The holidays are on the way, and that means the arrival of some very special houseplants. To keep them looking their best now and beyond the holidays, read these tips!
Here’s a look at some of the most popular holiday houseplants:
These members of the Euphorbia family are the most popular Christmastime plants in the world. For many people it’s not Christmas without them.
They are prized for their colorful bracts, which come in a variety of colors from the softest pink to the most electrifying red. They also come in white.
Some places dye the bracts blue or purple, or spray them with glitter, but most people like them the way nature intended. Despite what many people think, the bracts themselves are not the flowers of the plant at all.
The true flowers are located in the center of the bracts and are tiny and unimpressive. To keep poinsettias looking their best, provide them with bright indirect light and keep the soil moist but not saturated. Large plants tend to be very thirsty and may need to be watered daily.
If they start to lose their leaves they are probably getting a cold draft from somewhere. Poinsettias cannot tolerate temps below 50 degrees. To avoid root rot, remove the decorative wrapping most come in.
After the holidays they can be kept as regular houseplants, but getting them to color again is quite difficult and requires 14 hours of darkness a day for 8 weeks starting in October. Most people simply buy new plants each holiday season.
Unlike its relatives, this cactus is native to rainforests. A member of the Schlumbergera family, they are prized for their blooms, which come in shades of red, pink, and purple; they get their name from the time of year they bloom.
To insure the best blooms, don’t move them once they are brought home. Like the ficus, they hate being moved and will complain by shedding their buds and flowers.
From spring to fall, keep moist, but in winter, allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
Topiaries made from this herb are popular as decorations. They need cool temps and bright light, and must be trimmed often to keep their shape.
Make sure not to let them dry out-a humidity tray may be necessary. Water when the top of the soil feels dry.
Potted Christmas Trees
These usually come in two types-the small tabletop trees that come predecorated, and the large floor specimens. The larger ones are almost always Norfolk Island Pines.
These plants make lovely holiday decorations and can be kept as houseplants afterwards, providing they get plenty of light (a south or west window is best) and regular misting to increase humidity.
Keep the soil moist at all times. They will grow to a height of 5 to 6 feet, so be sure it has plenty of room!
The smaller tabletop varieties of potted trees are actually young specimens of a variety of pines. They will not do well as houseplants but if planted outdoors after the holidays will eventually grow into a lovely pine tree.
These colorful plants add a fun twist to holiday décor. Like all peppers, they need lots of light and warmth.
Don’t allow to dry out, and be sure to keep out of the reach of children and pets. The peppers are considered edible, but they are extremely hot!
This plant is a member of the Hippeastrum family and is prized for its showy blossoms. They grow from bulbs that have been forced and are usually bought in the sprouting stage.
They prefer bright light and moist soil during their growing period. Once the flowers fade the plant will slowly head into dormancy.
Let the pots slowly dry out, remove the old leaves, and let the bulbs rest in a cool place for 10 weeks or so. Repot 6-8 weeks before blossoming is desired.