Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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Ideas for holding vacation houseplants wholesome and inexperienced

A part of the enjoyable this time of 12 months is the plethora of vacation vegetation out there — all wrapped in shiny foil and grown to peak bloom.

Nevertheless, not all vacation vegetation are created equal. Some might be grown within the residence for many years with the suitable care. Others are tough to maintain alive greater than a month. And it’s not at all times you.

Many of those foliage pals are bred and bought to be disposable, so you’ll be able to throw them out with out guilt in the event that they perish. Nevertheless, with a couple of steps, they could final for months or years.

First issues first, know which vegetation do nicely as houseplants in Texas, which of them doubtless will probably be tossed out with the trash and which of them might be planted in your yard.

Maintain as houseplants

Norfolk Island pine: In its native Australia, the evergreen grows as much as 200 toes tall. As a houseplant, 4 to six toes tall is common. Maintain in vibrant, oblique gentle and hold damp however not moist. Don’t let it dry out. Spray with water for humidity. Outdoors, these vegetation have grown to 30 toes round Galveston and elements of Houston, however with the chilly snaps we’ve gotten over the previous couple of years, I doubt many have survived. 

Cyclamen: Maintain as a brief houseplant (or plant within the yard); cyclamen blooms lengthy after the vacations, generally till April. Soil ought to keep moist earlier than and through peak bloom. My most well-liked method to water is to position the pot in a shallow dish of water and let the soil take in water from the underside. In contrast to many different vacation vegetation, these favor cool temperatures. Keep away from an excessive amount of daylight. The whole plant will go dormant by midsummer. Cyclamen might be stored for a couple of years indoors however is not going to bloom as nicely.

Christmas/Thanksgiving/Easter cactus: These are long-lived houseplants; they’re my favourite on the checklist. Maintain in vibrant, oblique gentle. Let dry between watering, particularly earlier than blooms. Keep away from drafts or warmth vents and spritz with water. These vegetation bloom finest if pot-bound, so you’ll be able to repot however just one measurement up. Flower buds drop with drafts or a transfer. 

Plant outdoor

Rosemary: Plant rosemary exterior in full solar within the floor or in a bigger pot as quickly as the possibility of frost has handed. Within the meantime, place within the highest gentle potential in the home and take away wrapper. Use a pot with drainage. It likes to dry out; don’t overwater. Place on a tray of pebbles with water slightly below the highest of the rocks to extend humidity. 

Amaryllis: For the vacations, hold by a vibrant window earlier than bloom and rotate to maintain the stem straight. The big, trumpet-shaped flowers are top-heavy, so putting in a heavier pot will assist stabilize. Maintain moist however not moist. Lower the stalk after blooming. Don’t minimize leaves, as they supply diet to the bulb. This plant might be stored indoors with a couple of steps, however in our local weather, simply plant within the floor with good drainage and full solar to start out an amaryllis assortment. Don’t plant the bulb too deep; the highest third needs to be above the bottom. They naturally bloom within the spring and can rebloom the next 12 months in April. After a couple of years, they’ll naturalize. 

Ditch with out guilt

Poinsettia: If you happen to haven’t overwatered your poinsettia by now, then you’re doing nicely. Overwatering will kill them faster than underwatering. That’s the reason it is strongly recommended that you just take away the plant from the plastic sleeve, or no less than permit it to empty when watered. Maintain in vibrant gentle. Keep away from drafts and temperature extremes. Chilly drafts can flip the leaves yellow. As soon as the small, yellow flowers within the middle open, decline begins. Poinsettias can develop within the Houston space for those who like a problem, however they’ll by no means look as they did earlier than. Plant exterior after the final probability of frost. In case you have a latex allergy, you might be delicate to the sap. Remaining name — it’s simpler to toss. 

Cyclamen: Don’t throw cyclamen away proper after blooming. The leaves are engaging, with frost on darkish inexperienced. Wait till the leaves begin dying again to filter of the backyard.

Waxed amaryllis: This can be a cool present to obtain, as there isn’t any want for soil or water. The waxed bulb sits on a counter or desk, and as soon as the blooms fade, it may be tossed. These are dearer for the dearth of care required, however after receiving two final 12 months, I’m a fan. They lasted about 5 weeks and every had a second flower stalk.  Nevertheless, I peeled the wax off and planted them anyway. Guess what?  They’re nonetheless rising nicely!

Brandi Keller is a Harris County Horticulture Agent with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.

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