How To Care For Holiday Plants After Holidays

The holiday season is over and you can finally relax, you might think. But wait! After your holiday plants gave you a beautiful display during the Christmas season, it’s time to give them the care they need.

I know it’s kinda tempting to just discard them and buy another one in time for the holiday season, but wouldn’t it be nice to see them rebloom?

We’ve got some tips here to help you care for your holiday plants even after the season is over.

Christmas Plants With Their After-Holiday Care Guide



While it could be tempting to just throw away your poinsettia after the holidays, we advise that you keep it. Two possible scenarios may happen to your poinsettia after the holidays. One, it could retain its leaves; from there, you could treat it as a normal houseplant.

Place it near a sunny window with cool nighttime temperatures ranging between 60 to 65°F (15.5 to 18°C). Water the plant regularly to keep the soil moist. After two weeks, apply a complete fertilizer until its colorful bracts turn into solid green leaves.

The other scenario would be when the poinsettias lose their leaves. In this case, let your plant rest in a cool place (50 to 55°F or 10 to 12.7°C) that has some light coming through. Soak the soil from time to time to prevent the stems from getting completely dry.

The goal is to keep the stems and roots alive during this dormant or resting stage. Between late April and early May, you’ll need to cut back the stems to 3-5 inches from the soil line. Bring the plant to a sunny location and subject it to its normal watering routine to encourage new growth.

Make sure it also reserves a cool temperature during the night. Pinch back the growing shoots to keep them compact.

Now, here’s the catch. There’s special care for poinsettias that you need to do for them to produce red bracts in time for the holiday season. You have to subject it to complete darkness for more than 12 hours a day.

The holiday poinsettia is a short-day plant, meaning that for it to bloom, it must be exposed to a shorter period of day length. During the afternoon at 5 pm, bring your poinsettia inside a closed cabinet without any light. Bring it out the next day at 8 am.

Do this repeatedly from mid-September until the colorful bracts start to appear in early December.

Note: The red bracts of poinsettias are not their true flowers. Those are modified leaves that revert into colors of red, pink, white, green, and even orange. The main purpose of these red bracts is to help attract pollinators and draw them to the tiny yellow flower buds at the center.

Christmas Cactus

christmas cactus

Christmas cactus is among the favorite holiday plants because of its highly attractive flowers. But after the holiday season is over, the flower buds will start dropping leaving the cactus-like foliage behind. Now, how do you care for it?

You need to keep your Christmas cactus in a place that receives bright indirect light, for example, a sunny window. Turn the pot from time to time so the whole plant receives an even amount of bright light, resulting in uniform growth.

Make sure to let the top 2 inches of the soil dry first before watering again. And always ensure that excess water seeps out of the drainage holes. During early Spring and summer, apply a half-strength balanced fertilizer every month.

This will help boost the plant’s growth.

Encouraging the Christmas cactus to bloom will require the same treatment as that of the poinsettia. You need to subject the plant to a cool day temperature from October to November, usually 50 to 55°F (10 to 12.7°C). This will stimulate the growth of flower buds.

At night, place your Christmas cactus under uninterrupted darkness for more than 12 hours. Then the next morning, bring it out to receive bright light again. If you don’t want to bring it to a dark closet, you can use a cardboard box as a cover.

Keep doing the dark treatment until your Christmas cactus produces flower buds. Once the size of the buds is about half an inch, you can stop the treatment.

African Violets

african violets

Everyone falls in love with African violet and it’s also one of the favorite holiday plants to display during winter. Thankfully, this perennial plant is very easy to care for and maintain. Even after the holiday season, you can treat it as a normal houseplant and it will remain alive.

Place your potted African violet in a location that receives bright light. A sunny window is ideal if you choose to keep this plant indoors. Direct sun isn’t quite favorable because it may scorch the leaves of your African violet.

So, if light intensities get too strong, better provide a sheer curtain to block the harsh light rays. In late fall through winter, you’ll need to supplement artificial light.

Water regularly but make sure to let the soil feel dry to the touch before watering again. African violets don’t like having soggy soil as this condition leads to root rot and death. Check the pot if it has good drainage.

You may need to prune some parts that have been damaged during the winter season. Once Spring arrives, you can repot your African violet to help it rejuvenate, if you think it’s necessary.

African violets need fertilizer for healthy foliage and profuse flowering. During the growing season, feed the plant with African violet fertilizer every 14 days. Refrain fertilizing during the dormant season.

The good thing about African violet is that you don’t have to subject it to dark treatment to produce flowers.



Once provided with proper care and growing conditions, the cyclamen plant will surely bless you with pretty flowers just like the poinsettias and the Christmas cactus. Cyclamens produce flowers either in winter or early Spring but then go dormant after the blooming is done.

After the holidays, provide the usual care and maintenance your cyclamen needs. Keep the pot in a location with bright indirect sunlight. It would be best to place it in an east 0r north-facing window if you have either of these.

Water it from the bottom up. This technique will help provide tepid water to your cyclamen. Fill a saucer with water and place the pot there. Remove it after 15 mins or more. Check if the soil is moist using the finger test method.

Cyclamen also likes high humidity so regular misting may be needed from time to time.

Once flowering has stopped, remove the spent flowers. At this point, your cyclamen is ready to enter the resting stage. It’s natural for the leaves to start dropping.

The dormant stage begins in early Spring and until mid-summer. During this time, you need to reduce watering and stop feeding the cyclamen plant. You’ll need to keep the corm in a cool and dry spot until July.

After that, begin watering the corm. Once new growth begins, it’s time to repot the corm.



Among the beautiful holiday plants that you could rebloom each year is the Christmas kalanchoe. Even if without flowers, they look pretty with those waxy, dark green leaves so this plant is more than a holiday decor. You can keep this plant and have it ready for reblooming.

Start by cutting back some overgrown stems and faded flowers. Water it well and place it in a spot that has bright light coming through. After the danger of the first frost is over, move the plant outdoors in a partly shaded location.

Bring it back indoors before the first frost begins.

Kalanchoe is also a short-day plant so it needs exposure to complete darkness for more than 12 hours daily to form flower buds. This treatment should last for about six weeks for the kalanchoe to bloom again.

Christmas Pepper

christmas pepper

Many garden centers are selling Christmas peppers as part of their holiday plants collection. This pepper variety is an ornamental type of pepper and it looks really pretty. The red chili peppers look like tiny Christmas lights against the green leaves.

Christmas Pepper loves bright light so find a sunny location for it to thrive. Keep the soil well-watered but not soggy. This plant doesn’t like getting wet feet. Add fertilizer from time to time to help boost growth.



The beautiful flowers of Amaryllis, which bloom between late winter and mid-Spring, are the reason why this plant is among the favorite holiday plants by lots of home gardeners. Like cyclamen, the Amaryllis is also a bulb. Hence, they have almost the same care requirements.

After the holidays, the plant will still bloom. Keep it under bright light, water regularly, and fertilize it as needed. Once the blooms have faded, remove the bloom stalks.

The leaves will continue to grow, so let them be.

Come late summer, the foliage will also die and this is when your Amaryllis enters a resting stage. It’s time to cut off the yellow leaves and reduce watering. Store the bulb in a cool, dry place to keep it viable.

This will take about two to three months.

After completing the resting stage, begin watering your Amaryllis again. It should bloom again in the next 4 to 6 weeks. If not, it’s most likely that the bulb does not have enough stored energy to support flowering.

Final Thought

Now you have a reason, not to throw away your holiday plants and save some money. With just a little effort, you can care for these plants indoors and prepare them for the next Christmas season.

Whether you want to buy, sell, or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Plantly Menu