Plants for the home at Christmas

Do you decorate your home with plants at Christmas? For some, an iconic Poinsettia is always part of their Christmas decorations.

 

These delicate plants are native to Central America and Mexico and come in the traditional red but also in white and several shades of pink.

 poinsettia

 

The coloured flowers aren’t really flowers at all but bracts. They’re easy to care for if you keep them out of drafts and make sure they are completely wrapped when you buy them. They hate the cold air when they leave the comfort of the shop or garden centre. Keep them in a warm spot in your home but not in direct sunlight.

 

Be careful not to overwater and never leave your plant standing in water. Test the compost and water when it is almost dry.

 

Other Christmas favourites

The Christmas cactus is another popular plant for this season. It flowers during the winter months, which makes it perfect for this time of year.

 

Its real name is the Schlumbergera which is a bit of a mouthful hence its more common name. Originally this hot little number came from Brazil where it grew in the rainforests. This long-lasting plant comes in a variety of colours too: purple, red, white, orange or pink. Something to match or contrast with most people’s Christmas decorations.

 

Keep it warm and water it once a week while it flowers. Remove dead flowers.

 

christmas-cactus

It’s got to be white

If you’re not a fan of vibrant reds but love the frosty, clean look of white then orchids and cyclamen completely fit the bill.

 

The stately moth orchid (Phalaenopsis) is actually a winner at any time of the year and is much easier to look after than you might think. Originating from the Southern Hemisphere namely parts of Asia and Australia, the orchid has long been a UK favourite.

 

 moth-orchid

 

 

Keep yours at its best by giving it lots of light but no direct sunlight; dunk the pot in water once every 7 – 10 days, let it have a good drink and then drain it. If your home is centrally heated it is best to spray your orchid leaves every so often to create the humidity it loves.

 

Beautiful white cyclamen add a delicate touch to your decs but they prefer a colder temperature so they may not be the perfect answer for your living room. A cooler hallway or bedroom maybe the answer, but remember they hate draughts too.

cyclamen

 

 

Cyclamen – source unknown

 

Water them from the bottom (i.e. in a container) when the compost is dry trying not to soak the ‘crown’ of the plant. This is the part of the tuber that shows above the soil. In fact it is best to sit their pot on a tray of stones covered in water so that they experience some humidity too.

 

Potted bulbs

These are another favourite as they are just beginning to push through the earth and give us a great boost of what’s to come in the months ahead.

 

Whether it’s Narcissi, tulips, heady-perfumed Hyacinth or delicate Grape Hyacinth, a bowl of these spring beauties will really liven up your winter home. There is the added joy that these can go straight in the garden to flower next year once they have finished in the pot.

 

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