Don’t you hate when your Christmas plants begin to fade and wither before the holidays are over? Worse yet is when someone gifts you a beautiful blooming plant that dies before the decorations are put away. Take some tips from landscape professionals and learn the right way to tend and maintain popular holiday flora and foliage.
Take care of your Christmas plants and help them survive the season:
Your Holiday Tree
Bringing a fresh Christmas tree into your home? First, trim the trunk and secure it in a stand without damaging or forcing the trunk to fit. Make sure that you water daily and keep it away from any heat. The first week after cutting, you will notice that the tree drinks a lot of water. A cut tree will typically last for a month before the needles become dry and fall off. Choosing a potted Christmas tree? Bring it inside for no more than a week and then move it outside to a cooler setting (like your garage or shed) before planting it in the ground.
A Christmas Cactus
A Christmas Cactus is something that you may give to others during this time of year or find yourself being gifted. Keep the plant in a sunny window and watch for flowers that drop due to too warm conditions or dry soil. Water conservatively and treat as you would any other succulent species. If you take your cactus outside during the warmer summer months for a couple weeks, it will flower for you. Keep your cactus in the same pot as they do best when root-bound and fertilize during summer months for optimal growth.
For best results, keep your Christmas Amaryllis in a bright, sunny spot. Turn the container to ensure equal exposure to the natural light for your plant; keep moist but do not overwater. After the plant blooms, trim the stalk and move outside after the last frost. Allow your plant to go dormant- in a cool setting with no water – during summer and fall, until November; bring your plant inside, water, and begin its holiday cycle once more!
A Pretty Poinsettia
A pretty poinsettia isn’t quite so pretty when you overwater it or leave it in chilly conditions; in fact, this is the easiest way to kill this holiday staple. Make sure that your poinsettia never sits in water, which is why many florists poke holes in the container and decorative foil that often surrounds the plant. Water very gingerly throughout the holiday season. Keep your plant in a sunny spot after Christmas and prune or shape the foliage to encourage blooming next year. Fertilize a couple times a month and, in the fall, reposition your plant to a spot with only natural sunlight – no artificial light sources- until it is time to bring it back inside for the holidays.
Rosemary plants and rosemary herb wreaths are common gifts and décor during the holidays; keep the herb moist by spritzing the soil or stems with water every couple days. For potted rosemary, move outside when the weather warms-up in the spring for fresh herbs year-round. Fertilize once or twice during the summer to allow for optimal natural growth. Use trimmed sprigs of rosemary for your own arrangements, bouquets, and culinary creations.
Containers of cyclamen are another common holiday sight; for best results, put your plant in a space with filtered light, nothing too harsh or bright. Keep the plant away from heat registers or any drafts as this can hasten flowering and dropping of your blossoms. Water around the stem and stalks, instead of over the top; use a saucer of water and allow your plant to sit in the saucer for 15 minutes and then remove. Water can burn the leaves so try not to get them wet during this process. Cyclamen are tricky and may not re-bloom after the holidays, even with attention and care so enjoy your plant while it lasts.
Bulbs are perfect for the holidays, a reminder that spring is ahead. Keep your paperwhite bulbs in a sunny, but cool, location and stake the stalks to prevent bends and breakage. Keep the soil moist and enjoy them while you can; these bulbs are a tropical species that can’t be replanted outside here.
Got more questions about your Christmas plants? Talk to the experts at Natural Tendencies Landscape Professionals for assistance and support in maintaining your holiday plants and trees. Based in Charleston, this expert landscape services company is familiar with the Carolinian climate and the hardy species that thrive here.