Poinsettia's have been the Christmas flower for as long as I can remember. The Master Gardeners at Cornell Cooperative Extension dare you to be different and celebrate with these other equally beautiful holiday options.

Whether adding some color and cheer to your own home or trying to find a gift for a gardener on the list, here are some options that will set you apart from the crowd.

Christmas Cactus

It starts blooming in late December and comes in a wide variety of colors. It will usually last until February or March and with some attention can make it to spring and be replanted outdoors.

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Amaryllis

You'll find these in plants and bulb forms. If planting the bulb, you can expect large blooms in about 5-6 weeks. You'll find unusual varieties online that come in different shapes and colors.

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Cyclamen

Pink, red, white and purple are some of the beautiful colors you'll find in this line. When buying, choose one with buds rather than blooms for longer life.

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Orchids

These get a bad rap as hard to maintain, but the Master Gardeners say that's not true. They do need humidity and should be frequently misted. If trying orchids for the 1st time, try Dendrobium orchids for easier care.

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Tuesday December 12th is poinsettia day, so we don't want to slight them by any means. After all they are the Christmas Classic and one of the most popular flowers in the U.S. But check out the options if you're looking for something different. And if the flower is for gifting, a potted plant with a ribbon can pick up anyone's mood this time of the year.

For all things flowers, check out the Master Gardeners page at CCE.com or call the Horticulture Hotline at (315) 736-3394.  They're in Wednesdays and Fridays 9 to noon.

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