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How to Care for Christmas Plants Poinsettia, Amaryllis and More

Published by Delora Ingwersen

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Those beautiful potted Christmas plants that we give as gifts to other (or give to ourselves) as Christmas presents need a little care after they’re brought home to remain looking beautiful. Here are some basic care instruction for the more popular Christmas plants so they will remain looking good for weeks, some even for months.

How to Care for Christmas Poinsettia

Poinsettias are the favorite Christmas plant and will last until Valentine’s Day with proper care. Place poinsettias in indirect sunlight in a room that remains above 55 degrees. Fertilize once per month with a water soluble fertilizer.

How to Care for Amaryllis Christmas Plant

Christmas amaryllis can be purchased either in full bloom or as a potted bulb that will bloom after purchase. Either way it’s purchased, amaryllis love to sit in a sunny window.


Water amaryllis when the top of the soil feels dry.

How to Care for Norfolk Island Pine

Norfolk Island pine is a delightful mini evergreen with a tropical name and look. Often used as miniature Christmas trees, Norfolk Island pine will make a long lasting houseplant with proper care. Place the tropical evergreen in a location that is bright, but out of direct sunlight. This Christmas plant will thrive in average household temperatures and when fed every three months with a water soluble fertilizer.

How to Care for Paperwhite Narcissus

Paperwhite narcissus are the fragrant Christmas plant choice. Paperwhites, like amaryllis, can be purchased either in full bloom or as potted bulbs. If this Christmas plant is purchased in full bloom (or ready to bloom), place the plant in a sunny location. If paper whites are still little more than potted bulbs, place them away from direct sunlight in a cool location that remains a constant 50-60 degrees. Paperwhite narcissus will only bloom once. If the plant gets top heavy and falls over, use bamboo skewers to stake the plant and hold in upright position.

How to Care for Christmas Cactus

A Christmas cactus loves indirect sunlight, but hates drafts. Place this Christmas plant in a bright location that is away from outside doors and heating vents. Water Christmas cactus only after the top inch of soil has dried out.

A Christmas cactus can be kept for years as a houseplant and be forced into bloom each year at Christmas with a little diligent TLC. Each fall, place Christmas cactus in a location in which the plant will be in total darkness for 12 hours each night (a closet with shut door) for six weeks or until flower buds appear. Once flower buds appear, the Christmas cactus can be returned to its usual location to bloom.

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