Now that the Holidays are over and a new year is upon us, it’s time to rid your environment of all Christmas decor.
Well, not so fast. Not all of it. Those holiday plants you received as gifts or to spruce up your home can last a year ’round, with a little TLC. Below is a little Christmas plant survival guide for the some of the most popular varieties.
If you receive an amaryllis in full bloom, to extend the flower show, place it in an area that is brightly lit by natural light but not exposed to direct sunlight for most of the day. Got a bulb-in-a-box instead? Since amaryllis performs best when crowded, put it in a pot that is about an inch wider than the diameter of the bulb. Also, this plant can grow tall and top-heavy, so skip light plastic containers and opt for a heftier pot instead. While it is developing foliage, place your amaryllis in a southern window so the leaves can absorb the sun’s energy.
In the spring, instead of kicking this bulb to the curb, plant it in a well-draining, sunny garden site instead. Most amaryllis plants are hardy outdoors in normal S.C. winters.
This bit of holiday cheer prefers a setting basked in natural light and will even enjoy periods of winter sun indoors. Water when the top quarter inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Christmas cactus likes humidity, which can be partially provided by setting the pot on a tray of pebbles and water.
Christmas cactus can vacation outdoors in the summer, but keep it in a lightly shaded area so the searing summer sun won’t blanch the leaves. Bring it indoors early in the fall to prevent the lingering hot days from causing bud drop.
First, remove any frilly wrapping from around the pot—poinsettias aren’t swamp plants and will suffer if the soil stays soaked.
The colorful bracts of a poinsettia will last longer if the plant is placed in a room filled with bright, indirect sunlight. To prevent leaf drop, locate this cold-sensitive beauty away from windows and outer doors. Also, water it about once a week.
In the early spring, to keep it from becoming lanky, cut the plant back to about 10 inches in height and slightly trim it again in June. Place it in an area of filtered sunlight outdoors, where, although the leaves will be mostly green, it can become a summer garden conversation piece.
December in the garden:
Plants are, of course, great gifts to give to your gardening friends, but for something different that, I am sure, will be appreciated, check with local landscaping services to see if they sell certificates for such common chores as mulch delivery and spreading, tilling, pruning, lawn maintenance or even planting spring flower beds.
Remember your feathered garden friends over the holidays and into the winter by continuing to regularly clean and refill the birdbath and feeder. Also, if a stretch of extremely cold days sneaks into our state, remove any ice from the birdbath and replace it with fresh water.
Tip of the month:
Christmas peppers can also display their festive fruits well into the winter with just a bit of care. First, the pot should not be a muck maker, so remove any plastic or foil wrap for better drainage. Water at least once a week and occasionally mist the leaves. Place your pepper plant in the sunniest indoor spot possible (four or more hours of direct sun are ideal) but at least six inches away from cold windows. As a side note, resist the temptation to eat the fruit—most ornamental peppers are poor, pithy, seedy cousins of typical tasty hot peppers from the summer garden.
Article by L.A. Jackson. L.A. Jackson is the former editor of Carolina Gardener magazine. Contact him at email@example.com. Source: https://scliving.coop/home–garden/christmas-plant-survival-guide/.