Seasonal Plants All Year

Several varieties of flowers are produced just for this season; most of these indoor flowers are meant to be one-and-done and not to become long lasting houseplants.  Still, some indoor gardeners wish to keep these seasonal plants as long as possible and to do so requires very specific care.

Poinsettias – to keep beautiful during the winter months, location is key.  Select a spot in your home that is brightly lit with lots of indirect sunlight and out of cold drafts or warms bursts of air (furnace or wood stove). Water when soil feels dry to the touch, do not overwater or allow to sit in water in the wrapper or outer pot it may be in.  Yellowing or dropping leaves are signs of watering or temperature issues. To restore a dormant poinsettia to colour is labour-intensive work:  maintain light watering (not allowing leaves to curl and fall off) until Spring and then prune leaving about 8 inches of stem, move outdoors in June into a partial sun location and water as needed.  In mid-September move the potted plant back indoors to a brightly lit location and, at that time, the bracts (leaves) should re-colour.

Cyclamen – a more modern holiday look that can last past the main season and bloom nicely in the Spring too.  Cyclamen are dormant in the hot summer months as they thrive in cool temperatures.  These frilly, fluffy plants are best placed in bright light during the cool months and in filtered light in the Spring.  As houseplants they prefer a cool environment between 12-20 degrees.  Water only when soil is dry to the touch and water carefully trying not to get excess water on the stems or leaves.

Amaryllis – a beautiful blooming bulb that you can plant or might receive planted in a pot or even in a colourful wax covering.  Amaryllis bulbs typically take 4-6 weeks to bloom from unsprouted bulb stage to first bloom so timing is key for this beauty to bloom on time for the holiday.  To hurry along bloom, place in a warm, brightly lit location; to delay bloom, remove to a cool, less sunny spot in your home.  A good quality Amaryllis bulb will produce at least two stalks with multiple blooms bursting open, usually one at a time.  The newest phenomenon is the waxed amaryllis that is pre-soaked in water, giving it the nutrients needed to bloom and thrive encased in the wax coating.  No further soil, water or care is needed!  While the waxed bulbs are one-and-done, traditional Amaryllis bulbs can be set in an inconspicuous spot to allow to die back and in June planted outdoors in a partial sun location (to nourish the bulb again). Before frost the potted bulb is moved to a cool, dark spot in your home until returning it to a sunny spot in early November so it can re-sprout for the next holiday season.

By Vikki Whitney, Owner of Griffin’s Greenhouses
705-652-8638 or 1-877-647-4334 www.griffinsgreenhouses.com