Wednesday, December 2, 2015

What's Next Part II (after Thanksgiving)

With a blink Thanksgiving came and went.  Really, it's over?  Well, then before we know it December holidays may come and go just as quickly. And you know what the New Year means...countdown to spring!  So what's next?
It's early December and every time you enter the garden center or grocery store you're first greeted with displays and rows of amazing, beautiful winter flower bouquets, poinsettias, rosemary, and Norfolk pine plants. And there's winterberries, fresh greenery, Christmas cactus and orchids, oh my!  Goodness, there's more red, white and green staring you in the face then the over the top Santa display at the nearby shopping mall. You're torn whether to splurge on one of these seasonal splendors or hold tight to your budget and continue walking staight to the bread aisle. You can't help but dream about guests walking into your aromatic cinnamon spiced holiday party oohing and aahing over the house filled with dazzling seasonal floral eye candy. Back to reality, should you make a purchase, that's your call...I'm still thinking about going back for the blue-dyed poinsettia. 

If you buy, choose a day when the outside temperature is above 50 degrees to cart home your holiday treasure.  And cover it with plastic bags from the store or bring your own box to keep the cold and wind out. 

Hopefully your plant came with a tag which should give you basic care instructions.  Often I take a photo of the tag just in case it gets tossed with all the foil or decorations. 

When you first get home, carefully unwrap your plant and if foiled, cut some holes in the bottom of the foil and then place the plant on top of a tray so water will freely drain. Check for flying gnats and if present isolate the plant until they are taken care of.  My recommendation is to break off small pieces from your outdoor water feature mosquito dunks and place on top of the soil, once watered in the larvae will be killed (the dunk contains "Bt," a very safe biological product to use). More - fungus gnats  

Links with care instructions for some popular holiday plants. 

Christmas Cactus
Christmas Trees 
Norfolk Island Pine 
European Cypress and Lemon Cypress Potted Plants 
Cut Flowers 

Wishing you a happy, healthy December holiday season. May it slow down just a tad so you can enjoy more time with your guests. After they are gone, sit down with a 2016 seed catalog and dream of you know what!

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