The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) is encouraging garden retail businesses to keep the gardening season going in winter by showcasing colourful winter-flowering houseplants to entice customers to brighten up their indoor space and increase the feel-good factor.
The mental and physical health benefits of houseplants have been widely publicised, whilst the aesthetic is still very much on trend. As indoor plants have a positive impact on indoor air quality by trapping and capturing pollutants, and helping people to breathe more easily, the HTA believes they are the perfect products to promote during these cold, grey winter months.
The association recommends that centres help consumers choose plants suitable for the conditions available in their house. For example, Azalea (Rhododendron simsii cultivars), Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum hybrids) and Jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum) are suitable for bright, cool conditions of around 10-15°C (50-59°F).
Flowering houseplants for warm-room temperatures of around 20°C (68°F) include Poinsettia, Gardenia and Orchids, such as Dendrobium and Phalaenopsis. Orchids such as Cymbidium will also tolerate cooler positions out of full sun in a north- or east-facing room.
It lists the top six winter flowering houseplants as:
“Hippeastrum bulbs are popular gifts at Christmas and… can bloom year after year, adding colour and life to a room,” says the HTA.
Indoor trees are also proving popular with consumers. They are “big, calming, air-purifying, and thanks to the large amount of foliage, they can provide a woodland feel indoors even when everything outdoors is still cold and bare,” the association explains.
Species to bear in mind include the Dracaena marginata AGM (Madagascar dragon tree), which is known to be a powerful air purifier, and the Pachira (also known as the money tree), which is often sold as multiple plants with their stems plaited into one distinctive braided trunk, and is known for year-round fabulous green leaves.
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has also detailed five easy-to-grow houseplants to improve air quality that centres can tempt customers with this month.
The HTA conclude: “Don’t shut-up shop for winter, but welcome in the New Year 2018 in style with garden and plant displays that provide colour, fragrance, foliage and form.”