It’s the most wonderful time of the year and we’re getting set for Christmas. The coffee machine is on, the decorations are up and the wreaths are ready!
This is our fourth Christmas at grow urban. and we look forward to bringing you more seasonal plant options this year. Be it a little bit of extra festive decoration for yourself or a gift for a friend, here are our top 5 festive plant favourites.
Cyclamen are the perfect choice for a burst of colour in the winter months. They are part of the Primulaceae family and will happily grow inside, or outside if kept in covered outdoor environments like balconies and patios. They prefer bright, in-direct light and cooler temperatures. To reduce the risk of root rot, allow the soil to dry out a little before re-watering, at least the top inch to two inches. Bottom water by placing the base of the pot in water for approximately half an hour. This will allow them to soak up their desired quantity of water through their roots.
Deadhead to prolong flowering.
Little would you know that this humble green stemmed bulb turns into the most glorious bloom. Amaryllis produce incredible trumpet-like flowers which come in a plethora of colours including red, white, pink and even orange. These are often a favoured Christmas option as, although its natural flowering time is Spring, it is one of few plants that can be trained to bloom in December.
Hippeastrums thrive in bright, in-direct light. To avoid the bulb leaning towards the light it’s best to turn the pot occasionally for a more even growth. Whilst growing indoors fertilise the plant every two to three weeks. Water sparingly until the leaves develop and once leaves begin to appear, water twice a week.
After flowering remove the stalk with clean, sharp scissors and with the right care your Amaryllis will last for many years to come!
Deadhead to prolong flowering.
Schlumbergera (aka Christmas Cactus)
It’s always surprising to hear that a species known for their desert environment can thrive during Christmas. Schlumbergera are so popular at this time of year as they produce lots of colourful flowers in late November to January. They are succulents that naturally grow on trees in tropical rainforests so love to be kept relatively damp and humidity is a must. They thrive in bright, in-direct light and apply a cacti feed in spring and summer.
To promote flowering, in late September place the plant in a dark room for 4 weeks.
A Christmas tree with a twist! Differing from your usual Christmas tree Pinus Pinea have lovely blue foliage and are native to the Mediterranean. They have excellent resistance to sea winds so are a great outdoor option. Alternatively, they can be kept indoors if they are positioned away from radiators and the soil is kept moist at all times.
If you want to keep your tree thriving until next year without keeping it pride of place in your living room, they can be planted outdoors ready to be brought back in next year. If planting your Pinus Pinea outside after Christmas, avoid keeping it indoors for longer than 6 weeks. The sudden change in temperature may cause your tree to drop needles if it has adjusted to indoor temperatures for too long.
The Begonia ‘Merry Christmas’ is a Rex Begonia with striking colourful foliage. These begonias flourish in bright, in-direct light and should be watered when the top inch of soil dries out. During winter allow at least the top two inches of soil to dry out to avoid root rot. Begonias are humidity lovers, however hate water on their leaves. Therefore, to create an ideal humid environment Begonias should be placed on a pebble tray consisting of a saucer, ‘Clay Pebbles’ or ‘Grit’, and topped up with water. This will create humidity by the water evaporating up into the leaves rather than misting water directly onto the plant.
If you are not after a new festive plant pal we have lots of other gift options available including glorious scented candles, brilliant books and even stationery! Why not relax in the jungle with a Hot Chocolate and Brownie while you’re at it?