10December 19, 2012

By now, the last minute Christmas rush has begun for many people.From gift shopping to last minute decorating, people are in a hurry to get things done. Let’s take a few minutes to talk about the last minute decorating.

If you have a cut tree in your home, it is critically important to keep the tree stand filled with water. Trees will drink up a lot of water in the first few days that the tree is in the house. After the first few days, the water uptake will level off a bit, but you should be checking the water level at least twice a day. If you allow the stand to go low enough that the water level falls below the bottom of the trunk, the cut will seal off and the only way to get the tree to take up water again will be to remove the tree from the stand and cut off about ½ to 1 inch of the trunk. There is probably nothing that is more fun than to take a fully decorated tree out of the stand and to try and put a fresh cut on the bottom of the tree! Nuf said on that project.

There are many different plants that you can have in your home. The poinsettia is probably the premiere holiday plant. As I explained last week, poinsettias are native to very warm climates. They don’t like the drafty conditions that occur if you place them near a door. They also don’t like to be kept too wet. The foil or plastic wrap that you find around the pot will act as a saucer. If you don’t drain that water out of the pot cover after you water the poinsettia, the plant will sit in water and the roots will quickly rot.

One of the other popular holiday plants is the cyclamen. This plant likes moist soil. Not soaking wet soil, moist soil. It prefers cooler temperatures than the poinsettia so for those of you who have cooler homes, it may be a better choice for your home. If you keep the cyclamen fertilized, it is not unusual for it to continue to flower until late march of April.

One of the other decorating traditions is to place evergreen garland on the mantle or along the stair railings. Fresh evergreen garland does not stay fresh long indoors. You would be well advised to put artificial garlands indoors. This is particularly true for areas near any heat source. There are some very good quality and very life like artificial garlands. These would be a good choice for in your home and are mandatory for business use. Live wreaths placed in the home can dry out just like garland. Again, there are some very life-like artificial wreaths that you can purchase for your home or business. On the upside, if you buy quality artificial garlands or wreaths, you will have them for years to come.

Well, that’s all for this week. I wish you and yours a very happy holiday.
I’ll talk to you again next week.

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