A houseplant for Christmas

Brighten up your home with a Christmas houseplant this year.


Mike Lind, Chairman of the Garden Centre Association, which represents nearly 200 garden centres nationwide, says: “At this time of year, the houseplant makes a great present and buying some for your friends as well as yourself is always cheering. 


“The classic Christmas houseplant is the Poinsettia. The most traditional colour of the plant is red but it is also available in a vast array of other colours including white, pink, cream and marbled with the foliage also available in a variegated form too.Poinsettia houseplant


“The best quality plants are compact and bushy. They are sensitive plants and like an even, warm temperature away from draughts and also don’t like getting too wet. They will go on for many weeks but to get them to colour up again the following year requires dedication and attention to detail as the bracts colour up only after several weeks of 12 hours light and 12 hours dark a day. 


“Cyclamen are also a seasonal houseplant favourite. The indoor types like cool conditions and must be watered from the base to keep them in good form. What the plant doesn’t drink after quarter of an hour can be tipped away leaving the plant in a dry saucer. The flower colours are stunning from purest white to darkest reds and purples and the range of sizes too is from minis through to the very large.


“Orchids are another Christmas houseplant favourite and despite being more and more popular, they still have the mystique and exotic feel.


“They are easier to look after with the Cymbidium needing fairly cool conditions with Phalaenopsis and Cambrian liking it slightly warmer. The Cymbidium are larger growers and have large flower spikes which can last for a very long time. 


“Phalaenopsis have a more sophisticated look to the flower which gain lasts a long time and they will re flower too.


“There are lots of bulbs around too including Hyacinths with their glorious colours and powerful scent. These come from ‘prepared’ bulbs planted in early September.


Orchid houseplant“Other bulbs include the powerfully scented Paperwhites, a form of narcissi, which are so easy to grow and great value too."


Through sharing information and its inspection programme the GCA helps members to achieve high standards in customer service, plant quality and reliability.


To find a GCA member garden centre in your area, please visit www.gca.org.uk/find-a-garden-centre/.


For further information, please call 01244 952170. Alternatively, please visit www.gca.org.uk, log on to www.facebook.com/pages/GardenCentreAssociationor follow the organisation on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GC_Association.