There are few colours more associated with Christmas than vibrant red and rich green.
Locally grown poinsettia plants and fir trees offer a sustainable and natural way to introduce the colours and scents of the festive season to your home.
Bord Bia is encouraging people to buy a real Christmas tree and to look for poinsettias with the Bord Bia Quality Mark this Christmas in order to support the more than 200 Christmas tree and five poinsettia growers in Ireland.
Did you know it takes 10 years to grow a Christmas tree?
This year, over 500,000 Christmas trees will be grown in Ireland, resulting in a market valued of €21 million. It takes a decade for each tree to reach full maturity, highlighting the care and attention taken by growers to supply this festive favourite.
Almost half a million poinsettia plants have been grown by four of Bord Bia’s Quality Assured Irish Nurseries, and are available to buy this year in supermarkets and garden centres around the country, providing value of €2.1 million to the domestic horticulture industry.
Six steps to make your Christmas tree a cracker
- Prepare your tree: Cut an inch or two off the stem, remove the net and shake any loose needles off the tree.
- Keep hydrated: Stand the tree in a bucket with a water bowl or special Christmas tree stand. Add a pint of water a day to the bowl to keep it hydrated.
- Keep cool: Keep away from open fires, heaters and radiators for longevity and to reduce fire risk.
- Keep safe: Always unplug lights and decorations when going to bed or leaving the house.
- Recycle or replant: Check your local council website for Christmas tree recycling services, or replant in your own garden if potted
- Choose local: To support a local grower this Christmas, visit www.christmastreesireland.com to locate your nearest Christmas tree grower.
Six tips for thriving poinsettias this Christmas
Poinsettias are a seasonal favourite in homes at this time of year. The vibrant plants can be used as a striking centrepiece for your kitchen table or living room, and also make for a wonderful gifting option.
- Control temperature: Place in an area of constant room temperature of 16 - 22°C. Keep the plant away from radiators, cold windows and draughts.
- Hydrate: Like most house plants, too much water is just as bad as too little. A poinsettia will need enough water to keep the potting soil damp but not sodden.
- Light: Place the plant so it is exposed to indirect sunlight during the day.
- Don’t Move: Avoid moving the plant from different rooms and temperatures too often.
- Choose Local: The shorter travel time from plant nursery to your home will benefit this fragile plant, so look for the Bord Bia Quality Mark to guarantee its provenance.
- Aftercare: The plant can be kept after Christmas and its Bract (red leaves) will return the following year with regular care.