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8 Festive Flowers to Buy Instead of Poinsettias This Christmas

Poinsettias can be ho-ho-hum, these festive flowers switch things up.

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Amaryllis

Amaryllis look stunning by themselves in a vase, without needing accent flowers to pull them together. Give them as much height as possible for a striking look that lets them bloom longer, suggests Nic Faitos, senior partner with Starbright Floral Design. Pick a candy striped red and white one for your candy cane lane, or mix and match colors for a sophisticated look. “I like combining red and burgundy amaryllis together and playing with textures and hue,” says Faitos. “Think a deep burgundy next to a fire-truck red.”

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Hydrangeas

“Hydrangeas are another flower that just bursts with festivity around the holidays,” says Faitos. They come in a range of colors, so feel free to venture away from the traditional red, green, and white. Light pink or purple paired with silver can be just as festive, says Faitos. (Find out what your favorite flower says about you.)

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Red roses

A dozen red roses might sound more Valentine than Christmas, but roses can make a gorgeous bouquet during the holiday season too. Shorter stems and additions like pinecones or ornaments give them a whole new presentation. “Things that are made low and lush around Christmastime or any of the winter holidays would not fit around Valentine’s Day,” says Faitos. “It’s the same flower, but a completely different look.” (Don’t miss these common holiday decorating mistakes.)

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Carnations

Thanks to plant scientists experimenting with hue, arrangements of carnations can look much more chic than the traditional reds, whites, and yellows you might remember from your grandma’s house. “What’s making them cool again is they’re coming in interesting colors,” says Faitos. “These are colors that carnations were not supposed to exist in.” Lavender and hot fuchsia, or white and ivory are unexpected but eye-catching combinations, especially with silver mixed in for a festive winter touch. Don’t miss these other tips for making cheap bouquet look expensive.

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Ilax berries

Holly gets all the glory at Christmastime, but ilax berries can be even more striking. The leafless branches deliver a major punch of red with as many as 100 berries per branch. Use them as an accent, or leave them alone in a tall vase. “Putting them by themselves brings out all of their glory,” says Faitos. These facts about the White House Christmas tree are so interesting!

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Lilies

White lilies make a big impact in a holiday arrangement. “They last long and they’re beautiful,” says Faitos. “They’re just a very happy flower.” Pair the star-shaped flower with red roses, carnations, or tulips, along with greens for a Christmas-themed arrangement. Check out these other flowers that last a long time in a vase.

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Paperwhites

This daffodil relative can make for a crowd-pleasing winter wonderland arrangement that doesn’t scream “Christmas.” “You can go cross-denominational and cross religious lines with them,” says Faitos. “Everybody loves them.” He suggests placing them in farm crates for a rustic look. (These lovely flower quotes will calm your soul.)

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Tulips

Two bunches of tulips in a square vase make a lovely arrangement, says Faitos. White and red are a classic Christmas color combination, but red and pink is a stunning, modern twist. Here are more secrets your florist won’t tell you.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest