There’s enough stress over Christmas without having to worry about your plants, too. However, just like needy house guests, they will need your attention too! However, this year, let me lend you a helping hand with my ‘Christmas Plant Tips and Tricks’.
Grow the freshest Christmas Tree, keep your Poinsettia gleaming, and train your Amaryllis the right way:
Choosing the best Christmas Tree
Ideally, select a growing Christmas Tree, in a container. Bear in mind it will probably have been lifted from the ground and dumped into the pot a few days before, but never mind about that. A growing tree is also more stable.
If you’re buying a fresh cut tree, check freshness by dropping the tree an inch above the ground. If a fair few needles drop, it isn’t that fresh! Always choose a well balanced tree, with dense branching, much easier to hide the light wires once you decorate!
Caring for your Christmas Tree in the home
Once you get that tree home, make sure it’s watered as soon as poss. For fresh cuts, I would recommend a tree stand with water reservoir. Your tree will especially need lots of water over the first few days, as it adjusts to life in your warm home. Always keep the reservoir topped up, covering the base. Place a saucer under pot-grown trees, and water well in the same way.
As much as possible, keep your prized specimen away from open fires and radiators! Your tree will enjoy staying cool, and should be nice and fresh until the 12th day!
Keeping your Poinsettia plant happy
One of the biggest challenges of the festive period, even more difficult than keeping the peace over a game of Monopoly, will be keeping your Poinsettia alive! As with many houseplants, never drench them with water, always allow to dry out between watering, keeping on the dry side if possible. However, Poinsettia enjoy rich humidity, so stand the pot on a tray of moist pebbles if you can. At all costs, you must also avoid draughts and sharp changes of temperature.
If happy, your plant will flower throughout the festive period, and into the first few months of the next year.
Getting the timing right with your Christmas Cactus
That’s the million dollar question! First of all, make sure you actually have a Christmas Cactus, and not a Thanksgiving or Easter Cactus:
A few golden rules: keep watering regular and steady, not too wet, not too dry. Set a reminder on your iPhone to tell you once a week. Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera) always flower better when they are ‘a little bit stressed’, so never repot too often. Place in a well-lit position, and hold off on feeding until the spring, too.
Now you know why those tired looking old Christmas Cactus plants at your Nan’s are always flowering abundantly, despite the shocking condition you think they’re in!
A look at alternative Christmas Trees!
Now here’s where you can get really creative! You could choose a conifer of your own, perhaps a sparkling gold one (just like our recent Plant of the Month!) or how about a clipped Rosemary, with it’s neat Christmas tree appearance, PLUS sexy fragrance!
Or, how about an outdoor decorated tree? The ‘Blue Angel’ Holly is pretty and easy to grow. I’ve also spotted these super cool oversized fairy lights, you could hang them in larger trees for an injection of christmas spirit!
How to keep your Amaryllis short and stable
If you’ve been given an Amaryllis bulb as a gift, it’s actually one of the easiest plants to grow. Once they’re kicked into growth, bulbs tend to grow without any intervention. You won’t even need to water it! Here’s a fab self-supporting one, displayed in a posh glass vase with deco pebbles!
Amaryllis are absolute show-stoppers for the christmas home, but they can be rather boisterous! The warmer the room, the taller they’ll grow, think of the room as an incubator! Grow as cool as possible (and by a good natural light source) until the moment of flowering, when you can then bring the plant into it’s final ‘show off’ position!
Plants that look nice by the front door!
How about making your home as welcoming as possible, it’ll get your visitors into the Christmas spirit, and perhaps reduce those Monopoly scuffles! During December, Heathers and Gaultheria will be looking all fairytale, and will appreciate the likely cold conditions outdoors.
Dress them in a nice rustic basket, perhaps even popping some Pansies in too. This time of year, you can be a bit stuck for colour outdoors, but there are a few “snow-busters” you can look out for: Hellebores, Winter Clematis and Sarcococca for example!
The best wreath and how to care for it
The choice is yours, an indoor wreath will last around 3 weeks, outdoors slightly longer. Noble fir tends to perform the best, and have a glorious festive fragrance too.
Spritz/spray your wreath with fresh water every few days. It may seen obvious, but spray the rear of the wreath, where the moss base is, rather than the foliage on the front.
The most Christmassy orchid for your home
I’ve chosen this wonderful Phalaenopsis, with blushing pink flowers and supplied in a smart bronze bowl, with additional ferns! A talking point over Christmas lunch for sure. It’s super easy to care for too….
That’s right, it’s silk! From the fantastic Peony Faux Flowers range, this specimen will be one plant that won’t need your attention over the Christmas period, so you’ll have no excuse for burning the sprouts…!
Have a fab Christmas, guys!