written by Janet Harrold
From tall stalks to heart shaped foliage amaryllis, poinsettia and cyclamen are a few holiday favs. Great for gift giving or decorating here are a few tips to keep your blooms flowering all winter long.
Probably the most common plant is the infamous poinsettia. Often times when you think of a poinsettia, you think of the color red, but these amazing plants come in a variety of colors. In part thanks to hybridization as well as breeding. We have the good fortune of seeing poinsettias in many shades of red ranging from burgandy to oranges, but pink is also a demanding color choice- a solid soft pink, or a hot pink they also come in white, salmon apricot, yellow and they even come in blue believe it or not! A few unusual speckled and marbled varieties have names to suit their unique look such as ‘Jingle Bells” and ” Candy Cane”
Whether you decide to decorate with your humble poinsettia or bring it to a Christmas party as a hostess gift, remember just a few quick tips. Avoid hot or cold drafts, poinsettias are highly sensitive to cold temperatures-be sure it does not get bit by the wind , not even for 1 minute or you will surely loose them. Keep the soil moist (not soggy) and place in a room with bright light and is 60-70 degrees.
Often times people ask about keeping their holiday beauty from one year to the next, as this is definitely something that can be done, it is often times more work than it is worth, with proper care your plant will probably last longer than your desire to keep it. With that in mind, I opt o buy a new one each year and the hunt to find new varieties is always a welcomed challenge.
if poinsettias are not your thing…
don’t despair, they are certainly not the only choice in the greenhouse. As a matter of fact, your hostess just may embrace an alternative to the other 4 red poinsettias brought in by their other generous guests.
Cyclamen is definitely one of my favorites, they come in a variety of colors as well. Pinks, reds, whites etc. but to me the most attract part of this hardy plant is it’s eye catching heart shaped foliage often times they have a lacy silvery pattern appropriate for holiday gift giving.
If it’s a huge satisfying bloom you’re looking for why not choose amaryllis? With it’s tall stalk of colorful blooms, it’s another favorite holiday plant. You can choose amaryllis in a variety of ways, as a plant, a cut flower or in a kit providing a fun project for kids and adults to chart the growth and see the undeniable reward as it performs. Amaryllis come in so many colors and varieties, guaranteed to be a showstopper and deliver a sensational winter display.