Christmas Pot Plants (part 1 of 2)

Christmas Pot Plants (part 1 of 2)

Unless you live in a cave, you will probably give or receive a plant at Christmas and the chances are it will be a poinsettia or a cyclamen. Both are traditional favourites and have their fans though poinsettias are a relatively recent introduction in Europe, being far more popular in America where there is even a National Poinsettia day – December 12th. This is a strange coincidence: being the day that Joel Poinsett (1779-1851), an American diplomat who first sent back specimens of poinsettia from Mexico, died and also the day that the plant is used in Mexico to decorate churches for the Dia de la Virgen. There the poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is called la flor de Nochebeuna’.

Typically bright red, there are now pink, cream and variegated varieties – I never know which to choose and if I buy a white one I always have to have a traditional red too! Christmas wouldn’t be the same without one. But after twelfth night my poinsettias are as welcome as leftover turkey and I am never too upset if they look so awful I have to throw them out by spring. But you can keep them for months and even get them to produce those bracts again, if you have the willpower.

Poinsettias like warmth and good light so keep them out of draughts and don’t give them cold water from the tap. Avoid plants in plastic sleeves with fallen leaves when buying and always buy in a shop, not plants stood out in the cold. Buy local British or Irish-grown plants if possible – they will have had a shorter journey and be fresher and less likely to be chilled. Keep them evenly moist and don’t let them stand in water.

Post written by our resident gardening guru Geoff Stebbings from www.thebikinggardener.com

Check out Geoff’s tips on how to keep the plant for another year…

Christmas Pot Plants (part 2 of 2)

Latest News