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8 Festive Flowers to Buy Instead of Poinsettias This Christmas

Poinsettias are the go-to Christmas flowers, but they can be ho-hum. Switch things up by giving or displaying these festive plants this holiday season.

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Amaryllis flowerPhoto: Shutterstock


Amaryllis look stunning by themselves in a vase, without needing accent flowers to pull them together. Give them as much height as possible for a striking look that lets them bloom longer, suggests Nic Faitos, senior partner with Starbright Floral Design. Pick a candy striped red and white one for your candy cane lane, or mix and match colours for a sophisticated look. “I like combining red and burgundy amaryllis together and playing with textures and hue,” says Faitos. “Think a deep burgundy next to a fire-truck red.”

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Blue hydrangeasPhoto: Shutterstock


“Hydrangeas are another flower that just bursts with festivity around the holidays,” says Faitos. They come in a range of colours, so feel free to venture away from the traditional red, green and white. Light pink or purple paired with silver can be just as festive, says Faitos.

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Red rosesPhoto: Shutterstock

Red Roses

A dozen red roses might sound more Valentine than Christmas, but roses can make a gorgeous bouquet during the holiday season too. Shorter stems and additions like pinecones or ornaments give them a whole new presentation. “Things that are made low and lush around Christmastime or any of the winter holidays would not fit around Valentine’s Day,” says Faitos. “It’s the same flower, but a completely different look.”

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Pink carnations in vasePhoto: Shutterstock


Thanks to plant scientists experimenting with hue, arrangements of carnations can look much more chic than the traditional reds, whites, and yellows you might remember from your grandma’s house. “What’s making them cool again is they’re coming in interesting colours,” says Faitos. “These are colours that carnations were not supposed to exist in.” Lavender and hot fuchsia, or white and ivory are unexpected but eye-catching combinations, especially with silver mixed in for a festive winter touch.

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Red winterberry branchPhoto: Shutterstock


Holly gets all the glory at Christmastime, but winterberries can be even more striking. The leafless branches deliver a major punch of red with as many as 100 berries per branch. Use them as an accent, or leave them alone in a tall vase. “Putting them by themselves brings out all of their glory,” says Faitos.

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White lilliesPhoto: Shutterstock


White lilies make a big impact in a holiday arrangement. “They last long and they’re beautiful,” says Faitos. “They’re just a very happy flower.” Pair the star-shaped flower with red roses, carnations, or tulips, along with greens for a Christmas-themed arrangement.

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Paperwhite flowersPhoto: Shutterstock


This daffodil relative can make for a crowd-pleasing winter wonderland arrangement that doesn’t scream “Christmas.” “You can go cross-denominational and cross religious lines with them,” says Faitos. “Everybody loves them.” He suggests placing them in farm crates for a rustic look.

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Pink tulip flowersPhoto: Shutterstock


Two bunches of tulips in a square vase make a lovely arrangement, says Faitos. White and red are a classic Christmas colour combination, but red and pink is a stunning, modern twist.

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Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest