Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Caring for Holiday Plants, Through the Holidays and Beyond!

Variegated Poinsettia            PHOTO/Bodie Pennisi
When we see showy red poinsettias, many of us are instantly reminded of the winter holidays. Poinsettias, which now are available in a whole range of colors, are at their showy best at this time of year.

UGA/Forsyth County Program Assistant Heather Kolich points out, in a recent GA FACES article Poinsettias and Christmas Cactus Shine Even after the Tinsel and Lights Come Down , that the vibrant color can be maintained for months:

"With proper care, [poinsettias] can maintain their color for months. These plants need at least six hours of bright, indirect light every day; frequent watering; and a stable temperature between 65 and 70 degrees. When the colored leaves fade, cut the plant back to around 10 inches and move it to a larger pot."

For Christmas cactus, Kollich writes, "Sunny, south-facing windows are the best place for these plants.When blooms fade, pluck them off and give the plant a dose of houseplant fertilizer. In warm weather, holiday cacti can live outdoors in semi-shaded spots."

For the full article, including information about growing cyclamen, select the linked article title above. More detailed descriptions for selection and care of these holiday plants can be found through the Cobb Extension website.

From the homepage, select the tile for Agriculture and Natural Resources, then choose the tile for Cobb Extension Publications and Tips of the Month. On the publications page, scroll down to the section on PLANTS, then select the "Christmas Plants" publication.

This publication includes information on selection and care of both cut and live Christmas trees. The "Amaryllis" publication linked on that same page explains the care of the large amaryllis bulbs that also have become a large part of many homes' holiday decor..