Decorating your dining table with a fresh, prettily presented flowering plant can add the perfect finishing touch to your Christmas dinner. Best of all they will make a fabulous addition to your garden after. Here’s our top 5 picks & how to care for them:
Associated with Christmas throughout the western world, these subtropical beauties need full sun to flower well so will need to be planted out into the garden after a week or two indoors. These hardy, small shrubs prefer a warm, sunny position and will stay lush and compact with a hard pruning in early spring.
Anthuriums are the perfect indoor plant if your home has good natural light. Their glossy, lily-shaped blooms in red, magenta, pink or apricot hues make them very sought-after. They will grow happily in low light but may not flower. If yours will not flower indoors, try keeping it outside under the dappled shade of a tree and bring it inside when it’s in bloom. Keep it moist and give it an occasional feed with Searles Flourish or SeaMax® Fish & Kelp throughout the growing season.
Begonias need a bright, but not sunny position and a moist, humus-rich soil. They also need good airflow, so don’t crowd them with other plants. Keep them well-fed and watered and they will reward you with tropical-looking flowers in white, yellow, orange, red or pink. They also have striking, often variegated foliage in unusual colours and shapes. Begonias are frost tender and so are often grown exclusively as annuals or house plants in cooler climates.
4. Bidens ‘Flair’ (Bidens fernlifolia)
Prized for its profuse floral displays in the brightest shade of golden yellow, Bidens ‘Flair’ is also easy to grow. It needs full sun, so don’t keep it indoors for more than a week at a time. Growing 25cm high and 40cm wide, it’s perfect for pots, hanging baskets or garden beds. Give it a free-draining soil, keep it moist but not waterlogged and feed fortnightly with Searles Flourish Soluble Plant Food.
Cuphea (pronounced koo-fee-ah) is a versatile and tough plant, great in garden beds, rockeries, pots or hanging baskets. Cupheas tolerate frost, seaside and dry conditions, but perform best if kept moist. Plant them in full sun or part shade. In frost-free climates, they can flower for most of the year. Very resilient as a temporary indoor display, return them outside when necessary and revive them with a dose of SeaMax® Fish & Kelp. Very attractive to honeyeating birds.