It’s December and we have our annual assortment of seasonal plants ready to adorn your home. Most of these are best treated as temporary house guests, but a few simple care strategies can keep them at their best for seasonal show.
Begin by protecting newly purchased plants on the way home. Cover up the foliage and don’t leave them in a cold car. At home, take care not to overwater. Water is not love and plants will promptly perish if they’re kept soggy. Touch the soil and feel if the plant is dry before watering. Remove any decorative foil pot cover when watering to allow for proper drainage. Keep plants away from anything hot (wood stove), cold (opening doors) or anywhere drafty (heating vents).
Note: These practices are best not only for Christmas plants but for most indoor plants.
Norfolk Island Pine: These tropical conifers make great living Christmas trees. They prefer cool to average room temperature and high humidity. Mist leaves regularly and keep in bright to low light. Water sparingly in the winter. Following these tips, it’s possible to keep them thriving year round indoors.
Christmas Cactus: Unlike its spiny relatives this cactus needs high humidity, so regular misting is in order. Keep it at cool room temperature. A bright spot with a little direct sun is ideal. Water thoroughly when completely dry. This is another plant that can be a successful year round house plant.
Poinsettias: Keep poinsettias at normal room temperature away from cold draughts or heat sources. The branches break easily so take care when transporting. Keep them in a bright spot and water only when soil feels dry to the touch.
Mini Cypress: Who wouldn’t love a live mini Christmas tree? Keep them in bright light and evenly moist, but be careful not to let them sit in standing water.
Cyclamen: If you have a cold house, the cyclamen is for you. Warmer room temperatures cause the stems to droop and flowers to drop. When cyclamens are dry, set the pot in a saucer of water and allow it to drink up from the bottom. Remove spent flowers or yellowing leaves promptly.
Live Holly: Some direct sunlight is essential to keep the leaves looking their best. Water sparingly.
Wintergreen: Bright light and moist soil are important for this pretty and fragrant plant.