Britain’s biggest garden centre chain is predicting that gardeners will leave it until last minute to buy a poinsettia , with sales peaking between 1-2pm on Christmas Eve.

Last year, five poinsettia plants were sold every minute at Wyevale Garden Centres’ 150 UK stores in the last hours running-up to Christmas.

The retailer is predicting a 14 per cent increase in poinsettia sales this year. They’re on track to be its best-selling indoor plant of the year.

Its statistics reveal that sales of alternative poinsettias are on the rise. White, pink and marble colours that are not usually sold in supermarkets, have been “flying off the shelves,” Wyevale claims.

Category manager Mairi Davlin said: “The rush hour seems to make sense, as customers visit family over Christmas and a poinsettia is an ideal gift.

“We see a huge peak in sales on the last Saturday of December – due to the tradition of buying poinsettias for loved ones as a way of bringing good luck for the New Year.”