Holiday Plant Care
Place in cool, bright location with direct sun and free from drafts or artificial heat. Appliances, (especially TV sets) radiators & ventilating ducts produce heat and air movement that can damage your plant. Poinsettias prefer nighttime temperatures of between 55° and 65° and daytime temps around 70°. Water enough to drain through; check daily and water again when the soil surface becomes dry.
∗ Poinsettia: Known all over the world as the flower of Christmas Time. Poinsettias can easily be decorated with a basket and a bow to make great gifts.
This needs as much light as possible and must be kept cool (58°-62° night temp.) during rest periods. When the flower buds start to show, the plant should be moved to regular room temperature. (below 75°) Buds will not form if not given direct sun. After buds develop, they will fall off if moved to indirect sun. Plant needs 2-4 hours of direct sun. (east or west exposure) These cacti should be re-potted every 3-5 years at the beginning of the spring growth period. Always use a light soil; commercial cactus soil is fine. It is essential that water can drain through easily. Water sparingly in the rest periods during Feb.-Mar. and July- Aug. (soil should dry out between waterings.) Start to water more from the beginning of April thru June. Provide a weak fertilizer solution in the April-June growth period. Plants need feeding during Sept.-Dec. when the buds are forming. (full strength)
∗ Christmas Cactus: The flowering Christmas Cactus is really delightful. The profusion of flowers seems to glow. It is also satisfying to know that, without a lot of effort, this cactus can be brought into bloom year after year.
Keep pot at room temperatures in a sunny area (East, West, or South exposure). Once the Paperwhites are in bloom, cooler temperatures will help the blooms last longer. Plant The bulbs in any potting soil with the top just above the surface.
Water well and keep the soil damp but not wet. No fertilization is necessary.
∗ Paperwhite: The best Narcissi for indoor cultivation is the Paperwhite which produce bunches of flowers on each stem at Christmas or early in the New year.
Place in a bright spot, warm room (65°-75° by day, 5 to 10° cooler by night) while the roots are developing. Rotate the pot daily to encourage even growth of the broad, strappy leaves. When the buds begin to open, move the plant into a cooler room. Heat and southern exposure light will cause the flowers to fade and wither more quickly. Insufficient sun will cause plants to grow too tall and weak with lighter colored flowers. An amaryllis blooms best when somewhat pot-bound, so choose a pot that is about 7 inches deep but no more than an inch or two wider than the diameter of the bulb. Clay is preferable to plastic because its weight will provide stability when the plant becomes top-heavy. Be sure the pot has drainage holes; Cover the holes with pieces of broken clay pots or fine mesh screen to keep soil from washing out. Fill halfway with commercial potting soil, packing it in fairly firmly. Then set the bulb in place and pack in more potting soil around it., leaving an inch of space between the soil line and the pot’s rim. The top third of the bulb should protrude above the soil that water won’t accumulate around its neck and cause it to rot. When bulb is packed in, water it well once. Don’t water again until the bulb shows active growth. Within a few weeks the bud stalk will appear. Water the plant whenever the top of the soil feels dry. Feed twice a month with bulb food or a liquid fertilizer (5-10-5 is best).
∗ Amaryllis: These large bulbs send forth one or two hollow stems that elongate quickly before unfurling 3 or 4 lilylike blossoms in vivid tropical shades of red, pink, salmon, orange, white, etc.
Norfolk Island Pine
Plants do best in bright direct (East, North or West exposure), or curtain filtered sunlight (South exposure). They prefer night temperatures of 50° to 55° and day temperatures of 68° to 72°, but can tolerate a range from 45° to 85°.
Soil must dry slightly between thorough waterings. Repot at 3 to 4 year intervals. Use a highly organic packaged potting mixture formulated for African violets. Assure plant has good drainage.
Feed established plants every three or four months, but wait four to six months before feeding newly purchased or potted plants. Use 5-10-5 fertilizer, or 30-10-10 at half strength.
∗ Norfolk Island Pine: A handsome and easy to grow conifer with many uses – seedlings for the terrarium, small plants for table display and tall trees as bold specimens in halls or large rooms.