12 houseplants of Christmas
Ian Drummond gives his expert advice on a selection of houseplants which are perfect for the festive season
Your Christmas decorations don’t have to be all tinsel and baubles – you can go green and sustainable instead! Decorate your home with festive houseplants that can be displayed in any room to bring seasonal visual joy, or why not even decorate your Christmas tree with houseplants? Merry Christmas!
Easy to grow, these beauties have the most exuberant blooms.
Water sparingly until you see signs of growth then water regularly and keep in a bright but indirect sunlight position.
Use heavy pots to avoid any tipping over due to the heavy flowers that also may also need to be supported with a stake.
Turn pot periodically to encourage the stalks to grow straight.
Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera)
Christmas cacti have wonderful, vivid red, pink, orange or white flowers during the Christmas period that can grow up to three inches long.
They require moderate care; keep in a bright position and allow to dry out between watering
Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)
One of the most well-known house plants for Christmas with their brightly coloured bracts. Do try and purchase from a garden centre or florist, they will carry the best quality plants.
Water sparingly as overwatering will quickly damage the plant; only water when the surface of the soil dries out.
Keep out of the cold; they need a minimum temperature of 13-15C.
Persian Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum)
These are wonderful winter plants in white, crimson or magenta.
Keep in cooler positions with good light, and keep moist but not too wet.
Azaleas (rhododendron indicum)
Such pretty white and pink frilly flowers that will brighten up any room.
Keep in a window; they like a cooler spot around 16-18C with good light but not direct sun.
Stunning blooms in purple, pink, yellow and white; with exposed silver roots they give an elegant touch and are one of my favourites.
They are epiphytic which means they don’t grow in soil, they grow on tree branches and bark.
Frequently mist the roots with water.
These popular fragrant white blooms take from winter through a promise of spring to come.
They love full sun but not too hot a room – keep the temperature moderate.
They can be grown in soil or pebbles and water.
False Jerusalem cherry (Solanum capsicastrum)
Jerusalem cherry has delicate white flowers in summer and berries for Christmas which look like small tomatoes that are toxic so do not eat and keep out of the way of pets.
They can grow up to 60cm tall
Keep in a cooler position with good light and keep soil moist to touch.
Mist leaves frequently.
Christmas rose (Helleborus niger)
These provide attractive white or pink flowers from winter through to spring.
The Christmas rose is a hardy plant that should be kept moist and positioned in a bright spot.
Heart-shaped dark green leaves with waxy spathes in red, white, pink or purple adorn the anthurium. This plant is an air purifying plant and perfect for the workspace.
It requires bright indirect light and nice warm temperatures.
Water frequently but don’t over water.
Norfolk Island pine (Araucaria heterophylla)
A tropical Christmas tree! A fabulous plant that you can decorate as a mini Christmas tree but remember it’s tropical so don’t put outside.
Position in a bright, indirect sun window position and mist weekly. Water when the soil feels dry to touch.
Aechmea ‘Blue Rain’
An epiphytic bromeliad with a large spike that is a combination of purple and pink and prepossessing rosette leaves
They enjoy bright but indirect light and warm temperatures.
Keep up humidity by misting and water through the central crown and keep topped up at all times.
Ian Drummond is a house plant obsessive and a multi-medal winner at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. He is creative director at Indoor Garden Design and In-Tray Plants.