Wondering if you can decorate Christmas plants instead of, or as well as, your tree this year? You absolutely can! 

Real fir trees bring Christmas delight to all, particularly with their unrivalled pine smell that subtly drifts through our homes over the festive period. But, not all of us have homes big enough for a large Christmas tree, nor the budget! Rather than opting for cheaper artificial trees, Christmas plants offer more budget, space and environmentally friendly alternatives. 

Read on to find out how you can use Christmas plants and flowers as the main focal point of your festive styling, or as additions to your existing decor. But first, let’s take a look at why you might want to do so. 

The unsustainable side of Christmas

Christmas trees are well loved, celebrated and incorporated into festive traditions in countries all around the globe. The tradition as we know it began way back in Germany in the 16th century when trees were brought inside and decorated with lighted candles, to replicate the star-studded skies above the wintery fir forests. 

Yet in this day and age, many are turning to artificial trees for a cheaper and more convenient alternative. No need to water the tree, vacuum fallen needles, or worry about choosing a new tree each year, they do offer some real benefits. Yet the effect that they have on the environment certainly outweighs these advantages. 

According to Dr. John Kazer at the Carbon Trust, an average of 40kg of greenhouse gas emissions are released in the production of a 2 metre high artificial tree. A whopping two thirds of this comes from the manufacturing process alone. Yet these sums don’t take into account the emissions produced in transport –  a massive consideration when the world’s leading artificial tree producer is China. 

Yet the more guilt-free alternative of buying real trees from a Christmas tree farmer can be costly year on year. Rather than forking out for a real tree that you’ll only keep for a couple of weeks, why not dress up one of your existing houseplants?

Christmas plants

Christmas plants and flowers are a great way to decorate your home for the festive season, bringing fresh life and a natural touch to your Christmas decor. It’s a great way to cut down on the waste that is characteristic of the Christmas period, as you can keep plants all year round, and dry flowers for more long-term decoration. 

Decorating a plant instead of a tree offers the perfect opportunity to get a bit creative, giving your houseplants a makeover for the festive season. Many buy new, traditional holiday houseplants like Poinsettias, Paperwhites and Christmas Cacti, but don’t neglect your existing plants! 

How do I decorate my houseplants for Christmas?

So how do you give your plant children a festive boost? It’s time to get creative! But before you get started, remember that houseplants aren’t quite as robust as their stronger evergreen friends. Make sure to only use lightweight decorations that won’t damage their stems and branches. Using heavier ornaments will also leave you with a sad looking, saggy plant – and no one wants that!

  • Drape tinsel in and around your houseplant’s leaves!
  • Use twinkly string lights around their branches.
  • Add a Christmas topper.
  • Use lightweight, miniature ornaments to hang from their branches – but make sure they’re shatterproof in case they drop!
  • Tie ribbons in little bows to the ends of their branches.
  • Find mini candy canes and pinecones to nestle into their leaves
  • Hang baked oranges and cinnamon sticks for a rustic festive look
  • Make sure you don’t overload branches that are already laden with fruit or flowers 
  • Channel our US friends with popcorn strings – but keep them out of reach of pets
  • Visit your local craft shop, and make your own decorations bespoke to your plants
  • Remember, if you move a plant to another more prominent spot for the season, move it back after a couple of weeks to keep it happy
  • Spread the magic outdoors and decorate a tree in your garden! 

How should you style them? Seeing as houseplants are already sporting one of the most traditional Christmas colours, green, your options are endless! Pair with bright reds for a classic look, or pair with cool blues and whites, or silvers and golds for a glitzy Christmas look.

How to make your indoor plants festive

If you’re worried about harming the plant, there are other ways that you can make your indoor plants festive without decorating the plant itself. We would never want to damage a plant using an unsuitable bauble, or compete with their natural beauty in doing so. So, if you’re not able to hang anything from a plant, decorate around it! 

For a simple nod to the festive season, wind string lights around your plant pots. Then add Christmas toppers to the soil to add a more obvious festive message. Voila! A minimalist Christmas décor look sorted. 

For a more classic look, nestle your plant pot amongst an evergreen garland. You could also use silver wire found in most craft shops in the soil around your plant, attaching tiny baubles so they’re suspended in the air around the plant. A great way of adding some Christmas colour!

Many people use wrapping paper to hide dull Christmas tree pots, giving them a festive spruce. Why not try this on your houseplant pots? Create a pot sleeve out of Christmas themed paper or some other fabric that you can get your hands on, making them a statement feature for the holidays. If you’re feeling super crafty, you could paint the pot with blackboard paint and create your own designs in chalk!

Will Christmas lights harm houseplants?

When using lights in your Christmas decorations, houseplants and Christmas trees alike, it’s important to be aware of any fire risks. Lights can certainly be used to decorate your houseplants, but ensure that you don’t leave them unattended, nor leave them on for too long in order to avoid scorching your plant’s leaves with the heat provided. 

Is a plant a good Christmas gift?

Beautiful, sustainable, versatile… plants are amazing gifts, no matter the recipient. If you want to give your friend or family member something that will last past the festive period, a houseplant is a great option. A constant boost of happiness and calm, a daily source of joy, a way of breathing life and nature into a space, the pros of indoor plants are endless. 

They’re a great gift at all times of year, but especially the festive holidays! You’ll find that each houseplant has different symbolic meanings, some of which include good fortune and prosperity. What a lovely sentiment to pass on to a loved one as the new year approaches! 

But which houseplants should you give as a Christmas gift? We take a look at some of our favourites. 

Chinese Money Plant

One of the most popular houseplants around, the Chinese Money Plant is a fun and unique present. Also known as the friendship plant, it would be the perfect Secret Santa gift! Its symbolic connotations make it ideal for the time of year; it’s supposed to bring good luck, abundance and wealth to the owner of the house in which it lives. With the New Year on the horizon, what better time to give your friend or family member some well wishes?

Chinese Money Plant in Gold Pot
Chinese Money Plant in Gold Pot
Chinese Money Plant in Gold Pot - Melbourne

Ficus Elastica

The Ficus Elastica, or Rubber Plant, makes for a great Christmas plant choice. Not only does its burgundy tones blend seamlessly with the traditional red of Christmas décor, they’re also incredibly low maintenance plants. They grow relatively well in low light, and can cope with lower watering levels… ideal for the lazy plant lover! Much like the Chinese Money Plant, they’re also known as a symbol of prosperity, a great wish to bestow on your loved one at Christmastime. 

Ficus Elastica Burgundy in Matte Pink Pot
Ficus Elastica Burgundy in Matte Pink Pot
Ficus Elastica Burgundy in Matte Pink Pot

Kentia Palm

An Australian native and absolute favourite, the Kentia Palm is a great choice for a Christmas present – but also for festive décor. If you have space to work with, the Palm offers plenty of opportunity for decoration, across its many fronds. Think ribbons, lights and lightweight objects to turn this stunning plant into a Christmas centrepiece. 

Kentia Palm
Kentia Palm
Santa Baby Bauble

Christmas plant hampers

Why not go all out in your Christmas plant gifting with a whole hamper? Up the Christmas ante with some other festive goodies to give your loved one the perfect holiday. Gold-dusted chocolate bark offering a delicious after-dinner treat; scented candles of different fragrances for a cosy night in; a gold finished cheese knife set for ultimate, luxurious Christmas hosting… these are just some of the gifts you’ll find as part of Fig & Bloom’s Christmas plant hampers. 

Choose from our ready-made sets centring around a Chinese Money Plant, a Kentia Palm, or a Rubber Plant, or create your own collection of Christmas treats around your favourite plant within our ranges. 

Deluxe Christmas Hamper
Rubber Plant Hamper
Rubber Plant Hamper
Kentia Palm Hamper
Kentia Palm Hamper

Swap trees for plants this Christmas

More versatile, more cost-effective, needing less space, houseplants are a great option for Christmas over a more traditional Christmas tree. Plus, they’re a much more sustainable alternative to artificial trees. Flowers and wreaths are also a great way of bringing more festiveness into your home, or that of a loved one. Shop houseplants, wreaths, flowers & hampers now!

Sources: 

https://www.livekindly.co/sustainable-alternatives-christmas-trees/

https://www.stylist.co.uk/home/plants/christmas-plants-trees-decorations-ideas/453327

https://farmfoodfamily.com/houseplants-holiday-decorating/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1977/12/08/decorate-your-houseplants-for-the-holiday-season/31be0775-44cb-42e5-8fb3-3ca980888592/

https://www.thejoyofplants.co.uk/something-bit-different-decorate-your-houseplant

https://www.sfgate.com/homeandgarden/article/Decorate-A-Christmas-House-Plant-Tall-greenery-2973388.php

https://www.appleyardflowers.com/flowerdiaries/traditional-christmas-flowers-plants/

https://www.plantsnap.com/blog/best-plants-to-give-as-christmas-gifts/

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Hampers