35 December 16, 2006

As people decorate indoors for the holidays, please keep in mind that any evergreens, whether it be garland or fresh cut boughs, can dry out quickly indoors. You can spray your greens with an anti-desiccant spray. This will apply a waxy coating to the needles. This will slow down the drying process. You can also place greens in floral foam. The foam looks like a green brick. You soak it in water for a few minutes and it will absorb lots of water. You can place the foam in a container and then arrange the greens in the foam. The greens will stay fresh for a long period of time if you keep the foam moist. You can extend the life of the greens by keeping them cool and by keeping the greens out of direct sunshine.

Someone asked me about the care of poinsettias. Poinsettias need to be in bright light.  You can tell if the light is bright enough  if your hand casts a shadow when you pass your hand above the plant. The soil should be kept moist but not soaking wet. If you have the plant pot wrapped in foil, the foil will hold any excess water. If the plant sits in the water, the roots will die. If you want to keep the pot in the foil, it is best to poke holes in the bottom of the foil. The pot can then be set on a saucer. It will be easier for you to see water in the saucer than it will be to remember to take off the foil and dump out the water. Poinsettias like average household temperatures. They do not like really hot or cold breezes. If you give them a very diluted application of fertilizer about once a month, the leaves will also last longer. Oh, by the way, it is an urban legend that poinsettias are poisonous to children.

Even though it is the holiday season, you should take a few minutes and look at those houseplants you had outside this summer.  You may have treated the plants for insects when you brought the plants indoors, but quite a few weeks has past and insects may have survived the initial application of insecticide. Take a few minutes to check your houseplants for signs of insects. If the insects are there, you should re-treat the plants with an insecticide.

The extended forecast for this weekend is for warm( for this time of the year) weather. If you did not get a chance to apply an anti-desiccant spray to your shrubs, then this may be your last chance. Cold weather always seems to settle in during the end of December.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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