Indoor Colour at Christmas

Colourful indoor plants are a real joy at Christmas, and no doubt you’ll all be familiar with the bright and cheery traditional favourites such as poinsettia and cyclamen. But in addition to these, there are other plants which can also add elegance, drama, gorgeous green foliage and even wonderful scent at this time of year… plus they can also be around permanently to brighten your indoor spaces if you keep them happy and healthy.

Let’s start with a couple of plants you’re probably familiar with, but hadn’t considered adding at this time of year…

For drama and elegance: Peace Lily

With its lush foliage and stunningly elegant white flowers, the peace lily makes a wonderful addition to your indoor plant collection at any time of the year. They’re inexpensive and simple to care for, and will also help to keep you and your family healthy as they filter a variety of toxins from the surrounding air. If conditions are favourable, you’ll get to enjoy their tall, brilliant flowers several times a year, with each bloom lasting for several months before turning green and dying off.

Here’s how to get the very best from yours:

  • keep them in a bright spot without direct sunlight
  • try to keep the soil just moist at all times
  • it enjoys humidity and if this doesn’t naturally occur in the area you have it, then an occasional misting is all it needs
  • feed with a weak solution once every couple of months in the growing seasons
  • you don’t need to worry about temperature, as average temperatures found in the home all year round are ideal
  • dust or wash the leaves from time to time to keep them glossy and looking their best
  • don’t be too quick to pot on your plant, keeping it slightly pot bound will encourage more flowers

And it’s as simple as that!

Add elegance and drama to your indoor spaces with lovely peace lilies – available in-store now!

For more drama and elegance – and wonderful colour: Moth Orchids (phalaenopsis)

There can be no doubting the exotic, ethereal elegance of the flowers of the moth orchid, which offer a kaleidoscope of colours from vibrant pinks and mauves, through to whites, pale greens and canary yellow.

They have a reputation for being difficult indoor plants, fickle in their requirements and only condescending to show their beautiful flowers if conditions are absolutely perfect, but caring for these lovely plants is actually quite straightforward…

  • they don’t need soil, but are usually sold in clear pots of special orchid compost, with the flower stem supported by a small cane to give them stability
  • when buying, choose a plant that has only just started to open its flowers, as this will give you the longest possible flowering time
  • at home, stand your pots on a tray of pebbles and position it in a light spot in the centre of a warm room or a window which doesn’t get direct sunlight, and away from any draughts
  • keep the compost moist with tepid water, using fresh rainwater where possible and make sure that you don’t leave any moisture sitting in the crown of the plant as this will cause rot.
  • keep your orchid pot bound to ensure that you get as many beautiful flowers as possible – you only need to re-pot once growth begins to suffer and when you do, use another clear pot for maximum light.
  • to get your next flush of flowers, wait until the last flower on the stem has finished before cutting back to the next node.

For gorgeous green foliage: Fabulous Ferns

Cascading from shelves, used in hanging pots or simply sitting on a table or chest of drawers, ferns make for some of the most exotic-looking indoor plants – and, like peace lilies,  they’re great for you too as they also filter toxins from the atmosphere. They have an undeserved reputation for being difficult to look after (which they’re not) but they don’t like being neglected either – so simply follow our top tips to keep yours happy, healthy and feeling loved!

  • the ideal temperature range is between 60F-70F
  • good, indirect light provides the best location – an east or north facing windowsill is ideal
  • compost must be kept moist at all times and never allowed to dry out, reduce watering in Winter
  • beware of over-watering, if they become waterlogged they’ll rot
  • mist fronds regularly to keep the local humidity high
  • re-pot in Spring when the roots fill the pot
  • when re-potting, be careful not to bury the crown

Our favourites are the Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata), the maidenhair fern (Adiantum raddianum) and the bird’s nest fern (Asplenium nidus) but you can use a whole host of gorgeous ferns to create your own urban jungle – available in-store now!

For amazing scent: Madagascar Jasmine

The only evergreen climber to be grown as an indoor plant, Madagascar Jasmine has wonderfully scented, white waxy flowers and can grow up to 15ft (4.5m) – but they’re easy to keep under control and encouraged to flower by careful pruning and training leading growth around a hoop of wire or pyramid.

When you get your Jasmine home, you’ll need to…

  • keep them at the correct temperature, around 55F in Winter and around 65F-70F in Summer.
  • give them good light, but keep them out of direct sunlight which can damage the foliage, and ensure they the are ventilated (but not in a draughty position!).
  • water sparingly in Winter using lime-free, tepid water when possible, water plentifully in Summer as often as necessary to keep the compost moist.
  • keep up the humidity by occasionally misting the air around them, but be careful not to spray the flowers.

To keep your plant at the size you want, cut out any weak lateral growth at the end of February, cut back strong lateral growth to 3in and shorten leading shoots by half their length, then train the shoots around your frame.

And finally, of course, let’s not forget the seasonal favourites…

For bright colour: Poinsettia

Success with Poinsettias starts with where they come from. These are not plants that can tolerate long-distance travel, or any spell in a cold delivery lorry or storage department as they love a nice warm environment.  It’s always best to buy those sourced from a reputable grower where you can be confident that all the plant’s needs will have been considered from the start.

Our Poinsettias in store are all UK grown from known suppliers and when you take one home you’ll need to…

  • keep them between 60F-70F
  • give them good light, and keep them away from draughts
  • allow the compost to dry a little between between watering
  • use tepid water when watering, and be careful not to over-water
  • avoid placing them in hot, stuffy conditions

After flowering, cut the stems to half their length and feed every 14 days when new growth begins.

These are beautiful plants, and come in a range of colours – all available in store now!

And also for bright colour: Cyclamen

Just as bright and colourful but appreciating entirely different conditions are the gorgeous cyclamen.  When choosing your plant, be sure to select one with lots of buds still to open to guarantee more vivid blooms  and when you take one home you’ll need to…

  • keep them cool between 50F-60F
  • give them good but not direct light, a north-facing window is perfect
  • compost should be kept moist as cyclamen do not like water on the crown – so to water immerse the pot in water to just below the compost level and leave to soak until the surface is moist – allow to drain and then return to its tray
  • keep up the humidity – stand your pot on a tray with moist pebbles or damp peat and occasionally mist the air around them

After flowering, reduce water and stop feeding, then place the pot on its side and keep cool and dry until midsummer.

These are beautiful plants, and come in a range of colours – all available in store now!

Pop in and check out our great selection of indoor plants – and add some wonderful natural colour indoors this Christmas!


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