Whether you are tackling a quick Charlotte renovation project for the holidays or trying to make a new custom home feel like home, nothing says Happy Holidays like iconic Christmas plants.

Whether you are tackling a quick Charlotte renovation project for the holidays, trying to make a new custom home feel like home, or just giving a friend or family member a well-deserved gift, nothing says Happy Holidays like iconic Christmas plants. From the tree itself to more flowery options, here’s how to take care of the greenery that comes indoors at this wonderful time of the year.

Christmas trees

This is the literal centerpiece of most family traditions, and if you opt for a real tree instead of the fake kind, there are some simple ways to make it last all season long. First, start with a fresh tree. Feel the needles to make sure they don’t easily flake off, and test to ensure that the branches are sturdy enough to hold an ornament without excessive sagging – two signs that a tree might have been cut too long ago. Since trees are essentially fresh cut flowers, treat them the same way. Make a fresh cut of about ¼ inch at the bottom of the trunk and keep the cut fully submerged so it can absorb water. Your tree will drink a lot during the first week, and if you allow the tree stand to dry up, the stem will sap over, preventing it from absorbing more water and speeding its demise. While some folks swear by all types of tree preservatives, many experts say plain water is fine. Just keep the tree away from direct heat (like a fireplace or a heating vent) to prolong its life.

Rosemary

This tasty herb is a favorite holiday gift, and you’ll often see it trimmed to mimic a small Christmas tree. A gift that keeps on giving, you can use this fresh herb for years to come. It needs bright light and moist soil (water every few days) when indoors. If you want to transfer it to your garden, wait until after the last frost and then plant outside.

Poinsettias.

These iconic plants are the epitomy of holiday cheer, but the bright foil wrappers they usually come in can actually hurt these plants. How? They tend to hold in water, and these plants hate wet roots. To fix it, simply remove them from the wrappers or poke holes in them to let excess water drain. (Just remember to use a plant saucer or water them over a sink once you do so.)

Christmas Cacti.

These pretty succulents are surprisingly hardy. Simply place in a bright window and water when dry. To encourage blooms next Christmas, set them outside for a few weeks in fall before the first frost and fertilize about once a month.

With a little care, you can have a green Christmas all season long!