Texas Living

Plant a Piece of Christmas In Your Yard

By Glenda Vosburgh 12.1.14

Poinsettias, paperwhites, amaryllis, and other plants are just as traditional to the Christmas season as tinsel, lights, and ribbons. When the holiday season is over, your decorations go into storage again, but must your Christmas plants go into the garbage? Not necessarily, says Cynthia Mueller with the horticulture department at Texas A&M University. Many Christmas plants can be replanted and can thrive in your outdoor landscape.

Amaryllis and paperwhites are two popular flowering plants that do well when replanted. After the blooms have finished in your house, Mueller suggests, store the bulbs in a cool place and wait until the last frost has passed to plant.

Christmas cactus can be replanted after a “special period of darkness,” Mueller says. “They need to have 16 hours of darkness for eight days before transplanting them.”

You may love those beautiful red or white poinsettias, but they aren’t a good replanting option in Texas unless you live along the coast. Poinsettias grow best when night temperatures are about 60 degrees.

Replanting is a good option, however, for rosemary bushes and Norfolk Island pines. Neither plant does well indoors for more than eight to 10 days because it’s too dark.

Live Christmas trees with the root ball attached can be replanted, but all trees are not created equal when it comes to the Texas climate. Norway spruce, Colorado spruce, and blue spruce trees can’t stand up to the Texas heat. Arizona cypress, deodar cedar, or Leyland cypress trees are better choices. Just keep in mind that some of these trees can grow to be very tall, so pick a suitable planting location.