Hibiscus is likely push pointsettia out of Thompson & Morgan's Top 10 mail order gift plants this Christmas...
T&M announced its predictions following early sales analysis of its seasonal mail order gift catalogue. While old favourites like amaryllis and Christmas cactus are on the list, the resurgent popularity of house plants with the British buying public has seen some exotic additions make it into the company’s Christmas Top 10 Sellers for 2015.
Poinsettia, a time-honoured Christmas favourite and last year’s no.2, has fallen out of the Top 10 for the first time. Taking its place is the exotic-looking Hibiscus ‘Festive Flair’, which brings a tropical touch to festivities without the fussiness of poinsettia. The large festive blooms stand up to the ravages of central heating and cold draughts much better than the coloured foliage of poinsettia, and will keep on going through January and beyond.
T&M gifts manager Alice Speedie says poinsettia is a great option for Christmas display but can be tricky to keep in perfect condition. Set close to heat sources or a draughty window, the foliage can quickly crisp or wilt. “They also need a bit of specialist care and exact daylight hours to get them to flower again,” she adds. “Hibiscus however are much easier to care for and will bloom through the year in most households.”
The hibiscus still has some work to do to reach no.1. The top slot has been held by scented hyacinth ‘Pink Pearl’ (pictured) ever since the mail order specialist, best known for its offering of vibrant garden plants, started its Christmas gift lines back in 1999. Alice adds: “While we’re seeing increased interest in new exotics like hibiscus and Dendrobium orchids for Christmas display, it seems you can’t beat a bit of yuletide tradition. We supply our hyacinths in timeless bespoke containers, and give them the VIP treatment in order to guarantee quick colour and scent soon after delivery.”
While the traditional pink-flowered Christmas cactus remains a strong contender in 2015, it has a new multicoloured rival snapping close at its heels. Christmas Cactus ‘Tricolour’ (below) offers red, pink and white blooms in one pot, seemingly from the same plant. To create the effect, Thompson & Morgan sets three plants into one large pot to create a striking display.
Thompson & Morgan Christmas Top 10
- Hyacinth ‘Scented Pearl’ Basket
- Hibiscus ‘Festive Flair’ in decorative pot
- Christmas Cactus ‘Pink’
- Narcissus ‘Tete a Tete’ in holly basket
- Deluxe Hyacinth basket
- Scented Amaryllis ‘Double Delicious’
- Christmas Cactus ‘Tricolour’
- Christmas Azalea Tree
- Christmas Crocus in festive pot
- Dendrobium orchid ‘Anna Green’