13 Christmas Plants Other Than Poinsettias

Looking to decorate your home with something other than Poinsettias for the holidays? Here’s a list of Christmas plants and flowers.

I actually really like Poinsettias, with their big showy colored leaves and the holiday spirit they exude. They now come in so many colors, sizes, and foliage patterns that there’s something for (almost) everyone.

They make a wonderful indoor plant for the Christmas season, don’t get me wrong. I know that many people don’t care for poinsettia plants, and that’s just fine.

The good news is, there are other choices. We’ve picked out some lovely holiday plants that have beautiful flowers and will fill your home with happiness in the winter months. We’ve even included some tropical plants that you may not have considered as Christmas plants but make for beautiful additions to your holiday decor.

Note: This post was published on 11/20/2015. It was updated on 11/3/2022 was new images & more information.

13 Christmas Plants

1. Cyclamen

lots of pink, red & white cyclamens in a nursery

Cyclamen flowers tend to open slowly but the foliage is so lovely and interesting. Cyclamen plants make for a great addition to any home.

These gorgeous Christmas flowers will brighten up your festive season. They tend to be sold in shades of red, white, and pink and will match well with your Christmas colors.

When I worked as a professional gardener in the San Francisco Bay Area, we used them as outdoor Christmas plants in garden beds and in pots.

Are you looking for other Christmas Decor? Check out Natural Christmas Wreaths & Pine Cone Craft Ideas.

2. Christmas Cactus

Christmas cactus with white blooms starting to emerge n gold pot

I remember these distinctly from my childhood and they’re still very popular. Christmas Cactus is a long-lived plant and will bloom again for you next year.

This plant can stick around for many holiday seasons with proper care and the right conditions. If yours is failing to rebloom you can give a reduction of light approximately 8 weeks before Christmas time.

When the beautiful blooms start to open and reveal their beautiful flowers we can see why this is one of the most popular Christmas plants.

Looking for helpful guides on caring for Christmas Cactus? We got you covered: Christmas Cactus CareChristmas Cactus FlowersPropagating Christmas CactusChristmas Cactus Leaves Turning OrangeHow To Get Your Christmas Cactus To Bloom AgainChristmas Cactus FAQs

3. Phalaenopsis Orchid

phalaenopsis orchid on table outdoors with pinecones and holiday decorations at its base

Phalaenopsis Orchids are a lovely choice, as their lovely flowers open on tall stalks and tend to be long-lasting. The white ones tend to be the most popular at this time of year but they’re also sold in shades of pink, yellow, and violet. Cymbidium Orchids are another choice if you can find them.

Many grocery stores or big box stores like Home Depot sell Orchids so you shouldn’t have trouble finding these plants during the Christmas holidays. They also make for the perfect plant to give as a holiday plant gift when placed in a beautiful decorative pot.

Phalaenopsis are popular blooming houseplants. Check out our posts on Phalaenopsis Care and How to Water a Phalaenopsis Orchid for more info.

4. Azaleas

close up of a double flowered azalea with pink & white blooms

I worked for a florist/event company in San Francisco for 5 years. They sent out a lot of white and red azaleas during the Christmas season.

The bright red flowers atop a mass of deep green foliage are lovely and add the pop of color you’ll be looking for to spread the holiday cheer.

We have more Christmas Decor and DIY Crafts: 11 Pinecone Crafts For ChristmasChristmas Succulent ArrangementsHomemade Christmas Decorations Using Fruits & Spices7 Christmas Centerpiece Ideas2 Easy Last Minute Christmas Centerpieces3 Easy DIY Ornaments

5. Guzmanias (Bromeliads)

close up photo of guzmania with bright red flower

Bromeliads give you more of a modern feel and are very long-lasting when grown as houseplants. Guzmanias are popular blooming houseplants that are sold year-round and are easy to find.

Their star-shaped bracts in red, as shown above, are very appropriate for the season although you can find them in other colors too.

We love Bromeliads! Here are some guides on caring for these beauties: Guzmania CareHow To Water BromeliadsWhen & How To Prune Bromeliad FlowersBromeliad Plant Turning BrownBromeliad Flowers Turning Brown, Propagating Bromeliads

6. Neoregelias (Bromeliads)

Neoregelias Bromeliad with red flower and green foliage

Also modern in feel and much lower in height than their relatives listed above. These are pretty as an underplanting below a ficus or a dracaena.

You can find them in shades of red and green at this time of year. The good news is, they’re very easy to maintain.

A word of warning though, cats love to chew on their crunchy leaves! No worries though, the ASPCA website lists them as being non-toxic plants.

We love Bromeliads! Here are some guides on caring for these beauties: Neoregelia CareHow To Water BromeliadsWhen & How To Prune Bromeliad FlowersBromeliad Plant Turning BrownBromeliad Flowers Turning Brown, Propagating Bromeliads

7. Kalanchoes

calandiva kalanchoe with red flowers in bloom

Kalanchoes have lots of colorful blooms which cover the plants, and because they’re succulents, they can take the wintertime dry air in our homes. They’re another one of the most popular Christmas plants, due to their range in colors of the flowers and the fact that the blooms will last a month or two.

We like the contrast of the dark green leaves and their full head of flowers, as it gives off the good cheer we love during the holidays. Calandivas (shown above) are cultivars of the Flowering Kalanchoes and are beloved for their double blooms.

We got you covered on Kalanchoe Care as well as Calandiva Care.

8. Begonias

lots of red begonias in full flower

These Rieger Begonias are oh so floriferous. Be careful not to overwater them or mist their leaves because they’re susceptible to mildew.

When this plant is in full bloom, it makes for one of the best plants to brighten up your Christmas home decor. I now live in the West, but when I lived on the East Coast, this plant was fairly easy to find.

Here are some of our houseplant guides you may find helpful: Guide To Watering Indoor PlantsBeginner’s Guide To Repotting Plants3 Ways To Successfully Fertilize Indoor PlantsHow to Clean HouseplantsWinter Houseplant Care GuideHow to Increase Humidity for Houseplants.

9. Hydrangeas

close up up a white hydrangea surrounded by ferns & english ivy

The white flowers on the Hydrangeas were popular with some of my clients in the San Francisco Bay Area for the holiday season. For big blooms, the florist hydrangeas are hard to beat and make truly gorgeous Christmas plants.

Mix them in a basket with ferns and ivy, and it’s a beautiful sight!

10. Anthuriums

red and burgundy color flower on anthurium

Anthuriums, with their large glossy green leaves and shiny flowers, really give you a tropical feel. There’s a bright red as well as a deep red variety both of which are very eye-catching.

We love the exotic looking flowers each of which lasts for about two months or so.

Interested in growing one as a houseplant? Here are details on Anthurium Care for you.

11. Paperwhite Narcissus

close up of paper white narcissus flowers against a black background

Paperwhites are most often sold as bulbs that you plant yourself, usually in pebbles, rocks, or glass chips in water. It takes anywhere from 3 to 5 weeks after planting for them to bloom. They can also be planted in soil.

The white flowers convey a feeling of peace, and although not as long-lasting as some of these other flowering plants are a great way to usher in the new year.

12. Amaryllis

boxes of amaryllis bulbs with red/white & red flowers on the front

Amaryllis is another popular seasonal bulb that you plant and grow yourself. They have large, beautiful trumpet-shaped flowers on a thick stem that rise above minimal foliage.

They bloom within six to eight weeks of planting and although traditionally seen growing in soil, can also be started in pebbles, rocks, or glass chips. These would also make the perfect Christmas plant gift for one who has a green thumb.

13. Mixed Gardens

close up of a mixed garden in a basket with small houseplants & a red anthurium plant

The blooming plants I’ve mentioned throughout this post can all be used in mixed gardens. Although the one pictured above isn’t a holiday garden, I’m sure you can imagine a cyclamen, azalea, and flowering kalanchoe in here to create some living holiday cheer.

a large pot filled with red poinsettias & white cymbidium orchids sits in an orchid greenhouse

I just hand to sneak the picture above into this post. If you have other eye-catching blooming plants in the pot, like these tall, majestic Cymbidium Orchids, the Poinsettias are not the star of the show.

We’ve also done a post on Holiday Plants For Christmas that you might want to check out.

No matter what beautiful Christmas plants you choose, I wish you a wonderful, colorful, and joyous holiday season!

Just in case you decided to go with a Poinsettia after all: Here are tips to help you Pick out the Perfect Poinsettia. And, you’ll need Poinsettia Plant Care Tips to keep that beautiful plant alive.


Signed by Nell Foster

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  1. A gift-challenged friend asked me want I want for Christmas. I had a brain freeze and couldn’t think of the name of the plant I’d like to have, then I found your site–begonias! Thank you.

  2. Some great suggestions there Nell that many people wouldn’t have thought of. As for poinsettias I just saw a eye catching new shocking pink version out this year.

  3. Hi Jim – Thank you! I love poinsettias but I know some people don’t. And yes, there are jazzy new varieties on the market every day. Nell

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