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Garden Thyme: No Place like Home for the Holly Days

Garden Thyme: No Place like Home for the Holly Days

Garden Thyme: No Place like Home for the Holly Days

During the holidays, temperatures drop and people begin spending more time indoors. We love the holidays but not the dreary weather that can dampen our holiday spirit. A home filled with beautiful plants can lift our spirits and bring more joy to the season.

When people think about decorating with Christmas or holiday plants they automatically think about Poinsettias and Amaryllises. However, there are many others plants that can be used to decorate, some of which are easy to care for.  These also make ideal gifts for giving.  Some, with proper care, can live for many years.  These include Poinsettias, Amaryllis, Kalanchoe, Cyclamen, Mistletoe and Christmas Cactus.

 

Poinsettias

  • Place where they get bright, indirect light.
  • Keep the room at least 55 degrees F; ideally the room should be 65 to 70 degrees F.
  • Watering
    *
    Water regularly – add a cup or so every 2 – 3 days.
    * Dump any water that sits in the saucer.
    * Do not let it dry out.
  • They can be replanted for next year.
    *
    In zones 9 – 11 they can survive winter outdoors and can continue to root and bloom.
    * They can be kept indoors in a sunny location until the chance of frost is past then placed outdoors.
    * Bring indoors in the fall and place in total darkness for 12 hours each night.
  • Keep away from Pets.

Amaryllis

  • They can last for weeks.
  • Place in warm sunny location.
  • Water on a regular basis.  Keep soil moist.  Don’t let the bulb above the soil get wet.
  • Keep stem straight by turning the plant occasionally.
  • They will bloom in 4 – 8 weeks.
  • With a little care they can rebloom. Feed every 7- 14 days.
  • Plants can be saved for next year.
    *
    After blooms have withered, trim the stem to 6 inches leaving leaves attached.
    * After weather warms up, move (in pot) outdoors to a location with filtered sunlight.
    * Water regularly until September then bring inside and prune the leaves.
    * Place in a cool dark location until December.
  • These plants are Toxic to pets.

Kalanchoe

  • Place in location with lots of sunlight.
  • Keep at a temperature of
    60 – 85 degrees F.
  • Pinch or cut off dead blooms at the base to encourage more blooms.
  • In the winter, keep in complete darkness for 14 hours per day for 6 – 11 weeks.

Cyclamen

  • Look good for about 8 weeks.
  • Place in direct light or bright indirect light.
  • Keep root ball wet.  Place water in saucer or tray and let the roots take the water up.
  • Feed lightly every 2 weeks.
  • They can be saved for next year.
  • After foliage dies, let the plant dry.  Dig up the corn then repot in midsummer and place in a warm place to allow roots to grow.  Then place in a cool place (55-60 degrees F) to encourage flowering.

Christmas Cactus

  • Place in window with moderate light and some direct sun.
  • Ideally, keep at a maximum of 65 degrees.
  • Keep soil moist and mist frequently.
  • Fertilize with high-potassium fertilizer every two weeks once buds form.
  • Repot each year after flowering.

Mistletoe

  • Avoid direct sunlight.
  • Allow the soil to dry out slightly between each watering. Reduce watering during winter months.
  • Mist once every two weeks with a fine mister using lukewarm water.

Other plants can be used to make holiday arrangements, swags, wreaths and garlands.  Can be placed on a mantel,  draped over doorways or wrapped around  stair bannisters. Magnolia leaves, holly, ivy, fir and conifers are not beautiful, but some smell amazing which can add a seasonal ambiance to a room.

Almost any plant can be used to decorate for the holidays if placed in a themed container.  Use holiday mugs, bowls, serving ware or any holiday container. You can also wrap the container with festive paper then add holiday decorations to the plant. Read more Garden Thyme articles at www.DockLineMagazine.com!

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