The colorful plants that we all enjoy decorating with during the holiday season don’t have to be a temporary feature in your home or office – their beauty can be a reminder of the season for months to come. Caring for these plants correctly will make them a long-term addition to your collection of indoor plants.
Use these tips for extending the life of your holiday indoor plants.
Did you know that the poinsettia was named after Joel Robert Poinsett, and amateur botanist and the first American ambassador to Mexico? Poinsettias are able to remain healthy and beautiful far beyond the holidays if they are carefully cared for. When initially choosing a plant, it is best to pick one with small, tightly clustered yellow buds at its center and crisp, bright, undamaged foliage. Be sure to water the plant when it becomes dry and discard any excess water in the saucer. Keep it in a room with abundance of bright, natural light, but not in a place where direct light would fall on it for more than three hours each day. Do not place the plant on appliances or televisions sets. If it begins to look a like peeked, fertilize with houseplant fertilizer.
Holiday cacti are native to the country of Brazil and typically grow in plant debris trapped among branches or in decaying plant remains. When growing these plants in your home or office, it is best to place them in light or peat-based potting soil and containers with enough holes for proper drainage. Avoid putting heavier mineral-type soils or garden soil in the pot and do not over water, as it will lead to root rot and plant death. Holiday cacti typically flower around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but they also bloom in response to short days and/or cool temperatures. When placing them inside, it is best to expose these cacti to around nine hours of light and 15 hours of darkness each day.
The Kalanchoe, or Widow’s-thrill, is native to Madagascar. It has been described as being an “idiot-proof” plant as it can withstand periods of low light and drought. This also makes it an ideal indoor plant for the holiday season when people seem to have things other than houseplants on their minds. The Kalanchoe is technically a succulent plant, so it does not require much TLC at all. Simply placing them in an area where it will receive direct sunlight and watering thoroughly when it is needed is enough to keep these indoor plants happy.
Cyclamen are well-grown specimens of modern-day cultivars with excellent keeping qualities if cared for properly. They should be kept in a location with lots of light, cool temperatures, and watered regularly. Watering should be done in the morning as it reduces the risk of disease. Take care to ensure that these plants do not dry out, but they do require good air circulation to minimize potential diseases. They will stay lively and vibrant for a minimum of six weeks when inside a home. Cyclamen flower from around Thanksgiving to Mothers Day when kept in a cool and sunny location.
PLANTZ at Greenfest 2012
Setting up for GreenFest 2012. Come visit us in Plant Park at the University of Tampa on Saturday and Sunday and learn how to keep your plants at home GREEN. We’ll be sharing secrets from the pros. Lots of other cool plant stuff to see too. Come on out!
CAMLS Facility Interior Plants Project
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Morphogenesis Open House Plantscape
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