Several years ago I received a very special Christmas gift – a little amaryllis bulb about the size of a marble. It lacked much bravado with its two puny leaves and I knew several years would pass before it revealed even one magnificent bloom.
Still, I managed to keep it alive. Then much to my delight last year, it yielded three of the most stunning, bright red blossoms! Plants make wonderful gifts as they can be enjoyed season after season – with a little TLC, of course.
Here’s an abbreviated list of some of the more popular plant presents and how to care for them:
- Living Christmas Tree – Common desktop-sized varieties include Italian stone pine and rosemary. Both are recommended for planting in our area once the holidays are over, but take special care not to over-water them. Remove any decorative wrapping and place them on saucers to prevent rotting.
- Christmas Cactus – This flat-leafed holiday plant comes in a variety of festive colors. The bloom period is triggered by shorter days and colder nights. Since Christmas cactus is susceptible to over-watering, allow the soil to dry out before watering again.
- Poinsettia – Decking the halls with this scarlet beauty is one of the most familiar holiday traditions. Though their ease of care after the holidays can be a matter of strong opinion, at the very least, keep them away from cold windows and drafts to avoid instant damage.
If you’re the recipient of an evergreen gift this season, may these tips help you enjoy your present long after it was given.