Get the best out of win­ter-flow­er­ing house­plants, says Peter

Amateur Gardening - - This Week In Gardening -

1 Should a poin­set­tia branch break off, dip the end in hot wa­ter or cau­terise it with the flame of a match to stop the flow of white sap and then ar­range in wa­ter. Dur­ing the 1950s, poin­set­tias were grown as a cut flower and will last very well given this treat­ment.

2 While poin­set­tias are suited to warm rooms, cy­cla­men (above) and Ja­pa­nese aza­leas last longer in cooler at­mos­pheres.

3 Christ­mas cacti do not take kindly to be­ing moved around in dif­fer­ent tem­per­a­tures once the flower buds have formed. If you do move them, it can cause pre­ma­ture bud drop. 4 Poin­set­tias from last year will stay green if ex­posed to ar­ti­fi­cial light from early Septem­ber. They need nat­u­rally short­en­ing days to form coloured bracts and the bead-like flow­ers within them.

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