I am not very good with houseplants. Any green fingers I might have fail me at the door and I have managed to murder many spider plants, money plants and any plant best suited to living inside over the years. I have also fallen foul of the most abused houseplant of all, the Poinsettia.
Sold by the ton and often dead by the time they have spent an hour in their new home, these plants are however a firm Christmas favourite. I understand from John Leach at Prior Park Garden Centre that the best way to care for these is to introduce them slowly into the warm – a minimum of 13 degrees.
As a native of Mexico, they hate the cold, and they are not keen on being overwatered either. Beware of buying them from shops or petrol stations, which store them outside, as they most certainly will have already begun to deteriorate.
Amaryllis or Hippeastrum are probably my favourite Christmassy flower with great big dramatic flowers on huge stalks, and in some amazing colours. They also work well as cut flowers as they last so long. The bulbs are available now to buy but you can also buy ready-planted ones.