Deck the halls with Christmas Plants
I seem to be a little more organised this year and all the decorations and lights are in place and I have just installed my seasonal favourite, the poinsettia, in the windowsills. Personally, I still like the red varieties of this plant but there are other colours available if you prefer something different.
The colours of poinsettias are actually modified leaves, known as bracts, the true flowers being yellow and nestling tightly within the centre of the bracts. This is a plant for your warmest room. If you placing it in a windowsill bring it into the room at night when you draw the curtains. Ensure that the surface of the compost is moderately dry before you apply water as overwatering is a common cause of plant collapse. Bear in mind that the colour you purchase is the colour that the plant will be. Pink, marbled or any of the other coloured bracts don’t turn red.
Many of the other Christmas favourites are lovers of bright but cooler conditions. Cyclamen, azaleas, roses and chrysanths will soon look a little sad if placed in a warm room for a long period. Enjoy their display in your warmer rooms over the festive period but, if you wish to continue the display for longer, move them into bright cooler areas afterwards. Unheated enclosed porches or conservatories are absolutely ideal for these plants and along with a nice selection of potted bulbs you can soon have a very colourful display with which to welcome your visitors. With regard to watering make sure cyclamen are drying out a little before applying water. The others mentioned above need to be kept moist.
An attractive, long-lived plant that is popular at this time of the year, is the Aechmea, commonly called the “Urn Plant”. The greyish-green foliage forms a central “vase” from which the striking flower emerges. Keep the centre topped up with water and this plant will be very happy for several months.
And finally, What goes Ho, Ho, Ho, Thump?
Santa laughing his head off!
A very Merry Christmas to you all.