For our last meeting of 2019, the Society welcomed Chris Bryant the Retail Manager of Ayletts Nursery to talk about some of the most popular selling plants during the pre Christmas period. His talk included some useful tips on ensuring plants thrive indoors during the winter season.
Some top sellers include Japanese and Indian varieties of azaleas . The Indian varieties are not hardy. Azaleas need constant watering. Ideally rainwater. Fast growing in a warmer atmosphere.
Ayletts grow over 4,500 Poinsettias each year for Christmas purchases. It is important for the plants to be wrapped before leaving the shop (Ayletts do this but not in many other outlets) as they will not fare well in a sudden drop in temperature. Indoors must not be placed near radiators and no drafts.
Peace Lillies can be grown successfully in darker areas and can clean the air, Particularly good for an office environment.
Indoor Jasmine is very popular with their fragrancy and masses of white flowers. Can be cut back by a third in July to encourage more flowers.
Palms are easy to maintain and should be turned when watered. A short spray is ideal to stop the tips going brown.
African Violets can cope with neglect! Blue varieties are stronger than white or pink varieties. To propagate just cut the leaves and place in water and watch the roots grow. Easy!
Ayletts grow over 3,500 cyclamen each year. Need to be kept in a cool environment. Not so good in modern centrally heated modern houses. Water from underneath and take care the corms if too wet are subject to rotting.
Orchids have grown in popularity over the years as they are now grown in large numbers in the UK. Feed via the leaves. When flowering is finished the stems should be cut above a leaf node but not too far down the plant.
Christmas Cactus prefer a shady place and it is important not to change the position of the plant. They can be put outside when temperatures rise but again place in a shady place.
Lastly this year the amaryllis bulbs can now be bought with an amaryllis printed Christmas jumper….hurry while stocks last!
Ayletts have been in business for 66 years and for those that don’t know it the sat nav reference is AL2 1DH, Telephone 01727 822255. http://www.ayletttnurseries.co.uk
The next meeting of the Harpenden Gardening Society is on Tuesday 11 February when our guest speaker will be Dr Ian Bedford who will tell us everything we need to know about SLUGS !