veined fittonia or nerve plant? This compact plant features deep green leaves with stunning red veins to help you ring in the holidays with the perfect color palette. It thrives indoors and only has one main requirement to stay lush: adequately moist soil. The biggest thing to know about this plant is that it will wilt without sufficient water, and it may not survive repeated fainting spells. Additionally, give your plant bright indirect light so that it retains its color.

An anthurium in a pot
Gulsina / Shutterstock

Anthurium plant

The anthurium features long-lasting flowers that will likely last you through the holidays and beyond. The anthurium red plant is an especially festive choice with its scarlet flowers. It thrives in bright indirect light, yielding more blooms with more light. It doesn’t need to be watered too often — just give it a drink when half of the soil dries out. Fertilizers with phosphorus will also help with bloom production, but make sure only to feed your plant during the growing season.

Image used with permission by copyright holder


If you want a minimalist look this holiday season, pick out an elegant paperwhite plant to place on your mantle or table. You don’t even need soil — all you need is a tall glass and gravel and water to place bulbs in for beautiful blooms in weeks. In fact, some supermarkets and garden centers even sell bulbs already in water. If you want your paperwhite plant around beyond the holidays, place your bulbs in a potting mix and give them bright light. If you live in zones eight to 11, you can plant bulbs from the water method outside to encourage spring blooms.

Lemon cypress pine tree
S1001 / Shutterstock

Lemon cypress

Don’t quite want to deal with the size of a Christmas tree (or the post-holiday cleanup)? Get yourself an indoor cypress tree that’ll last and exude a lovely lemon scent. The dwarf variety usually doesn’t grow any bigger than 3 feet tall, making it just big enough for decorations, but not so big that it overwhelms your space. As a houseplant, the lemon cypress tree appreciates cool temperatures around 60 degrees Fahrenheit and anywhere between six to eight hours of direct light. Only water your tree when it’s dry, or else brown needles may start shedding.

Several orange miniature roses in a large pot
Totokzww / Shutterstock

Miniature rose plant

If you don’t want to show up to a holiday dinner empty-handed or need an attractive table centerpiece, pick out miniature potted roses — grab white, orange, red, pink, and other varieties! The miniature rose plant will stick around longer than a bouquet. Give it bright light for at least five hours a day, or use grow lights if you don’t get enough natural lighting. The adorable flowers enjoy humidity (either with a pebble tray or a humidifier) and waterings once the top inch of soil dries out. In spring, prune dead foliage and apply a slow-release fertilizer.

There’s more to the holidays than rockin’ around the Christmas tree — you can also get festive with colorful houseplants. From poinsettias to paperwhites, there are plenty of Christmas plants that help evoke the holiday spirit while being long lasting and less high maintenance.

Editors' Recommendations

Stacey Nguyen
Stacey's work has appeared on sites such as POPSUGAR, HelloGiggles, Buzzfeed, The Balance, TripSavvy, and more. When she's…
The dos and don’ts of caring for your bonsai tree
Basic bonsai tree care tips and tricks
Bonsai tree in purple rectangular pot blooming purple flowers

Bonsai trees are, by design, relaxing and beautiful to look at. Thanks to the internet and international shipping, bonsai trees are becoming more and more popular in America, and many gardeners are interested in bringing one of these stunning works of living art home. Bonsai trees need light, water, and fertilizer like any other plant, but their shape and size also need to be maintained. If you plan on growing your own bonsai tree, there are a few things you’ll need to know first. Here is your guide to the basics of bonsai.

What is bonsai?
Bonsai is the traditional Japanese art of growing miniature trees. A bonsai tree is any small tree grown in a shallow pot or dish that is trained to grow in a way that resembles a fully grown tree. You can think of bonsai almost like a living sculpture, and like any other art form, there are certain conventions and traditions that bonsai artists follow.

Read more
Here’s how to care for your aloe vera plant to reap its soothing benefits
Tips on watering, pruning, and propagating your aloe vera plant
Aloe vera pups

Of the hundreds of plants in the aloe genus, aloe vera probably has the most established reputation as a powerhouse personal care ingredient. The plant is best known for its versatile leaf gel, which you can use to soothe scrapes, burns, and other minor irritations. As a succulent, it’s relatively easy to grow and maintain, but there are things you should know about it to give it the best care possible. Ahead, we’ve gathered everything you need to know about this healing desert marvel — with these tips, you'll be ready to harvest it in no time.

What you need to know about the aloe vera plant
Aloe often grows in a rosette form — many varieties are spineless, but some have spines and teeth along their fleshy, upright leaves. They can push out tubular red, orange, or yellow flowers outside during the growing season. The most common variety is aloe barbadensis, or aloe vera. Aloe vera is often found in food, drinks, medicine, and personal care items — that's right, it's in beverages as well. It features dagger-like, fleshy green leaves with serrated edges, and you can grow aloe vera directly in the ground or containers. The leaves can grow up to two feet long and the plant, when grown outside, can sometimes push out a yellow flower stalk up to three feet tall.

Read more
The 5 best tall indoor plants you can get to create a lively space
Tall plants to fill your home with
A collection of various houseplants

Many gardeners look for small houseplants and flowers to conserve space, but what if you have the opposite problem? Many homeowners can relate to the feeling of looking at a room and thinking it’s missing something. Sometimes, what it's missing is a tall houseplant to fill space, to add visual interest, and even to add some relaxing vibes to the room.

If you need a tall houseplant to add a burst of greenery to your home, this guide is here to help. There are plenty of tall indoor plants to choose from, and here are our five favorites!

Read more