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Brighten Up Your Home with Holiday Plants

It’s the holidays! The aroma of holiday baking fills the air, festive decorations greet the eye, and familiar songs are heard everywhere you go. Whether you prefer the convenience of an artificial tree or the tradition – and scent! –  of a fresh cut tree, chances are you will be bringing live plants into your home to brighten up your surroundings.

 

But which plants?

 

Of course, there is the poinsettia and while the vibrant red we all know and love is traditional there are now many other choices available. Whites, pinks, burgundies there’s a lot more to poinsettias these days than traditional red. Variegated leaves with merlot-colored bracts (the part with color) make the Tapestry variety an interesting choice. If pink is your color, consider the shell pink of Visions of Grandeur or the hot pink of Luv U Pink. The elegance of white or perhaps the rosy-red edges and white frosting-like centers of Ice Punch will complement the rich greens and reds of your decorations. For something a little artsy consider Premium Picasso with its red and white brushstrokes of color. Whichever type you choose your poinsettia will need a bright location to thrive. Water when only dry and let the water run through, don’t leave your plant standing in water. You should have lovely color to enjoy long after the decorations come down.

 

Perhaps poinsettias aren’t appealing to you. What other choices do you have? Quite a few actually, from a variety of bulbs you can force or grow indoors, to exotic looking bromeliads and the colorful Christmas cactus you can enjoy flowering plants all winter long

 

Perhaps the most common bulb available this time of year is the amaryllis. Tall and stately with multiple trumpet shaped blooms on a single stem, the amaryllis comes in a wide variety of colors sold in kits with everything you need in one handy box (soil, bulb and container). Often the packaging is dressed up for gift giving with no additional wrapping needed.

 

The Christmas cactus has gained in popularity over the years. It is easy to care for and may bloom more than once a year if it likes the window you place it in. This plant also comes in a variety of colors, needs minimal watering and is very easy to propagate. In the spring simply snip off a two to three segment long section and plot the cut end into potting soil. Keep watered until the roots take hold and you’ll have a new plant for the holidays to keep or give as a gift.

 

For a more exotic look consider bromeliads. These tropical houseplants feature rosettes of sturdy, glossy leaves with either a brightly colored center or a flower stalk. These plants do like humidity but they can tolerate occasional neglect. If the plant looks dry give it a spritz with a plant mister. They prefer a bright area but intense direct sun can damage the leaves. Bright, filtered light is best.

 

Finally, who can resist the wonderful scent of paperwhites or even hyacinths? These flowering bulbs are easy to grow indoors, often come in kits and can add a touch of spring to the soft light of winter.

 

Whatever you choose, adding flowering plants to your holiday décor brings a touch of color that will last long into the new year.

 

Sources:

Gardening Know How

 Rodale’s Organic Life

Amaryllis & Caladium Bulb Company

Bromeliads.Info

White Flower Farm

Gardener’s World

 

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