Plant of the Week: Poinsettia
Firm favourites on every gardener's Christmas wishlist, the brilliantly showy 'petals' on these exotic-looking house plants are in fact bracts (modified leaves) around much smaller central flowers. As well as traditional red, poinsettias now come in over 150 varieties and colours from creamy buttermilk to magenta pink.
Caring for them is straightforward. Find a bright spot out of direct sunlight, and keep them warm - at least 13°C day and night. Water only once the surface of the compost begins to dry out, and sit the plant on a tray of damp gravel to keep humidity high and help those fabulous bracts last even longer.
If your soil isn't too soggy or frozen, turn it over gently with a fork from time to time through winter. This brings the overwintering eggs and larvae of slugs and other pests to the surface to become welcome snacks for hungry birds.
Garden Buildings Surrey
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Natural planting using swathes of gently-swaying grasses shot through with drifts of tall, open perennials to mimic the wild look of the American prairie lands caught the imagination of gardeners across Europe in the 1990s, and it's been going strong ever since - you can see some fabulous exam…Read more »