Whether we receive them for a gift or we buy them for ourselves, festive plants add beauty to the season and our homes. With a little care, you can get the most out of your Christmas plants and enjoy them well into the New Year.
The following are some specific recommendations for three of the most popular seasonal plants – poinsettia, amaryllis, and Christmas cactus.
Poinsettias love a bright and sunny location. Without bright light, the colorful bracts and green leaves will lose their lustre and dry out quickly. In a good spot, they’ll retain their colour for months.
One thing poinsettias do not like are drafts. Keep them away from radiators, fans, open windows, and doorways, and don’t let any part of the plant touch a cold window. If possible, place your poinsettia in a cooler room at night to extend the blooming time. A nighttime temperature of 55 to 60 degrees is ideal.
Examine the soil of your poinsettia regularly and water only when it feels dry. Always water enough to soak the soil to the bottom of the pot and discard any excess water.
The big, beautiful flower of the amaryllis is a welcome addition in any home. Place your amaryllis in a sunny window away from cold drafts and hot spots. Rotate the plant every day or so to prevent the flower (and the plant) from leaning toward the light too much. To extend the life of the amaryllis flower, use a tweezers to remove the long pollen-bearing stamens as they develop inside the flower.
Water amaryllis only when the soil is fairly dry. Too much moisture can cause the roots or bulb to rot. Be especially careful not to over water in plastic pots. If the plant gets too top heavy you may need to stake the plant.
If you feel there isn’t a “green thumb” in the house, you’ll be happy to learn that the Christmas cactus often thrives more on neglect than care. One common problem with Christmas cactus though, is flower bud drop. Flower bud drop commonly plagues Christmas cactus for many reasons.
Correct watering is especially important. Make sure you water properly, especially during blooming. From Autumn to spring, you should allow the soil to go dry before watering. From spring through summer, keep the soil evenly moist. Letting the soil dry out too much or over watering can both cause buds to drop.
Warm or cold drafts can also cause bud drop. Even slight environment changes can prompt buds to fail. Do not move your Christmas cactus to another site if it has buds or open flowers. Also, give your Christmas cactus high (direct) light during winter, but indirect light during summer. Too much direct light can hurt this plant.
Create a planter basket or door wreath
You don’t have to pay the florist premium to put together a centrepiece display, creating a festive planter basket that can sit on your table is much easier than you think and its fun too.
There’s no need to be limited in what you choose to use, just visit your local garden centre and go with your gut. Pick by colour, pick by smell and maybe ask the staff for recommendations regarding durability and how to care for the plants.
Creating your display is a great way to welcome in the festive season and its an ideal activity to include the grandkids as well. It will keep them from mithering about the TV or Xbox for at least 20 minutes … if you are lucky.
If you found Festive plants to bring beauty to your home interesting you’ll find more ideas for using plants as decorations on our Home and Lifestyle channel.Last modified: December 2, 2022