Plants colour holidays
For increasing numbers colourful plants are an essential part of decorating at this time of year.
Adding beautiful plants inside is only one way to add impact. Displaying plants outside too gives a great lift as you come home on dark nights.
It’s common in Europe to decorate front doors and door steps with evergreen hardy plants, holly and conifer branches, pine cones and logs plus the addition of lanterns and twinkling lights. The introduction of battery powered LED lights with timers decorating the garden with lights is so much easier. The timers start when you switch the light on, stay on for six hours and then light again every night at the same time until the batteries run down. This could be 30 days or more depending on the size of the set. You can bring a door wreath alive with LED battery lights. Look out for the delicate looking ‘micro’ lights, small lights moulded into silver wires.
Candles with real flames or battery candles are also ideal for lanterns. Stand the lanterns amongst a collection of evergreen plants. Small conifers in pots with a few logs around the pots or large pine cones look very festive. A pre-planted winter planter would also be a lovely welcome home. Add some LED battery lights.
The classic indoor plants for this time of year include, Poinsettia, Cyclamen, Hyacinths, and Moth Orchids.
The one plant that seems to challenge the most folk is the Poinsettia or Christmas Star as it’s called in Europe. Poinsettias love warm conditions with a small temperature drop at night. However modern homes with double glazing and central heating are the perfect homes for a Christmas Star Poinsettia. The night temperatures don’t drop to low and usually there are few draughts. Poinsettias come from Mexico and that helps you know that they like it warmer and that the roots should not be soaking wet.
Indoor Cyclamen have always been a popular plant for the Christmas and winter period but unlike Poinsettias they prefer a cool, very light spot in your house. Not easy to find in a modern well heated home. Cyclamen are surprisingly tough and should flower for months in a cold enclosed porch or conservatory.
They don’t like standing in water so be careful if you are displaying I a pot cover. If your cyclamen collapses and the leaves turn yellow check that it’s not standing in water. If not it’s too hot where you have it.
Decorate your front step with evergreens and lights, add a lit door wreath.