Follow that Flower

Now that the holiday season is behind us and a new fresh year is almost upon us, there are many holiday ‘remnants’ still growing and blooming. I am thinking of the beautiful new Poinsettia varieties that we were treated to this season, as well as the Christmas cactus, cyclamen, azaleas, orchids, and mums.

Usually at this time of the year, for plants indoors it can be too warm with low light and low humidity, which takes a toll.  For instance, the tiny poinsettia flowers will have dropped and some of the colored bracts (leaves) will have fallen off.  Azalea flowers may have wilted and some leaves may have dried up.  Christmas cactus plants will have dropped some of its unopened buds and spent flowers may be dangling on the leaf segments.  Some of these plants end up in the trash; however, with a little bit of extra care and attention, you can keep these flowering beauties around for a while longer.

The Christmas cactus here in Baja can easily live outside from spring to fall in a sheltered space, but if yours has a perfect spot indoors, why not leave it there.  I have encountered many huge ‘heirloom’ plants that came from more than great-grandmothers and faithfully blooming each season.  Cuttings from such an heirloom can be passed on to family members and friends.

The cyclamen is a kind of delicate bulbous plant.  After the flowers are all gone, new leaves may form, but it would be much better to allow the plant a complete rest in a cool place, with hardly any water and no food at all.  When new leaves sprout, it’s waking up and ready for another round of flowers.

So if your seasonal holiday plants are a bit tired and worn-out, just give them a little extra TLC.  Keep your holiday plants out of the direct sun, away from fireplaces, but in a bright spot, and keep them evenly watered.  This way you can enjoy them for a while longer.

About Fleur

Fleur is a retired freelance Garden Writer, currently exploring Baja flora and living in Punta Banda. You may reach her at [email protected]

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