(File pix) Poinsettia and christmas tree are traditional decoration fit for homes this festive season.

DECEMBER is the season to transform your home with holiday greenery and flowers that add colour and life to your living space to usher in Christmas.

With the festive season just around corner, it’s the perfect time to get your indoor area ready for family and friends to enjoy.

CHRISTMAS TREE

Christmas trees are the most iconic christmas plant. They should be sturdy enough to hold ornaments of various kinds, and the needles should be flexible and not shed. Before you buy yourself a christmas tree, take the height of your living room into consideration. Decide where you are going to place it and then go shopping for it. If you are buying

a cut christmas tree, make sure it has enough water. A cut christmas tree generally stays fresh for a month or so when it’s well cared for. Secure the tree in a stand that fits so it stands still even after all the ornaments you have decorated it with.

NORFOLK PINE

The beauty and symmetry of Norfolk pine trees and the soft flowing texture of the foliage will make you want to decorate it and use it for your living christmas tree! Keep it medium-bright light such as an east or west-facing window. Norfolk Pines need bright light but never full sun. Give it at least six to eight hours of light per day. Light conditions that are too low may cause lower branches to drop. Water when dry to the touch, but don’t let it dry out too much or you will be getting loads of brown needles.

POINSETTIA

choose poinsettias that have little yellow flowers called cyathia in the centre of the coloured leaves. If the plant is shedding pollen or the yellow flowers have dropped off, it won’t last very long. Water when dry to the touch. Don’t let it dry out too much. The first thing to do when you buy poinsettias is to remove the foil or pot cover or poke holes around the plant to ensure it’s not sitting in water. Keep them in cool, dry area and don’t touch them often.

AMARYLLIS

Amaryllis is a popular flowering plant for festive Christmas decor. It grows from a bulb and the exotic-looking flowers bloom about six weeks after planting. Place the plant in bright light. Low light levels may cause it to grow floppy and the plant will be gone too soon.

Keep the soil moist, but don’t drown the plant.

PHALAENOPSIS ORCHID

These delicate-looking plants will bloom for months. Give them bright, indirect light to survive a few months. Sudden temperature changes will cause buds to drop, but we don’t have to worry about that in our warm climate that last throughout the year.

CHRISTMAS CACTUS

These are one of the hardier holiday plants and can last for years. Flower buds that drop before opening may be caused by warm temperatures or overly dry soil. Water when dry, but don’t let the plant sit in water.

ROSEMARY

This plant often is sheared into a topiary to mimic a christmas tree. If you live in a small apartment, this is perhaps one of the best Christmas plants to have and you can have a few of them. Its fresh piney scent is invigorating and is a savoury addition to your Christmas cooking. Place the plant in bright light. The more light the better or it tends to drop leaves. Keep the soil evenly moist.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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