Lots of cheer, family and food, guests and gifts... holiday plant gifts. It was good when it was good but what do we do with those plants after the holidays? We try but sometimes we cannot resist these beauties when we walk into our local nurseries and stores. Christmas hollies, cone-shaped rosemaries, Norfolk pines and Poinsettias all within fingers reach. The poinsettias' hypnotic Christmas-red color catapults us into a scene of sipping eggnog by a cozy fireplace. Yet, at the end of the scene do we toss our beautiful plants or do we give them a second life?
Here are a few tips:
(1) Cut poinsettia between 4-6 inches tall (2) Place in bright filtered light and keep at 68°F during the day, cooler at night. (3) Water regularly, keeping soil moist. Do not keep it in sitting water. (4) Water until mid-spring. By end of spring cut growth a couple of inches above soil and re-pot in new soil. Feed with houseplant fertilizer and keep warm. (5) Mid-Autumn keep in total darkness between 5pm and 8am for 6 weeks. It will not rebloom unless it gets needed "total darkness". When bright colored bracts begin showing then your plant can be removed from darkness. This process takes a patient hand but it'll be worth showing at the next holiday gathering.