Harbingers of spring: Houseplants of the Month for March
Pure growing power: a bulb with a shoot that grows every day to produce a fabulous plant. Celebrate spring with harbingers of spring in the form of old familiars and an exciting newcomer!
There’s nothing to chase away the feeling of grey, cold days as quickly as the harbingers of spring. Think of yellow and white daffodils, blue and white grape hyacinths, ordinary hyacinths in all colours imaginable, tulips and … checkered snake’s heads (Fritillaria). Those last plants are relatively new as potted bulbs, but make a stunning feature that combines beautifully with the other plants that are all about the spring.
5 harbingers of spring
Potted tulips range from special botanical varieties that remain small and low through to colourful classics, with a fringe if required.
Hyacinths come in classic colours such as pink, white and blue, but also in new shades such as purple, salmon and pale yellow, which fun for getting you into the Easter mood (Easter falls on 1 April: no joke).
Potted daffodils come as scented spray narcissi and classic trumpets, from white to pale orange, with attractive green leaves that make the plant even more decorative.
Grape hyacinths derive their name from the grape-shaped flowers, which also come in white, lilac, purple and pink nowadays alongside the more familiar blue.
Snake’s head fritillaries have flowers that droop from the stems like snakes’ heads. From a distance they look purple, but close-up you can see that the petals are spotted in purple and cream or even chequered.
Play with colour
You can let your imagination run wild with the harbingers of spring: there’s a wide range on offer, and they combine together beautifully. If you’re looking for an energetic atmosphere, nothing beats blue hyacinths, red tulips and yellow daffodils. If your taste is more sober Nordic, white grape hyacinths combine very well with the botanical look of snake’s head fritillaries. And if your interior is warm and romantic, you can revel in all the pastel varieties of the harbingers of spring.
- Wherever you place your harbingers of spring, they immediately change the mood to ‘ bye-bye winter, yay spring!’
- Potted bulb plants have been pre-cultivated and specially grown. They just require a bit of water for guaranteed success.
- Finished flowering? All the harbingers of spring’s bulbs can be planted in the garden in order to bloom again next year and naturalise magnificently.
In the wild the harbingers of spring grow in a large part of western Eurasia. They’re flowering plants that have been part of the landscape for centuries. Tulips originate from Turkey, hyacinths come from the region east of the Mediterranean (Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Iraq). Daffodils spread from south-west Europe across the whole continent, whilst fritillaries are native to Europe and Western Asia.
How to hang on to spring for ages
- The cooler the spot in which the harbingers of spring are placed indoors, the longer they will flower.
- Regular watering helps the bulb to bloom, but too much water will cause it to rot.
- There’s no need to feed – the nutrients are already in the bulb, which makes the harbingers of spring ‘easy care’.
For more information see: www.thejoyofplants.co.uk
Published on: 22 February 2018