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Autumn/Winter Flowering Houseplants: Azaleas & Cyclamen

Autumn/winter flowering houseplants: Here are our care guides for the most popular indoor flowering plants for this time of the year – both are top sellers for their long flowering and ease of care in cool conditions:

Cyclamen: available in a range of colours from pure white through pinks and purples to bright red, plus Indiaka® varieties (bi-coloured flowers in varying shades of pink with white). Keep in cool conditions around 10-15 °C in bright light but not direct sunlight. Don’t over water – soil should be slightly moist. Water carefully from underneath and tip away any excess in the saucer after half an hour. Feed with liquid fertiliser monthly and remove faded flowers by twisting off the stem at the base. In the right conditions, cyclamen will flower for several months. These cyclamen varieties (Cyclamen persicum) are not hardy. The true hardy garden types for growing under deciduous trees are Cyclamen hederifolium (autumn flowering) and Cyclamen coum (spring).

Azalea: indoor azaleas (Rhododendron simsii) are not the same as the hardy ones grown outdoors. Azaleas need a cool light position and can cope with being on a windowsill during winter. Do not let the compost dry out, and water by submersing the pot in a bucket of water until saturated, then allow to drain. Plants can be hardened off to grow outdoors in a cool, shady place during summer, but must be brought back indoors before frosts.