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Cornelius Nursery: A Christmas Wonderland in Houston

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

Cornelius Nursery at Christmas

Cornelius Nursery at Christmas

Christmas at Cornelius Nursery

I'm not sure when the exact date of my first visit to Cornelius Nursery happened, but I do know that it made quite an impression. When my parents came up from McAllen to Houston, Texas, for a visit, that was a location that was on my list of places to show them. The year was 1970.

At all times of the year, their location is resplendent with seasonal plants and matching décor. Still, during Christmastime, this is a place that should be on everyone's list of "where to go" and "what to do" in Houston. Christmas is simply a showstopper at Cornelius!

I first showed my parents the store and nursery during the Christmas season. Their faces were suddenly lit up with smiles and amazement. It was much like a child staring at a glass counter filled with luscious choices of colorful penny candy and holding a small fistful of pennies. Does anyone remember penny candy?

Cornelius Nursery becomes a wonderland of sorts during Christmas. One year my husband and I went there to get inspiration for a fireplace mantle in our home. We exited the store with supplies with which to decorate our mantle. I also snapped many photos at that time. Readers of this post can get a sense of how this glorious wonderland appears at this festive time of year. Enjoy!

Holiday Spirit

As we were wandering through the store glancing this way and that at all sorts of glittering Christmas adornments while Christmas music was playing, several of the customers in the store spoke to us. They said that they always liked going there at that particular time of year to get into the holiday spirit. They were wearing beaming smiles as were we.

Christmas Decorations

Whether one is looking for unique Christmas decorations for one's own home or a special gift to give away, be prepared to see a wide array of seasonal items that can inspire ideas.

Artificial Christmas Trees

Whoever the employees are who get to decorate the artificial Christmas trees each year, they are experts. They have an eye for design and exhibit great flair in making each of the trees in the store worthy of inspection.

All of the ornaments and embellishments on each tree are also for sale in surrounding bins and baskets. There are numerous decorated artificial Christmas trees, both large and small, scattered throughout the store.

There is so much "eye candy" at Cornelius Nursery, particularly at Christmastime. One can hardly appreciate all that there is to see in just one visit. Little vignettes are on display with various themes, and every little nook and cranny of the store holds another treasure.

Garden Nursery

Naturally, since Cornelius is primarily a garden nursery, the outdoor area is festooned with seasonal color at this time of year also.

Customers can buy artificial Christmas trees, garlands, wreaths, or fresh items. The pine scent lightly permeates the entire area adding to one's enjoyment and enticing all of one's senses.

These photos show an area under cover adjacent to the store filled with poinsettias, artificial Christmas trees, artificial garlands, wreaths, plus bins filled with other ornamentation. The real Christmas trees were outside of this. Flocking of trees is done on-site for those who desire a tree enhanced with what looks like snow.

The lighted garlands are on display so that one can see how they look. It was one of those very garlands that we purchased for decorative purposes over our mantle.

After Christmas, their discounted Christmas décor disappears fast.


The inside covered area with some poinsettia plants gave way to a virtual sea of colorful poinsettia plants when we walked out into the open nursery area.

During times of the year, when occasional light frosts or freezes are predicted, a light protective fabric that allows light to come shining through the panels is strung up on overhead metal trellis-like supports. This covering also protects customers during bright sunlit days or times of rainy weather.


Cyclamen plants of various colors were also on display. Every purchase of those perennial plants benefited a featured charity that particular year.

Cyclamens like shady or semi-shaded areas of which we have plenty in our yard. They are cold hardy down to about 28 degrees Fahrenheit. It does not often get colder than that here in Houston, although we have had some episodes in the last few years where it snowed and got down lower than usual.

They were inexpensive. If, for some reason, the cyclamens would freeze and not come back, enjoying the plants for their seasonal color and benefiting a charity was reason enough to purchase some.



Christmas Cactus

Christmas cactus plants can be purchased at Cornelius nursery this time of year in tiny little pots or larger ones. They had an assortment of colors. Both of my grandmothers had well-tended Christmas cactus plants that bloomed every year for them when they lived in Wisconsin. I remember the fuchsia-colored ones that they cherished and kept indoors year-round.

Christmas cactus can be planted outdoors in our climate. A friend has some planted in a window box that is frequently nibbled by some squirrels in her yard. I am not sure at the time of writing this who is winning the battle, my friend, or her resident squirrels.

Professionals On-Site

Texas certified and master certified professionals are employed and ready to assist one with any gardening needs and desires. They even test one's soil at no charge! A design team can help make custom decorations, make elaborate bows, or assist one with advice when making one's seasonal items such as I did.

Calloway's Nursery now owns Cornelius as of 1999, but the name Cornelius remains the same. To learn more about the free gardening clinics held each Saturday, contests, and more, check out their website below.

Suffice it to say that Cornelius Nursery will always remain a favorite location to visit, particularly at Christmas but also other times of the year as well. If seeking professional advice, this is a place to count upon receiving good gardening advice. Their plants are top-notch, and while their pricing may not be the least expensive in town, at least you know that you are getting hardy plant stock.



Delightful Shopping Year-Round

Some of these photos were from their location on Dairy Ashford, which is no longer open. The Voss Road site was the first one I had ever visited many decades ago. There are a total of three locations in the Houston metro area and many more in the State of Texas.

I'll leave you with a final photo of these beautiful ornamental hot pepper plants, which just added to the beautiful colors of a joyful Christmas season at Cornelius Nursery.

Decorative Hot Pepper Plants

Decorative Hot Pepper Plants


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Peggy Woods


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 09, 2020:

Hi Aurelio,

You have never seen a Christmas cactus? My grandmother grew one indoors in Wisconsin years ago when I was a child. Thus, my familiarity with them spans most of my life. I'm glad that you enjoy my photos.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on November 09, 2020:

I know this is about the wonderful Cornelius Nursery but what caught my eye was the Christmas Cactus, which I didn't know about. I've never seen it in SoCal. As usual, you have beautiful pictures to make me feel like I'm there.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 19, 2020:

Hi Paula,

Cornelius nursery is indeed a fun place to visit during the holidays. We will probably still need to wear face masks, however, to keep everyone safe.

Paula on September 18, 2020:

With the Holiday Season rapidly approaching, this will be a great relief to visit during the Covid Crisis.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 17, 2020:

Hi Rajan,

Cornelius nursery is a feast for the eyes at all times of the year, but they pull out all the stops, so to speak, during the Christmas season. I am happy that you enjoyed seeing it via this post.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 17, 2020:

Cornelius nursery is a lavish feast for the eyes. A great place to visit for sure. Thanks for sharing these lovely photographs and information about the place.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 11, 2020:

Hi FlourishAnyway,

Cornelius Nursery is decorated appropriately at other times of the year also, like Easter, for example. But it is during Christmas that it is truly spectacular. Sorry to know that the business you enjoyed visiting is now no longer there.

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 10, 2020:

What a treat it must be to live close to a place like this! We used to have a wonderful shop that was jam packed with holiday decor (whatever the holiday) but it went out of business and I really miss it, especially at Christmas.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 19, 2020:

Hi Dora,

It is nice having gardening professionals on hand to be able to answer questions.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 19, 2020:

Hi Bill,

When my husband and I lived in central Wisconsin, there was a Christmas tree farm just down the road from us. Those particular ones did not put on a show like the ones you mentioned near you.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 18, 2020:

Thanks to you, this is another Texas site I would like to visit. Getting advice from the professionals in the nursery would be great, but I'll spend most time admiring the Christmas decoration.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 18, 2020:

Hi Liz,

We can garden year-round in our climate, but it is always fun to visit this particular garden center because of the fabulous displays during the Christmas season.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 18, 2020:

We have a couple Christmas tree farms that put on quite the show during the holiday season. They are fun to visit for sure, and I love the hot apple cider they serve.

Liz Westwood from UK on April 18, 2020:

Garden centres in the UK major on Christmas displays between autumn and late December. It's a great source of income when customers are less focused on gardening. We struggled to park because one we visited was so popular last year. You have done this one credit with your excellent photos.

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