Popular Christmas gift plants like scented hyacinths, vibrant poinsettias and minature narcissus can survive long after the festive season is over. Below are our top tips to make sure your plants outlast your Christmas decorations.
When you position your plant to show it off to your friends and family at Christmas, be mindful of the temperature. You might be tempted to keep the house warm and cosy for your festive celebrations, but your Christmas plants won't appreciate it. Turn the thermostat down a couple of notches in the room where your plant is positioned – you'll get the longest display in your coolest room. Try to position your plants away from direct sunlight and draughts.
Water your Christmas plants about twice a week, being careful not to overwater them. Empty the plant's saucer after watering if there is any excess. It's an idea to mist poinsettias with water from a spray bottle as they thrive on the extra humidity.
Christmas plants such as poinsettias, hyacinths and Christmas cactus prefer moderate, indirect light. Keep them on a windowsill to give them the maximum amount of daylight during the short winter days. If sunlight comes through the window directly onto the plant, reposition the plant or draw a thin curtain during the day. If you don't get a lot of natural light in your home, you can place your plants directly under a fluorescent lamp during the day.
If you have time between stuffing the turkey and decorating the tree, try to remember to remove any fading or dead leaves from your Christmas indoor plants. If your plant is in Christmas packaging – like a paper or foil sleeve – it’s worth removing this fairly soon after receipt as this packaging can sometimes push leaves up and block light which will ultimately shorten the life span of your plant.
Strange, but true: fruit causes pot plants – as well as cut flowers – to fade prematurely, so keep your plants away from the fruit bowl so that the ethylene produced by the fruit won't adversely affect the longevity of your festive floral display.
Although I love beautiful plants and gardens, I am a self-proclaimed ‘reluctant’ gardener and
am generally amazed if anything flourishes in my own garden.
I'm a big fan of plants marked ‘easy to grow’, ‘drought tolerant’ and ‘no pruning necessary’ and have had some success over the years with Buddleja ‘Buzz’, Lily ‘Defender’ and Lavender ‘Munstead’. I do enjoy a small, but very tasty annual crop of blueberries from my lone blueberry plant.