Suttons festive houseplants are being delivered around about now, in bud and ready to burst into colour. The short days, wet and cold mean that most gardens are out of bounds making vibrant indoor plants that much more desirable. And of course, festive houseplants give those temporarily off-duty gardeners something to nurture.
Central heating, radiators and log fires make our homes a pretty hostile environment for festive houseplants. So, read on for some advice as to the care and positioning needed.
This South African beauty has striking trumpet shaped flowers borne aloft tall drainpipe stems. An all-time Christmas favourite. When growing keep warm and in filtered light and turn the pot often to keep the stalk straight. Water sparingly until the flower spike is well above the bulb and then water weekly. When the flower opens move to a cool position of about 15-18C. If you think you may be too busy over the Christmas period to water plants then wax-coated amaryllis bulbs are now available, requiring neither soil nor water.
Christmas Azaleas flower in colours of white through pink and different shades of red. Cared for correctly Azaleas will bloom for several weeks and will then flower in spring for several years to come. Keep them in a cool, well-lit spot and water 2 to 3 times a week, ensuring that the compost never dries out.
Myriads of scented white flowers will fill your home with exquisite perfume. Jasmine will flower for several weeks provided it is kept in a cool room such as an unheated conservatory or porch. Water once a week.
This tropical cactus will bloom prolifically well into the New Year and may flower again at Easter. Keep in a well-lit position out of direct sunlight at 16-21C. Water when the surface of the soil has dried out.
Originating in Madagascar this is a twining vine with pretty star-shaped flowers giving off a beautiful perfume. Being a tropical plant Stephanotis likes a humid atmosphere so will appreciate being misted regularly. Filtered light and a cool temperature of around 13C will keep the blooms coming for several weeks.
Once the blooms on your Christmas houseplants have stopped gradually reduce watering. The faded lovelies will enjoy spending the summer outside before being brought back indoors during October in readiness for another glorious Christmas display. A Suttons festive houseplant is not just for Christmas.