My favourite thing about growing Christmas plants is that when the festive period arrives, you can take cuttings and create your own beautiful decorations and wreaths for your home or as gifts for friends and family. I do this every year and love the aroma and scents that infuse my house at Christmas time. I find that plants with berries and bright colours, like holly and mistletoe, dressed up with a simple ribbon, work really well with pine cones, dried fruit and other evergreen plants.
- Shilpa's five favourite Christmas plants
- Make a Handmade Christmas wreath with Shilpa Redddy
- Listen to Shilpa make a wreath on the BBC Gardeners' World Podcast.
Dry plants for decorations
Use plants that dry out well or are already dried, like pine cones, to make a long-lasting wreath. There’s nothing worse than creating a beautiful wreath to impress your guests, only to see the plants wither and die before the big day. I recommend drying the plants two to three weeks before you make the wreath.
Keep your wreath hydrated
If you are using fresh plants on your Christmas wreath or indoor decorations, keep them looking in tip-top condition and make sure you spray them with some fresh water once a week, ensuring you don’t spray too much. A gentle spray will make it look hydrated; overwatering it could harm the plants and result in an unattractive wreath.
Keep your poinsettia healthy
To keep your poinsettia looking healthy and vibrant throughout the Christmas period, make sure you keep it away from draughts. Otherwise, its leaves will wither, and it will shut down. Ideally, keep it at a temperature between 13 and 15°C with 6 to 8 hours of indirect sunlight a day.
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Keep humidity high for Norfolk Island Pine
If you decorate your home with a Norfolk Island Pine as a miniature Christmas tree, remember that it’s a plant that likes high humidity. When it’s indoors, keep the humidity high by misting every week, using a pebble water tray or having a humidifier in the room.
Caring for holly
If you’re growing holly as a Christmas decoration staple in your garden, feed with a granular plant feed in spring and preferably cover with thick mulch. Holly doesn’t need much care, but I recommend removing any misplaced or diseased branches in the spring and pruning in late summer.