January plants of the moment

January can be such a colourless month. All your Christmas decorations are gone for nearly a year & the weather – well January weather!!

A few bright, beautiful winter-flowering houseplants can really brighten up your indoor space and increase your feel-good factor. The beauty of house plants is everyone can enjoy them as you don’t need a garden to grow them. You can share the joy of plants in your office too. A profusion of flower colour & foliage houseplants not only look good, but they also provide a range of mental and physical health benefits including improved mood, reduced stress levels and reduced blood pressure. good at home and at work. Indoor plants also have a positive impact on indoor air quality by trapping and capturing pollutants and help us to breathe more easily. Exactly what you need during these cold, grey winter months. we don’t tend to fling windows and doors open for fresh air so indoor plants will help.

Choose the best plants for the right position. These break down into two area. Cool, bright windowsills & shady warm spots.

Top six winter flowering houseplants below are easy to grow:

  • Phalaenopsis  – The Moth Orchid loves the warmth, & tolerates shade. Mist daily to keep the air humidity high. They come from tropical rainforests originally.
  • Azalea – These are tender shrubs and like the cool & light. Pick a windowsill with plenty of winter sun & away from radiators. Don’t let them dry out but avoid them standing permanently in water. ideal temperature 10-15°C (50-59°F).
  • Cyclamen – Cyclamen tolerate quite lot temperatures but hate the heat. Like the Azaleas, a bright cool windowsill is best.
  • Cymbidium – These Orchids will tolerate warmth but a little cooler is best. Mist daily. Ideal for a north facing window.
  • Poinsettia – Love them and they will thrive for months. They are from Mexico & love our modern central heating and no draughts. Don’t leave standing in water & water them buy a quick dunk into tepid water. Leave to drain on your draining board before returning to its decorative pot cover.
  • Hippeastrum – The Amaryllis, the much love present to give but what about growing one yourself. They are so easy to grow. Everything you need is already packaged inside the bulb.

Flowering houseplants for warm-room temperatures of around 20°C (68°F) include Poinsettia, Gardenia and Orchids, such as Dendrobium and Phalaenopsis. Orchids such as Cymbidium will also tolerate cooler positions out of full sun in a north or east-facing room

Think big

Large foliage plants are useful replacements for your Christmas tree. After your Christmas tree is removed the space left seems to be enormous a well-chosen foliage plant looks great, are proved to be calming, air-purifying, and thanks to a large amount of foliage.

The Dracaena marginata – Madagascar dragon tree is an exotic and dramatic statement plant, and a huge benefit is that this indoor plant is renowned to be a powerful air purifier. Or the Pachira (also known as Malabar chestnut), often sold as plants with their stems plaited into one distinctive braided trunk and has year-round fabulous green leaves.

Five easy-to-grow houseplants to improve air quality:

(source: RHS)

 

 

Outdoor winter splendour     

Ninety-nine percent of us don’t go into our gardens in winter except for a couple of reasons, one to visit our bins, & the other to and from our front gate to the front door. Add the view from windows that hold a gaze like at the sink or from our favourite chair. These are the places to concentrate our winter highlights. Pick plants that give colour and interest and focus them on these four places.

Gold blooms really shine out on gloomy days, so look out for dramatic Witch Hazels that produce clusters of small fragrant flowers with petals like dainty ribbons, transforming the otherwise naked stems of this hardy shrub.

Evergreen mahonias are equally impressive, with golden sprays of flowers forming at the tip of each shoot. There are several varieties to choose from with different sizes and forms, and flowers on most are followed by the formation of grape-like berries in spring, giving these shrubs their common name of Oregon Grape.

In addition to their welcome colour, fragrance is another valuable characteristic of many winter flowering shrubs. For long-lasting displays, it’s hard to beat varieties of Viburnum x bodnantense that produce a succession of flowers from October until spring.

And for a shady site take a look at the Christmas Rose, Helleborus niger, a low-growing and compact perennial whose simple white cup-shaped flowers can be picked and floated on water in a glass bowl to provide seasonal table decorations. many of the newer varieties bred in Germany flower earlier and longer and have flowers that point upwards so you can see them.

Christmas Box, the Sarcocca, is a small evergreen with insignificant flowers but amazing scent on mild days. It will stop you in your tracks every time you come home. Don’t ignore berrying plants too. Skimmia reevsiana is a great small plant to use near your house in the depths of winter.

Don’t forget the front doorstep either. Some small conifers in pots with dwarf golden Holly such as Ilex crenata Golden Gem plus some early spring bulbs in pots will cheer you up as you enter your home. Remember you can buy many spring flowering bulbs in pots ready to flower soon after purchasing. Pot a few together in a pot with the other plants mentioned here.

 So don’t shut-up shop for winter, but welcome in the New Year 2018 in style with garden and plant features that provide colour, fragrance, foliage and form.

Visit the garden centre now to discover the best plants to create your very own winter wonderland! We work hard to offer plants of interest all year round to make sure you always have some colourful and interesting plants for your garden no matter how small.