Alternative to Poinsettia : Cylcamen Coum

Tis the season to deck the halls and whilst the poinsettia is probably the most quintessentially festive of plants, here are five other seasonally flowering favourites that are definitely worth considering, to add some living loveliness to your Christmas scheme indoor and out.

1. Cylcamen Coum

These lovely cyclamen have delicate pink flowers which appear generally from December to April. They can be grown indoors on a cool windowsill. They are not a big fan of hot stuffy rooms so one solution is to place them outside overnight rather than leaving them to get overheated. They can also be planted outdoors and are great for adding winter colour around the base of deciduous trees and shrubs.

Alternative to Poinsettia : Cylcamen Coum

2. Christmas Cactus or Schlumbergera

An indoor festive favourite is the Christmas Cactus and is a great alternative to the poinsettia. These beauties require a well-lit room out of sunlight with a humid atmosphere and flower from late November till early January.

Alternative to Poinsettia: Christmas Cactus or Schlumbergera

3. Helleborus Niger

Another alternative to the poinsettia is the Helleborus Niger. Commonly called the Christmas Rose, this evergreen perennial is a wonderful addition to any outdoor scheme, with it’s large pretty white blooms that pierce the gloom in beds at this time of year. They require regular watering and feeding if kept as houseplants and it is important to note that they are highly poisonous, but if you have a safe space to accommodate them they make beautiful additions to an indoor festive scheme.

Alternative to Poinsettia: Helleborus Niger

4. Paperwhites, Narcissus papyraceus

The paperwhite narcissus, a relative of daffodils and jonquils, is easy to grow indoors and produces small, fragrant flowers on 12- to 18-inch stalks around Christmas time. To grow them, fill a 3-4 inch deep bowl or other shallow container without drainage holes with crushed rock, pebbles, or other decorative stones. Pack your paperwhite bulbs into the container and push them down into the stones so the tips stay upright. Add water until it just covers the bottom of the bulbs.

Alternative to Poinsettia: Paperwhites, Narcissus papyraceus

5. Camellia × vernalis ‘Yuletide’

To brighten up your outdoor space or flower bed for Christmas why not consider planting a Camelia Yuletide. Grow in a pot or bed, preferably with some ericaceous compost for nutrients, this red blooming beauty flowers from November to January. The blooms also make excellent cut flowers so you can always add to a festive bouquet or display with traditional or fragrant foliage like holly or rosemary. This shrub is best planted for sun or partial shade.

Alternative to Poinsettia: Camellia × vernalis 'Yuletide'

And now you have had my festive floral countdown, there is nothing left to do than wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I look forward to caring for your gardens and chatting to you all here again in 2020.

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Take Care, Jenny

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