Popular Christmas decorations and gifts include poinsettia, amaryllis, and live evergreen trees. These plants will thrive if given proper care after the Holidays.
Homes and offices are often decorated at Christmas with growing plants, bulbs, and flowers. Live trees, flowering plants, Christmas cactus and poinsettias add festive touches to Holiday decor.
Living plants are often discarded after the Holidays, but keeping them alive is not difficult. Knowing the proper growing conditions for each plant is necessary to maintain its beauty.
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Care for Amaryllis Bulb after Christmas
Amaryllis bulbs produce large flowers on tall stems and typically bloom six to eight weeks after planting. After the bloom has faded, the flower stalk should be cut close to the base of the bulb. The leaves should not be disturbed and allowed to grow.
Amaryllis need sunlight and can be kept in a sunny window until all danger of frost has passed. Then the bulb can be moved outdoors and either left in its container or put directly into the ground. The bulb should be fed and watered regularly for at least eight months.
In the fall the plant will need to rest for about eight weeks to produce a new flower. This can be accomplished by bringing the bulb into a garage or basement where it will not freeze.
After the resting period watering can be resumed and the plant moved to a sunny spot. Most bulbs will bloom again in the spring or summer.
Move Live Christmas Trees Outside
Small Christmas trees can be moved outdoors and planted in the ground. It is best to gradually acclimate the tree by placing it outside for short periods and then gradually increasing the time.
An important factor to consider when choosing a location is the eventual size of the tree. It is sometimes difficult to envision the future size of a one-foot tall tree. Good drainage is also important when planting as soggy conditions can damage tree roots.
Poinsettia can be Moved Outdoors after Danger of Frost has Passed
Although getting the poinsettia to bloom again is very difficult, the plant makes a nice green addition to the garden. It should be moved outside after all danger of frost has passed. In areas that do not experience a hard freeze, the plant can be put into the ground.
Clemson University’s Cooperative Extension House and Garden Center says to ” take the plant outdoors once the night temperature remains above 50 °F. Fertilize the plant every two to three weeks during the spring, summer and fall with a well-balanced complete fertilizer such as 10-10-10.”
The poinsettia’s need for long periods of total darkness each night makes it impractical for most to attempt to get the brightly-colored leaves the following season.
Christmas Cactus are Easy to Grow
A Penn State Publication on Christmas cactus care reports that they are easy to grow, and that “Christmas cactus often thrives more on neglect than tender loving care.”
The Christmas cactus, when planted in a well-drained soil mix rich in organic matter, should live a long time. It needs rest in the fall to encourage flower bud production. Cuttings can be taken and rooted in vermiculite or sand and then planted.
Proper care of Holiday plants will keep them healthy and provide pleasure all year.