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CARE OF CHRISTMAS FLOWERS

BY BRUCE ZIMMERMAN

Often at this time of year I get lots of calls about the care of Christmas flowers. So the following is a guide to help you care for your Christmas flowering pot plants.

POINSETTIA

LIGHT: Bright light but out of direct sun
WATER: Allow soil surface to dry out between waterings then water well. Do not let the plant stand in water.
TEMP: Daytime temps. 65-70F
(18-21C) Night temps.60-65F
(15-18C) Avoid areas of dry heat eg. TV radiators etc.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Will last 2-3 months

Double Red Pointsettia WinterRose

POINSETTIA & MUM

LIGHT:  Bright light but out of direct sun
WATER: Allow soil surface to dry out between waterings then water well. Do not let the plant stand in water.
TEMP: Daytime temps. 65-70F
(18-21C) Night temps.60-65F
(15-18C) 
WHAT TO EXPECT: Chrysanthemums 2-3 weeks Poinsettia 2-3 months
A GOOD PARTY GIFT FOR THE HOSTESS WITH POINSETTIAS ALREADY

AZALEA

LIGHT: Bright indirect light (can be outside in shady spot in summer after chance of frost.)
WATER: Keep soil constantly moist to touch.  Do not let stand in water. As house plant, place a wide saucer filled with gravel underneath plant , add water to gravel as needed.
TEMP: Daytime temps. 60-65F (15-18C) Night temps. 55-65F (13-15C)
WHAT TO EXPECT: Flowers last 2-4 weeks.

They Come In Most Colours

HOLLY

LIGHT: Bright light.
WATER: Evenly moist with some surface drying.  Will tolerate standing in water to suck up moisture for a short period of time.  Must not become water logged.
TEMP: Daytime 55-60F (13-15C) Night time 40-45F (5-7C) Will tolerate slightly higher temps using a humidity tray.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Seasonal plant only in your home

Holly You May Be Able to Put Outside In Milder Climstes

CYCLAMEN

LIGHT: Bright indirect light
WATER: Only allow soil surface to dry between waterings, then moisten.  Do not allow plant to sit in water or soil to become waterlogged as root rot quickly spreads to the bulb.

TEMP: Daytime temps 55-65F (15-21C) Nighttime temps 55-65F (13-18C)
WHAT TO EXPECT: Will last 2-4 months each bloom lasting 2-3 weeks.

There are Lots More Varieties

CHRISTMAS CHERRY

LIGHT: Bright indirect light to full sun.
WATER: Soil should be moist but allow surface to become partially dry between waterings.
TEMP: Daytime 65-70F (18-21C) Will tolerate night temps. of 50-55F (10-13C) 
WHAT TO EXPECT: House plant with bright orange-red fruit throughout winter, white flowers in summer-fall. May go outside in summer.  Fruit is NOT EDIBLE, VERY POISONOUS.
Posionous

CHRISTMAS PEPPER

LIGHT: Bright diffused light to full sun.
WATER: Only allow soil surface to dry between waterings, then moisten.  Do not allow plant to sit in water or soil to become waterlogged.
TEMP: Daytime 70-75F (21-24C) Will tolerate nighttime temps of 60-65F (15-18C)
WHAT TO EXPECT: Edible VERY HOT peppers of bright yellow, orange, red or purple, lasting 1-2 months

Edible But Very Very Hot

KALANCHOE

LIGHT: Bright light to direct sun.
WATER: Soil should be barely moist. Allow soil to become quite dry between waterings
TEMP: Daytime 65-70F (18-21C) Nighttime 60-65F (15-18C) Tolerates 50-60F (10-15C) at night.
WHAT TO EXPECT: 2-6 weeks of bloom

Good Long Flowering Time

CHRISTMAS CACTUS

LIGHT: Bright indirect light.
WATER: Allow surface to dry between waterings.  Do not allow to sit in water.

TEMP: Daytime temps 60-70F (18-21C) Nighttime temps 55-65F (13-18C)
WHAT TO EXPECT: 2-4 weeks of bloom.  May be re-bloomed 3-4 times a year.  

Lots of Other Colours Available

CHRYSANTHEMUM

LIGHT: Bright indirect light.
WATER: Uniformly moist with just soil surface drying between waterings.  Do not stand in water.
TEMP: Daytime temps. 65-70F
(18-21C) Cooler nights 50-60F (10-16C)
WHAT TO EXPECT: 3-4 weeks of blooms

Spoon Mum

GARDENIA

LIGHT: Bright light but not direct sun (can be put outside in shady spot in summer after all chance of frost.)
WATER: Keep soil constantly moist.  Do not let sit in water.  Place a wide saucer filled with gravel underneath the plant and add water as needed.
TEMP: Daytime 70-75F (21-24C), nighttime 62-65F (17-18C)
WHAT TO EXPECT: Fragrant white flowers last 3-4 days for 2-3 months.

Blooms In Its Own Time

NORFOLK ISLAND PINE

LIGHT: Bright light but out of direct sun
WATER: Allow soil surface to dry out between waterings then water well. Do not let the plant stand in water.
TEMP: Daytime temps. 65-70F
(18-21C) Night temps.60-65F
(15-18C) 
WHAT TO EXPECT: Evergreen houseplant that can be carefully decorated for Christmas.

Grows 80 To 120 Feet High

I hope that this answers many of your questions. You should also read the articles on Indoor Plant Fertilizing and Indoor Plant Watering

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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