Cerise pink has been one of the colours for Christmas over the last couple of years. It adds drama and warmth to silver and black and a touch of sophistication and depth to similar jewel colours, such as turquoise and amethyst.
It’s easy to reflect this colour in plants and flowers at Christmas as many of the most popular houseplants come in this fashionable shade.
Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera)
This is a forest cactus with leaf-like stems and an attractive trailing habit. Despite being sometimes difficult to bring into flower, they remain a popular houseplant. Special attention is required, however, to get them to flower year after year.
Provide a cool, dry spot during the resting period, preferably after flowering in February and March. Place them outside in the summer months – this will help to set next year’s flower buds – although you will need to protect them from slugs. Try not to move them once the buds have started to develop.
The plant should be kept cool once in flower.
Water normally during the flowering period and sparingly during the rest period.
Mist leaves frequently.
Well lit but away from direct sunlight.
Long associated with Christmas, the cyclamen is available in an increasingly sophisticated range of colours from pure white to deep cerise purple. Its intricate leaf markings and the swept back nature of its flowers make it one of the most popular and attractive houseplants.
A cool room is essential.
Keep compost moist at all times and water from below.
Ideally, keep your plant on a saucer of pebbles and mist occasionally around – but not directly on to – the plant.
Keep in bright light but away from direct sunlight.
Always terrific value for money, this pretty and long-flowering orchid is an ideal plant to give as a Christmas present. Exchange plain support canes for a cage of red mecado sticks; add cones and stems of pine for a fun, Christmassy look. Finish off with a cherry red pot for the perfect gift.
Approximately 20ºC in summer, although keep away from direct sunlight. Reduce to 15ºC in winter. Cool nights are important, move from windows on frosty nights.
Keep compost moist and reduce watering in winter.
Moist air is essential, stand the plant in a saucer of pebbles and mist leaves occasionally.
The plant should get good light 10-15 hours a day, supplement with artificial light in winter.
Officially a rhododendron although recognised across the UK as an azalea, this is another popular Christmas houseplant which can flower for weeks if looked after properly. The most common problem is leaf drop, which occurs when the plant is too dry.
Despite their fiery appearance, azaleas like cool conditions, between 10ºC and 15ºC.
Azaleas like to be wet, not just moist, so make sure they are watered well on arrival and not allowed to dry out.
Mist daily when in flower.
They need a brightly lit spot.
To take a look at Interflora’s range of Christmas flowers, plants and hampers visit www.interflora.co.uk
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