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