Below is a press release from Plants@Work, an independent, non-profit organization in Great Britain, hence the British spelling in places. Joe Zazzera, co-owner of Plant Solutions, and member of Plants@Work, was one of the judges.


Following in the footsteps of the favourite “Office Plant of the Year,” we organised a competition to find the favourite Christmas plant. A selection of five flowering winter plants made the short list, namely the Poinsettia, the Cyclamen, the Christmas Cactus, the Azalea and the Amaryllis.

The final decision was left to our panel of judges whose votes registered the top three in this order:

Matthew Appleby of Horticulture Week picked the Poinsettia as his top choice as it is “an iconic Christmas favourite, with new colours and sizes growing the appeal.”

Award-winning garden designer, Claudia de Yong also named the Poinsettia as her favourite, “I prefer the paler coloured ones. As our homes are warm at this time of year, this plant should be very happy (make sure you protect the plant from the cold when you buy them). They look great as part of the table decoration in large bowls topped by moss.”

The Poinsettia was originally recognised for its mass of bright red bracts, but now this plant comes in a variety of colours from white and cream through greens to pinks, bronzes and yellows, and of course the original shades of red. This makes the Poinsettia very versatile and perfect for any Christmas theme or scheme.

The Amaryllis got Rona Wheeldon of Flowerona, and Jane Perone’s vote who commented, “I just love these OTT flower bulbs! So dramatic and easy to grow in the average (warm) British home or office, they offer value for money, gorgeous blooms and really make an impact on a room.” The Amaryllis is also versatile when it comes to shape and colours, from whites through pinks and red. Each tall stem holds three large flower heads from double flowers to spidery ones.

Coming in third place was the popular Christmas Cactus. Matthew Appleby confirmed it is a “retro favourite making a comeback.” While our American judge, Joe Zazzera voted for it as it is a “hearty beauty.” The Christmas Cactus flowers at the end of its long, flat, leave-like stems usually from November to January. The colour range is red through pinks to white.

All of the top three plants make good colourful additions to your office or home displays for the Christmas season.

Poinsettia Day

Don’t forget that December 12th is Poinsettia Day. I’m sure no one needs an excuse to include these lovely Christmas plants in their displays, but December 12th certainly makes it the perfect day to have them on reception displays or to give as presents.

A big thank you to our judges. We’d like to thank all of them for finding the time to make their nominations.

All images for the Poinsettia are courtesy of Main images for the Amaryllis and the Christmas Cactus are courtesy of the Flower Council of Holland.