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The lush holiday flora and foliage is a sure sign of the festive season, but which Christmas plants will thrive in your South Carolinian home and garden? Talk to the experts at your local landscape and design center in Charleston, and learn a little about some wildly popular Christmas plants this year:


The poster-child of holiday flora is the beautiful Poinsettia, which is actually a flowering shrub. Found widely in red and white varieties, this plant originated in Mexico and has been associated with Christmas for hundreds of years. Giving a potted Poinsettia for the Christmas table is a holiday tradition embraced by homes across North America.


Holly trees and shrubs are decorative plants that grow wild across the globe. Usually the plant features shiny leaves, small flowers, and red berries, though there are more than 400 species of holly in the world. Talk to your landscape professional about the best species of holly for the midlands grow zone.


Christmas ivy comes from Europe and is used in yards and gardens to attract wildlife and nectar-feeding species. Holly is also used for ornamental reasons due to its attractive leaves and association with the Christmas season. Christmas holly also features bright berries, which are a food source for at least 16 different kinds of birds.

Christmas Cactus

Have you ever given or been gifted a Christmas Cactus? The Christmas cactus is known for its bright flowers, usually pink or red, and waxy foliage. It blooms over the Christmas season, hence the species’ name. Christmas cactus are native to Brazil where they grow wild on the surface of rocks and trees.


What is more traditional that a green Christmas tree? Bring Conifers home for the holidays, in pots or to plant in your yard. Fall is an excellent time for planting conifer shrubs and trees in the southern United States, so think ahead. Consider using a living tree for the holiday festivities and replanting it outside after Christmas is over.


Mistletoe is a global symbol of peace and goodwill during the holidays, and the ‘kiss-under-the-mistletoe’ remains a Christmas tradition today in many countries.  Mistletoe provides beautiful green foliage with tiny white flowers and berries that are perfect for this festive season. Furthermore, mistletoe is a high-end food source for wildlife globally, which makes it an eco-friendly choice for this year.


Myrrh dates back centuries and is derived from a small tree in regions of the Middle East. Myrrh is believed to have medicinal properties and is still used by Chinese and Egyptian homeopaths to treat some illnesses. Myrrh has a sentimental symbolism that makes it an ideal foliage to use in your displays during the holiday season.

English Primrose

English primrose blooms winter to spring, so it is perfect for your holiday table or arrangements. The big, beautiful blooms are bright and clustered, creating a gorgeous gift or centerpiece. The colors of the flowers vary depending on the species, climate, and conditions.


Just like Myrrh, Frankincense comes from the Middle East, primarily Yemen, and is a sign of the holidays that resonates with Christians and spiritualists widely. Frankincense grows best in high-altitudes and mountainous terrain historically, and it has become a symbol of wealth in many cultures.


Paperwhites are perennials grown from bulbs that bloom inside during winter. This makes paperwhite bulbs a great gift idea. Paperwhite bulbs use little soil to plant and they flower within five or six weeks. The smell is fragrant, delightful, and the crisp white color contrasts the vibrant green foliage for a spectacular seasonal arrangement.


Camellia blooms in fall through winter, so it is ideal for adding color to your yard, garden, and table during the festive Christmas season. One Camellia, species, ‘Yuletide’, yields bold red flowers and dense foliage, often growing up to five-feet in height.  Camellia spreads, too, so it makes a great winter hedge or border.


Give someone you care about an Amaryllis bulb for the holidays; they typically flower around the holiday and are remarkably easy to bloom. You will find Amaryllis in a variety of colors including red, white, orange, and pink, and the blossoms are large and dramatic.

There are other traditional options that require a bit more commitment in terms of greenspace and maintenance. Some examples include cranberry, pear, and Valencia orange trees. Make sure to check your locations hardiness zone before investing in these edible holiday plants and trees.

For the very-best in traditional Christmas plants, visit Terra Bella Garden Center, your local garden & landscape design center in Charleston. Talk to their experts about hardy native varieties for your holiday festivities.

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