If there is any time of year that is perfect for plant gifts, it is the holiday season. From vibrant poinsettias to aromatic fresh greens, plants and fresh greens bring the holiday into your home. Whether you are giving or receiving, follow these tips to keep your plants healthy and happy all season long.
It’s hard to imagine the holiday season without the vibrant colors of a poinsettia. The classic plant of the holidays, poinsettias are a wonderful holiday accent for the home as well as a perfect holiday gift. With a little love, poinsettias can bloom long after the holidays are over.
- Poinsettias are native to Mexico, so they naturally love high humidity. Keep them in a bright, sunny spot with a temperature range of 60 degrees at night and 72 degrees during the day.
- Water poinsettias thoroughly when the surface is dry to the touch. Make sure to discard excess water in the plant saucer as poinsettias don’t like wet feet.
- Keep poinsettias away from hot or cold drafts.
- The popular myth that poinsettias are poisonous is just that, a myth. Research shows that the plant is non-toxic to humans. However, a poinsettia is not meant to be eaten, so it is best to keep it out of reach of young children.
- The ASPCA advises that poinsettias are toxic to furry friends so be sure to keep the plant out of reach of curious pets.
Just like a live Christmas tree, a fresh Christmas wreath brings the aromas of Christmas to your home. Fresh wreaths also make a wonderful hostess gift for a holiday party. However, like a fresh tree, wreaths need a bit of care to insure they last all season long.
- Choose the location for your wreath carefully. Fresh wreaths last longer if kept out of direct sunlight and in cooler temperatures.
- Make sure your wreath has a good flow of oxygen around it to insure freshness.
- Keep your wreath from drying out. In the Florida climate, this is critically important. Spritz your wreath with water every few days, focusing on the back of the boughs, in order to keep it hydrated.
Norfolk Island Pines
Most often seen around the holidays as cute Christmas trees, Norfolk pines are actually not pines at all. These plants are tropical and with a little love, will last well into the new year.
- As a tropical plant, Norfolk pines do not like cold weather. They cannot tolerate temperatures below 35 degrees and need to be kept away from cold drafts.
- Water Norfolk pines when the soil feels dry to the touch. As a tropical plant, Norfolk pines also need high humidity. A weekly misting of the tree with keep it healthy and happy.
- Norfolk pines love several hours of direct, bright light a day and will enjoy a south-facing window.
With its colorful, long-lasting blooms, a Christmas cactus is a popular choice for holiday decor and gift-giving. While it’s called a cactus, the natural habitat of the Christmas cactus is actually the humid climate of the Brazilian rainforest. A little bit of care will insure flowering blooms on your cactus all winter long.
- For the best blooming, provide bright, indirect light and temperatures between 70 degrees in the day and 60-65 degrees at night.
- Water a cactus when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch by soaking it until water runs through the drainage holes. Make sure to discard any excess water so it doesn’t sit in water.
- Mist your humidity-loving cactus frequently to keep it happy.
Sources: Society of American Florists, ASPCA, Harbor Farm, GardeningKnowHow.com, almanac.com