Proctor: Keep holiday plants fresh

9:45 AM, Dec 12, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - Poinsettias often turn from a sight to behold into a leafless mess. To prevent this, consider what they need. Native to Mexico, they flourish in bright light and humidity. If your house is like an oven, they're bound to fail.

All holiday plants such as poinsettias, cyclamen, hydrangeas, paperwhites, star of Bethlehem, ivy, Christmas cactus, Norfolk Island pine and lemon juniper will do best with higher humidity levels. Group them together for the "buddy effect" and keep them moist but not soggy. Keep them away from heat registers blasting hot, dry air on them.

Remove foil wrappers or at least punch holes in the bottoms to allow excess moisture to drain. Don't let them stand in water or their roots will rot. Consider putting pebbles or gravel in plant saucers underneath the pots. The evaporating excess moisture will raise humidity levels around the plants.

I prefer displaying holiday plants in plastic-lined baskets. They can be easily moved to water them in the sink and re-arranged at will. Use foliage plants to contrast flowering plants to best advantage. I use upturned plastic containers to get all the potted plants to the right levels in the basket. Fill in gaps with moss or pinecones.

Don't let your poinsettia become a victim of neglect. With a bit of care each day, it should last well into the new year.

Plants are courtesy of Tagawa Gardens.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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