Many people receive plants for Christmas, but are not sure how to care for them. Three varieties that are often given as presents are the ever-popular, but most frequently killed, Poinsettia, the "kinda boring after they flower" Amaryllis, and the "How do I get this thing to bloom again?" Christmas Cactus. Each of these plants requires a rest period or special growing conditions to stimulate new flowers. They also require a little extra care over most other houseplants.
The Poinsettia is most often associated with Christmas. Thousands are sold every year and, like so many goldfish, thousands end up in the trash can by the middle of January. Keeping a Poinsettia alive until next year may not be worth the effort, since a new one does not cost that much. Another reason is that they never look as good the second year as a new one that you can purchase the next year.
The red or white 'flowers' of a poinsettia are not really flowers, but colored leaves. The actual flowers are the small growths in the middle of the clusters (or bracts) of colored leaves. Some varieties of poinsettias will stay active all winter, where others will begin to fade quickly. To keep your Poinsettia through next season, try these steps.
By following these directions, your poinsettia should be in 'full bloom' for next Christmas. As I said, I will keep you informed on the progress of my two poinsettias and hope you do the same for me.
Amaryllis is another Christmas favorite. To keep it around for years to come only requires you to keep it growing after it blooms. This is another plant that requires a lot of bright sun to do well. Amaryllis success depends on these steps:
Amaryllis plants have blooms of many colors. It is a relatively easy plant to care for, so brighten your interiorscape with several different varieties.
The Christmas Cactus has become very popular and the blooms have a variety of colors. Controlling temperature and the amount of sunlight is critical to the development of new blooms. The most active growth period is from April until September, but they do not like a lot of bright sunlight during this time. Too much direct sun during the summer months can cause the leaves to yellow, or fall off. A bright location without direct sun is best during the summer. Water and fertilize it on a regular basis during this period. As with the Poinsettia and Amaryllis, the Christmas Cactus requires a 'rest' period. From mid-September until mid-November, water infrequently and keep it out of direct sunlight. Then, start to increase the watering and move the plant to a sunny location. Christmas Cactus requires less water during the winter, but they do enjoy the bright winter sun. They also flower better when slightly pot-bound. If it does need repotting, do so during the winter months, but after it flowers.
Keeping your entire landscape healthy and beautiful doesn't have to be hard work. Spring-Green helps you out with our professional lawn care services. Make sure that your yard and lawn area looks as good as your new poinsettias with help from your local Spring Green professional.
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