Do you think of houseplants when you think of Christmas décor? At first, it may seem easy to relegate them to background status, behind the traditional boughs, wreaths, and of course, the tree.  But Christmas bulbs are a great way to incorporate some extra colour and life to your Christmas décor.  Amaryllis, Narcissi, and Christmas Cacti are the traditional choices, but recently I’ve noticed a lot of Orchids popping up as centerpieces and table toppers.

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Amaryllis and Narcissi (Paperwhites) typically appear with the fall bulb displays.  I usually don’t think of them when I’m picking my tulips and crocuses, but it would seem that I’m not the only one, as there are still plenty to choose from even now!  Both require between 6-8 weeks from the time of planting until they reach their peak bloom. That means now is the best time to plant! Amaryllis and Paperwhites both are easy to start, and only require minimal care; water and sunlight is sufficient!  The only additional tip for growing Amaryllis, is that the stalk will grow towards the light, so it is important to carefully turn the container periodically.

Christmas Cacti are so-called because they typically bloom around Christmas time! Their blooming is dependent on the amount of sunlight they receive, rather than any particular efforts on the part of the gardener.  As long as the plant receives plenty of bright indirect light, and the right amount of water, it should bloom for you.  An important note about Christmas Cacti is that they are tropical cacti, rather than desert cacti, which means that they benefit from regular watering.  Specific timing will depend on the humidity of the house, but we typically water most of our houseplants every 10-14 days. Watering them when the top inch of the soil is dry is a good schedule to maintain.

This year, at our house I’m excited to use my moderate crafty skills and am going to make a table top orchid display, something like this:

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  I’m thinking a few white orchids, with red and white sparkled ornaments.  Luckily there’s plenty of time to work out the details!!