Spicing up your winter-decor with Ontario-grown flowers and plants

GUELPH — With cooler weather and longer nights finally here, Canadians everywhere are reminded that the holiday season is upon us.

Everyone is looking forward to that white and frosty Christmas Eve, surrounded by family and friends by the fireplace, holding a hot cup of cocoa.

“It is never too early to prepare for the holidays, and there is so much more to Christmas decorating than pine trees, wreaths and garland,” says Jesseline Gough, Marketing Co-ordinator at pickOntario. “This winter, encourage your family and friends to spice up their holiday décor with Ontario-grown flowers and plants.”

And no, it is not all about poinsettias.

With plenty of stunning flowers and plants growing right in your backyard, Gough has put together a list of her seasonal Ontario-grown favourites:

  • Potted Christmas Cactus: Looking more like a flowering plant than a cactus, the Christmas or Zygo Cactus comes in several different colours, including red and white for the holiday season. The Christmas Cactus has tubular flowers with reflexed petals on extended stems.
  • Potted Frosty Ferns: These charming ferns are becoming very popular around the holiday season as they give the appearance of miniature Christmas trees with frosty tips. They enjoy low light and well watered soil.
  • Potted or cut Amaryllis: These flowers are the perfect centrepiece for your next festive holiday feast. Growing to 12 to 20 inches high, Amaryllis is grown from a bulb and produces several trumpet-shaped flowers. With bright, colourful petals, typically red in colour, Amaryllis is a great substitute for the Poinsettia. You can usually find this plant in stores in November and December.
  • Potted Cyclamen: This oft-overlooked beautiful holiday plant will boom continuously throughout the winter months, and is available in snowy white or bright jewel-like tones.
  • Potted Helleborus:  Also known as the Christmas Rose, the glossy foliage and sweet, rose-like flowers make this plant a wonderful hostess gift that can be planted outdoors in the spring after the risk of frost has passed.
  • Cut Anthurium: These heart-shaped flowers emerge from a colourful spike and are sold by individual stems. Because of their size, they are great for elaborate centrepieces.
  • Potted Chrysanthemum: You may have seen this popular plant at your local grocery store. Potted Chrysanthemum is a holiday favourite as it comes in several different colours and is easily maintained. Lucky for you, they also last an extremely long time.

“Christmas is my favourite time of the year to get creative with Ontario-grown flowers and potted plants. I find houseguests are so much more appreciative of winter plants because they’re not the norm,” adds Gough. “There’s no better way to liven up your home as you prepare for the holiday season.”

For more information, visit www.pickontario.ca.

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