Poinsettias are a popular gift for this time of year. While they are not edible and could cause mild illness, they aren't poisonous to kids. Poinsettias are a mildly toxic plant to dogs and cats and should certainly be used with caution, but the dangers are hardly ever serious or fatal. Use poinsettias to decorate your home without fear but know that it can take some effort to keep them alive and healthy in Colorado. If the gift recipient isn't a dedicated plant lover, you might consider a different, hardier gift plant.
If indoor plants are more their speed, consider a snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata), which does well even with a little neglect. It can handle a chilly night or low light conditions, making it versatile to place in nearly any room of the home.
For a gift they can keep outdoors in a container or plant in their landscape when spring comes, consider Rocky Mountain Juniper, a native evergreen that is beautiful and aromatic. Outdoors it can withstand Colorado's cold, harsh conditions.
Snowdrops are flowering plants with long green stems that bend with a white flower on the end like a snowdrop. These flowers thrive in cold weather, making them perfect Christmas plants! You can either buy these flowers at a garden store or buy bulbs to plant in a garden. Snowdrops tend to bloom in the garden in February or March, but can be “forced” indoors to bloom in December.
Maranta, also known as a prayer plant, is a beautiful evergreen perennial plant with dark green leaves. Prayer plant gets it’s name for it’s unique habit of raising their leaves to an upright position at night time. The leaves fold together like hands during prayer! Maranta is considered a Christmas plant because of its festive dark green leaves that pair well with contrasting red Christmas decorations.
Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (2021, Dec. 10). Tip of the Week: Green gifts. https://www.alcc.com/tip-of-the-week-email
Home for the Harvest: Christmas Plants by Mary Jane Duford. https://www.homefortheharvest.com/christmas-plants/