holiday plants

Traditional holiday plants like poinsettias add color and beauty to your home during the holiday season, but did you know they don't need to fade away when the last of the decorations get boxed up? 

With a little loving care, you can keep your holiday plants alive and blooming long after Santa heads back to the North Pole.

Poinsettia

Poinsettias are tropical plants, and despite the fact that they're synonymous with Christmas, they don't love cold weather. Here are some poinsettia care tips that will help you coax another bloom out of your plant next year.

  • Water your poinsettia when the soil is dry for as long as it looks healthy.
  • Place it in a sunny spot away from windowpanes.
  • Tuck it into a cool room at night, 55 to 60 degrees, to extend the life of the blooms.
  • In mid-spring, let it dry out and shrivel.
  • Cut it back to just a few inches above the soil and repot it in fresh soil.
  • Water it, keep it warm, and fertilize when new growth appears. You can move it outside in the summer.
  • In autumn, keep it in total darkness between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m., and voila! It will flower just in time for the holidays.

Christmas cactus

These beautiful plants thrive in the short days of winter, so don't give your Christmas cactus too much sun. Here's how to keep your winter cactus thriving when the snow melts.

  • Keep your cactus in a dark room from sunset to sunrise to encourage blooms.
  • These need more water than other cacti, so check the soil often and water if it feels dry.
  • Don't re-pot these temperamental plants.
  • To get a second round of blooms in the spring, water it less frequently and fertilize it.

Amaryllis

These dramatic blooms can live for years if you care for them correctly.

  • Plant the bulb in a container that is twice as deep as the bulb. Make sure it has a drainage hole, and use soilless potting mix.
  • Keep the container in a cool room.
  • Increase watering when the first sprouts appear.
  • In the spring, put the container outside and cut back the leaves. In the fall, stop watering it until winter and it will bloom again.

Paperwhite narcissus

These elegant white blooms add a touch of sophistication to your holiday decorating. Here's how to keep them at their best.

  • Use a container that's 3 to 4 inches high, with no drainage hole. Add some pebbles in the bottom.
  • Keep the pot in low light until the shoots appear, and then move it gradually into direct sunlight.
  • Make sure not to overwater.
  • Plant new bulbs in the pot every few weeks.

With some care and attention, you can keep the holiday spirit alive and well in your home long after the snow melts. Check out our selection at Homestead Gardens.

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