UNUSUAL WAYS TO STYLE YOUR CHRISTMAS POINSETTIA
RATHER than bung your festive poinsettia in a boring pot, add the colourful bracts to Christmas table decorations and ornaments?
More colours are now available, from the traditional red to salmon pink and cool white, meaning it’s more versatile than it used to be.
“The key is to choose a colour you love and group them to create impact,” says Ian Drummond, houseplant expert and author of At Home With Plants and creative director of Indoor Garden Design. “You can be very creative with poinsettias, because they are more durable than you think.”
Here are a few ideas...
■ FOR A NATURAL EFFECT
“Remove the lower stems and fill the base of the pot with co-ordinating baubles, or arrange pine cones and twigs around the base.”
■ CREATE TABLE COLOUR
“CUT the stems and place the end into hot water for a few seconds, and then immediately into cold. This stops the flow of sap and they can last for up to two weeks in water if prepared this way. The stems can be grouped together or displayed singly in bud vases for a gorgeous pop of colour, ideal as a Christmas place setting.”
■ CREATE HANGING INTEREST
“GET really creative and hang a branch with re-purposed baubles used as tiny vases to display the cut poinsettias. You can even hang the colourful bracts on your Christmas tree instead of bows, or wire it into an indoor Christmas wreath for an added splash of colour.”
■ THE FINISHING TOUCH TO CHRISTMAS WRAPPING
“IF you want to cut back on plastic bows and make your wrapping look beautiful, using traditional red poinsettia stems instead offers that personal touch.”
■ HOW DO YOU KEEP POINSETTIAS LOOKING FRESH?
BUY your plant from a garden centre or reputable shop.
Check the compost is neither dripping wet nor totally dry. Dense foliage and yellow-green budding flowers in-between the coloured bracts are a sure sign of quality. KEEP it in a bright, warm spot (around 20°C). It can be close to a radiator but not in direct sunlight or draughts, so keep away from fireplaces open doors or windows.
Water only when the compost is starting to become lighter, and do not allow to sit in water.
Different coloured poinsettia bracts in a table decoration