Christmas flowering houseplants bring the outside in at a time when most gardens are out of bounds. The lack of colour in our gardens at this time of year makes vibrant indoor plants that much more desirable and of course gives those temporarily off-duty gardeners something to nurture. They also make the ideal gift, lasting far longer than a bouquet of flowers or box of chocolates.
Poinsettias tend to be the marmite of Christmas houseplants with people either loving or loathing them but fear not, there are plenty of stunning alternatives. Amaryllis, Jasmine, Christmas Cactus, Azalea and Stephanotis will all help to dispel winter dullness and add a festive touch.
Central heating and log fires can make our homes a pretty hostile environment for houseplants and so some care will be 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 weekly. When the flower opens move to a cool position. If remembering to water houseplants is an issue then try our wax-coated amaryllis bulbs , no soil nor water required.
Cared for correctly Azaleas will bloom for several weeks and will then flower in spring for several years to come. Keep in a cool, well-lit spot and water 2/3 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 if kept in a cool room such as an unheated conservatory or porch. Water once a week.
This tropical cactus will flower into the New Year and possibly again at Easter. Keep in a well-lit position but 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.