Living Garden Gifts

Erin Conant

Whether you’re the recipient or giver of a living gift, follow our tips to keep those gifts giving long after the holidays are over.

Several years ago I received a special gift for Christmas – a little amaryllis bulb that was about the size of a marble.

It lacked much bravado with its two puny leaves and I knew it would be years before it revealed even one of its magnificent blooms, but I managed to keep it alive. And last year it yielded three of the most stunning, bright red blossoms.

If you are the recipient of such a gift this year, here are a few tips so that you might enjoy a dear friend’s gift long after it’s been given.

  • Living Christmas trees – common desktop-sized gifts are the 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 either while they’re still in their original pot. Remove the decorative wrapping and place them on saucers to prevent rotting.
  • Christmas cactus – a flat-leafed cacti that comes in a variety of festive colors, its bloom period is triggered by shorter days and colder nights. This plant is susceptible to over-watering, so allow the soil to dry out before watering again.
  • Poinsettias – decking the halls with these scarlet beauties is one of the most familiar holiday traditions. While their ease of care after the holidays can be a matter of opinion, keep them away from cold windows and drafts to avoid instant damage.

If you’re looking to give the gift of nature this year, here are some ideas that may not necessarily involve live plants, but are special to the holidays nonetheless.

Hand crafted bird feeders – This bird feeder combines your talent, natural products and Christmas cheer.

Garden patio decor – these containers full of festive cheer can be made to fit into any festive gathering or patio. Let your inner elf go and follow the simple instructions.

Follow Garden Style San Antonio’s board Gifts from the Garden and for the Gardener on Pinterest.

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