Plants linked with Christmas
Mistletoe had pagan beginnings. If you met someone of the opposite sex under the mistletoe you were to kiss. In the 18th century, the exchanging of kisses between a man and a woman was adopted as a promise to marry. At Christmas a young lady standing under a ball of mistletoe cannot refuse to be kissed.
has to gain energy from the sun for the following year’s flowering.Short stems leaving ample leaves behind will ensure reasonable flowering the following year.Or only cut one third of the flowers each year, so the other two thirds have a couple of years to recover.To grow in pots, buy three plants and a large container allowing room to expand. Pot them up using good quality purchased compost with Rok Solid and sheep manure pellets under the plants. Leave outside where they will get a few hours of sunlight each day and keep the mix moist. As the buds start to open bring the tub indoors and place on a large saucer or tray for catching excess water. Position in front of a morning or afternoon sun window. The tub can be moved for display when guests are due and later put back into the better light. Once flowering is finished take the tub outside and place in a sheltered shady spot for a few days to harden up. Then into a full sun area till next Xmas. Re-pot every three years. Occasionally, water in Matrix with MBL added.
Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima )is another Xmas favorite.
The red bracts (leaves) are not the flowers; the flowers are those insignificant berry looking things in their midst. Later these will fall off unless fertilised/pollinated.
Poinsttias need good light so make sure they spend most of the time within a metre of a sunny window. Don’t over water. Bought plants are treated with a dwarfing compound to make them squat. As this wears off they become taller and scraggier. Planted outdoors in a frost free, sunny, free draining situation, they can grow about as tall as a house with an excellent display of red leaves in winter. Flowering is about light control; eight hours of good light and 16 hours of darkness for a couple of weeks or until the top leaves start to turn red. In a room without bright lights in winter they will flower without any help.
Poinsettia in all its glorious Christmas livery, showing the actual flowers in the middle of the leaf cluster or bract.