Caring for Christmas Houseplants
Christmas houseplants are a great way of brightening up the house, making it colourful and festive, and they’re fabulous Christmas gifts. If you’re lucky enough to receive one – or maybe you’ve spoilt yourself and just gone out and bought one – you’ll want to make sure it provides months of pleasure. Remember, houseplants aren’t just for Christmas! With a little care and attention, most will go on giving for many years.
The indoor Azalea is usually an Indian azalea as distinct from
the Japanese Azalea that it so closely resembles.
There is a wide range of colours available nowadays, bright
pink, purple, red, white and even bi-coloured.
Keep deadheading and it should flower for about six weeks although
some can last much longer.
Water so that the compost does not dry out as the flowers can
drop off if they get too dry.
Spraying is another way of helping to prevent flowers from drying
Indian Azaleas are not as hardy as Japanese varieties but if
hardened off and planted outside in the summer it is not unknown
for some to establish themselves in the garden.
One of my favourite plants – it deserves to be more popular.
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This delicate plant is perfect for any house but prefers it
to be not too hot.
As it grows from a corm, it is best to place the plant on a
saucer and water from underneath rather than directly onto the
plant - this avoids rotting the corm.
Dead head to remove any spent flowers by simply pulling on the
stalk and it will continue to flower through the winter.
The blooms of this plant are often perfumed and can fill your
house with their strong perfume.
Even after the flowers have stopped Cyclamen make nice foliage
plants with their silvery speckled leaves
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Poinsettias are so associated with Christmas that nobody buys
them after December 25th. This is a pity, as Poinsettias can
retain their red colour for months and make nice foliage plants
thereafter. They can be cut back in the summer and grown again
for next Christmas. The red colour is not a flower but Bracts
(modified leaves) with the flower in the centre of them.
The more Bracts the more expensive the plant.
Why not try decorating your Poinsettia!
Names after Colonel Joel Roberts Poinsett of the US army, the
first US Ambassador to Mexico (1825-1829). He grew them himself
and sent some back to botanical gardens in the USA.
First discovered in Mexico and Central America.
In the wild these plants are bare-branched shrubs or small trees.
The Aztecs were known to like them.
Most people know the traditional red poinsettias from
Christmas, but these plants also come in peach, pink, lemon,
cream, and with white and gold-splashed leaves.
Protect poinsettias from cold and draughts at all times.
They need a light position and a temperature, preferably, of
16-18°C but not above a radiator or too near a fire.
Water when the compost is moderately dry; don't over
or under-water as this results in leaf drop.
Do not spray the leaves as this can mark them!
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Bowls, Baskets and Troughs:
These arrangements make lovely presents as they contain a mixture
Care is very simple - water sparingly.
These bowls and baskets are all shapes and sizes so it is not
easy to find a tray or saucer to fit them.
As a result they usually have no drainage holes in order to
avoid water running through them and marking furniture.
For this reason, water sparingly so as not to flood the Bowl
or Basket as this can cause the plants to rot.
When the plants outgrow the container lift the whole arrangement
out and separate the individual plants with a sharp knife -
then repot them.
The more plants there are, the more expensive they will be.
A more exotic container also adds to the price.
These Bulbs look so exotic that many people are afraid to buy
them as they assume they must be difficult to grow.
Nothing could be further from the truth - just water them and
sit back and watch them grow almost in front of your eyes.
They are slow to start growth as the bulb will have been dried
out and they need a lot of water to re-hydrate them, but once
they start you can almost see them grow.
Keep your Houseplants happy
Position your new houseplants carefully - find a light, warm spot out of direct sunlight and protected from cold draughts. Don't overwater - only moisten the compost when the surface feels dry. For healthier flowering and foliage plants, feed with Miracle-Gro Pour and Feed.
Bug Clear for pots
West Carlston Garden Centre & Licensed
Tea Room, Campsie Road, Torrance, Glasgow, G64 4EZ
Tel: 01360 620248 -:- e-mail: email@example.com