Christmas cactus, poinsettia, amaryllis: Many plants are indispensable in the run-up to Christmas. We wanted to know from the members of our Facebook community which houseplants are now very popular with them. The result is clear.
Outside, nature has frozen in a dreary gray, it looks very different inside: Many indoor plants are now adorned with flowers and bring color into the house. The flower colors enliven the dreary autumn weeks and go wonderfully in the run-up to Christmas. Warm red has a calming effect and sends out positive energy. It’s no wonder that Christmas cactus, poinsettia, and amaryllis are the favorites of our Facebook community.
The clear winner: Christmas cactus
A cactus is actually imagined as a prickly desert inhabitant. The best example of the fact that there are exceptions is the Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera): its leaf limbs do not have thorns and their home is the warm and humid regions of the tropics, where it grows as an epiphyte in the canopy of the rainforest trees. No wonder that the leaf or limb cactus, as it is also called because of its leaf-like, broadened sprouts, is completely satisfied in our living rooms.
At room temperatures of around 22 degrees, he feels almost at home and the light on the window is sufficient for the cactus. In midsummer, however, Schlumbergera often suffers from heat and low humidity. Regular spraying and a shady place – ideally outdoors – are then welcome. Schlumbergera owes its popularity as a houseplant to its flowering around Christmas. The bud formation is triggered by the shorter days in autumn.
When choosing a color, you don’t always have to rely on classic Christmas red. Varieties in pastel shades look magical, for example with salmon-colored, pale yellow, or cream-white flowers. Those who prefer strong tones can choose bright pink and purple in addition to red. Two-colored varieties such as the ‘Samba Brazil’s hybrid, whose petals are white on the inside and a play of colors from pink to orange-red on the edge, are particularly eye-catching. For the Christmas cactus to develop its typical color, budding plants must not be colder than 18 degrees! Yellow and white varieties in particular are sensitive to cold: their flower colors later do not show the typical tone, but instead, turn into a washed-out pink.
The classic: poinsettia
They come in many colors – but by far the most popular are poinsettias in red! Your bracts radiate vitality, energy, joy, and passion, attract everyone’s attention in the Advent season and harmonize perfectly with the Christmas decorations. The conspicuous “flowers” of the poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima), as the winter bloomers are also called, are actually bracts with small inconspicuous flowers in the middle. This fact is lucky for us because bracts remain attractive for many weeks – while the florets in the center wither quickly. Already their star shape and the wonderful red tones make the plants look festive.
The poinsettia is very sensitive to low temperatures. When transporting it from the cash desk of the garden center to the car, it should be well packed. Otherwise, he acknowledges hypothermia a few hours later by shedding his leaves. For this reason, you shouldn’t buy it online.
As with other types of milkweed, the milky sap of the poinsettia also contains components that are slightly irritating to the skin. Consumption can lead to symptoms of poisoning in small pets. For cat owners, our FB user Elisabeth H. recommends an artificial poinsettia that is available in a Swedish furniture store and that looks deceptively similar to the real one.
Flowers with amaryllis
With their magnificent flowers, the knight’s stars (Hippeastrum), also known as amaryllis, are among the most attractive winter flowers on the window sills of our Facebook community. The onion plant originally comes from South Africa. There are now numerous splendid varieties, some with double flowers. The color spectrum ranges from snow white to pink and pink to dark red.
Anyone who has ever been gripped by amaryllis fever rarely leaves it with one specimen, and it often turns into a real collecting passion, because the exotic bulb flowers can be made to bloom again year after year with the right care. By the way, amaryllis plants have their natural life cycle: the stop of watering in summer and watering in winter and spring simulate the natural rainy and dry seasons from their subtropical home. Only through this adaptation is it possible to make the bulbs bloom again and again. By the way, you can spend the summer in a partially shaded place in the garden – a great advantage for all collectors who cannot accommodate all of the lush leaves in the apartment.
Elegant winter bloomer: Christmas rose
In addition to the amaryllis, Ulrike S. also has a Christmas rose. She has many names, all of which are aimed at the unusual timing of her appearance. Snow rose, Christmas rose or Christmas rose is called Helleborus niger. It blooms in December and contributes to the festive mood with its cheerful white flowers.
The realm of the Christmas rose is actually in the garden in the vicinity of liverworts, fairytale cups, snowdrops, and violets. The very robust late Christmas roses (Helleborus-Orientalis hybrids), for which the term “Lenten Roses” has become established, feel at home there in the long term. The run-up to Christmas is an exception: then the stems of the Christmas rose can be bought as cut flowers.