If you are feeling a bit melancholy because all your beautiful outdoor plants have passed on or gone dormant, you can move your green thumb indoors!
This is the time of the season for Poinsettias, Paper Whites (Narcissus), Amaryllis and Christmas Cactus. Creek Side Gardens is stocking up on these traditional holiday favorites. The bulbs can be purchased as ‘bare root’ bulbs or as pre-potted plants. They are easy to plant and gives you an opportunity to get your fingers dirty again.
Plant bulbs in a pot filled with horticultural sand or pebbles (this product has been pre-rinsed and clean) and store in a cool room (50 – 60 degrees F) until shoots emerge, then move
the pot into a bright, cool window. Bulbs started by mid-month should bloom during the holidays. Remember to add a staking system to keep the tall stems from bending over.
Now is the time to plant this large bulb in time for Christmas bloom. It’s easy to plant a bare root bulb in your own 6″ container with potting soil. Make sure the bulb is secure because the stem is tall and the flowers will make this indoor beauty top heavy. Staking is recommended.
Zygocactus, commonly called Christmas Cactus are graceful, pretty plants, with or without blooms. Their showy, colorful holiday flowers are a beautiful treat at the end of the year. With a little extra care in the fall, they will regale you with splendid holiday color. Place in a bright, cool location for the most reliable blooming. Allow soil to dry to the touch between waterings.
This tropical favorite is now available in a myriad of red shades, whites, splotches, speckles, petal shapes. They key to keeping this indoor plant looking great is even soil moisture.
The soil should feel like a squeezed out sponge. As with any Euphorbia (which is the plant family of Poinsettias) when a stem or branch is damaged, it leaks a milky substance. This substance can
provide irritation to skin and mucous membranes. Wash skin immediately and do not ingest any part of the plant.
The warm, dry air inside a home or office feels like a desert to houseplants, holiday plants, and Christmas greens. Any added humidity is much appreciated! (Leave open bathroom doors after
showering, cooking recipes with boiling water, crockpots, running the dishwasher, vent dryer inside, and setting up a few tabletop humidifiers throughout the office/house – your breathing will
benefit from this added humidity, too). Pebble trays and leaving water in plant drip trays is not recommended.
If aphids, mites, or scale insects bother any of your house plants, slip a plastic clothing cover (the kind you get from a dry cleaner) over it, and then spray insecticidal soap on the leaves inside. The
plastic tent will contain the spray. Leave covered for 24 hours, then remove the plastic tent. Another insect pest to watch for is the fungus gnat. They appear around the soil of potted plants,
where they originate. Reduce water to affected plants. It is helpful to place sticky traps close to these plants to also decrease the gnat population.