Poinsettias are one of the most iconic Christmas plants, but they’re just one of the many other beautiful festive flowers you can decorate your homes with this Yuletide
Native to the Mediterranean basin and Asia, Ilex aquiflorum is popular for its beautiful leaves and berries. It is easily grown from seeds and cuttings but preferably in autumn or spring in deep, humus-rich, well-drained soils. In warm regions it’s best grown in semi-shade and watered at least twice a week.
Mistletoe is steeped in myths and legends that date back to the 17th century: the most well-known being that those who kiss under the mistletoe will enjoy a long and passionate romance.
Deck the halls with boughs of holly! This Christmas staple is actually a protected species. This evergreen shrub can grow up to ten metres tall; it just needs to be planted in a cool, well-ventilated location in the semi-shade or shade. It thrives in slightly acidic, well-drained soil (avoid chalky soil). Water generously, especially in warm weather. Beware its poisonous berries and leaves.
The Butcher’s Broom is remarkably similar to holly, but less poisonous. It’s a popular choice for Christmas decorations and bouquets as it’s long-lasting. Ideal for gardens and frequently found in woods and hedgerows throughout the Mediterranean.
Also called Pyracantha, Scarlett Firethorn or Burning bush because of its abundant red fruits. This thorny shrub produces copious quantities of flowers and berries in shades of red, orange and yellow. It withstands the cold very well and can be grown indoors, but is best grown on terraces and in gardens. It needs sunlight, little water and frequent pruning (to avoid pests).
Christmas Carol Aloe
This small red and green hybrid succulent grows in the shape of a star and brings holiday cheer all year round. It also produces pink, reddish and orange flowers.
Helleborus Niger, commonly known as Christmas Rose is a winter-blooming evergreen with large attractive white flowers. Originally native to Turkey and Central Europe, it is very resistant to cold but requires humidity, so avoid waterlogging. Add fertiliser every fortnight for even more abundant flowering.