Gardening Advice

Australian Christmas Plants & How to Take Care of Them

GillianVann /

In Australia, we have beautiful flora that continues to brighten our days during Christmas. You don’t need European Christmas trees, holly or mistletoe. We have plenty of native plants that can bring holiday joy inside or outside your home.

Let’s take a look at some Australian Christmas plants and how to take care of them properly.

Happy holidays!

Table of contents:

Christmas Bells

Peter Abell /

Christmas bells can be either grown in your yard or in a pot. If you choose to grow them in the ground, keep in mind, they require well-draining soil. Thick mulching is a must to keep weeds from overtaking this uncompetitive plant and keep its roots cool during the heat. Tree bark is best for this.

As for pot growing – You’ll want to choose one that’s at least 30cm deep. This is because this plant’s roots dig deep and can easily become rootbound. Repotting once every 2 years in early autumn is highly advised.

Christmas Bells should be grown in full sun with partial shade during the hottest parts of the day. Water requirements are rather high. They must be watered every two days, starting when the first flower spikes show and even more frequently during the hottest period. You can lay off the watering in winter when the plant is dormant.

Christmas Bush

Anne Powell /

Actually, three different plants are known under the name Christmas Bush, but we will pay attention to the most widespread one – Ceratopetalum Gummiferum. This sun-loving shrub blooms in either white or red star-shaped flower and can reach heights of 10m. Unfortunately, when cultivated, it rarely exceeds 5m in height. The blossoms are often used in flower arrangements and can even be made into garlands to decorate your house with. The reason we like this one so much is that it actually changes colour. They start off white around October when the flowers appear, then the petals fall off, and the sepals start enlarging and turning festive red right around Christmas.

Christmas Bush prefers a sunny or partly shaded spot in well-draining sandy soil. Protection from winds will make this shrub thrive and keep well-formed foliage.

Watering should be done regularly in spring and summer, but be careful not to overdo it. The soil should never remain soggy for extended periods of time since these shrubs are prone to root rot.

These love a light pruning around February or when the glorious red display has passed. Don’t worry about cutting large sections to use for wreaths. The plant will recover nicely if you don’t cut into old branches or hardwood.

Christmas Orchid

shihina /

Christmas Orchids are delicate, pleasant scented, and thrive in Straya’s rainforests. They have snowy white flowers that clump together and look like delicate lace. Even when not in bloom, their waxy leaves offer an appealing splash of green. Christmas orchids are perfect for growing in a pot and thus make an excellent Christmas gift for that special someone.

Like all orchids, these are relatively picky, although not as much as others. They thrive in shaded areas. They prefer well-drained soil that is kept moist and not allowed to go dry. Don’t worry about it – The Christmas orchid isn’t as susceptible to overwatering as other species.

You could grow these in the garden in a shaded, heavily mulched spot, but we really recommend you grow them in a pot. This allows better control over the soil and makes it easier to protect the tender plant from the numerous pests that would want to snack on it.

Christmas Tree (Nuytsia)

richiewato /

These beauties grow in the deserts of Western Australia. Their name comes from the fact that they bloom throughout the Christmas season. Their blossoms produce a spectacular bright yellow fluffy crown. And if that isn’t enough for you – They are actually in the mistletoe family. The gum this tree produces is a sweet delicacy traditional for the Nyungar people.

Unfortunately, the Christmas Tree (Nuytsia) is almost impossible to grow out of its natural habitat due to its specific feeding. It’s a hemiparasitic tree that sinks it’s roots in those of other species and steals nutrients from them in addition to photosynthesis. It doesn’t take much from its neighbours, but it usually casts a net so broad the resulting benefit is quite considerable.

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Do you have any of these native plants? Which other Christmas plants you’d add to this list? Comment down below!

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