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In The Garden | Time to look for holiday plants

Skip to main content The bright red poinsettia continues to be the potted plant of choice for the Christmas season. With proper care, it will remain in good condition well beyond the Christmas holiday. (Photo: Richard Poffenbaugh photo.) When and if you purchase one or more holidays plants, the time varies. You may be an early buyer now or delay until closer to Christmas. As to plant choices, the poinsettia continues to be the plant of choice. Others include the amaryllis, Christmas cactus, moth orchid, gloxinia, cyclamen, Norfolk Island Pine and florist mum. The poinsettia This popular holiday plant remains the plant of choice. It is the most popular plant sold during the next four weeks. Red is the color of choice. Though parts are called “red flower,” they are not true flowers; they are called bracts. As the plant grows in the fall, the bracts slowly turn red and reach peak color in late November. Change in day length determines the color change. Red remains the color of choice, but each year, different colors are sold. Generally, the larger the plant, the higher the cost. Look for dark green foliage — it should extend down to the soil line. The plant should be about twice as big as the pot size. Take care in transporting the plant home. Usually, a plant is protected with a plastic sleeve. If there is no sleeve, place plant in a large paper bag and fold over the top of the bag, or secure the top with two clothes pins for protection from the cold. Plant watering tip Proper watering is key to success with a potted plant, including the poinsettia. For 50 years I have used the “pot weight” as a guide to watering needs. Pick up pot and if it feels […]

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