23 December 3, 2008
As the holiday decorating season gets underway, people will be using many natural greens to decorate their homes. The problem with using live greens indoors is that the greens dry out quickly. You can slow down this drying process by using an anti – desiccant spray on the cut greens before you bring them indoors. This is the same spray that you would put on your shrubs to keep the shrubs from drying out in the winter wind. On a day when the temperatures are above 40 degrees, you can spread out the evergreen branches and spray them with the anti-dessicant spray. Allow the branches to dry during daylight hours. The UV rays of light help to set up the spray. You could spray the greens indoors, but the protection won’t be as effective. If you get that wet waxy spray on any furniture or floors, be sure to clean it up before it dries. Once it dries, it is very hard to remove the wax from floors, furniture etc.
Anti desiccant spray can also be applied to evergreen garland and Christmas trees. The waxy coating will help to keep the needles on the tree and prevent the leaves or needles from drying out on your garland.
For years there has been an urban myth that poinsettias are poisonous to children. As far as anyone can determine there have been no deaths from children eating the poinsettia leaves. Testing by several universities has also proven the myth to be just that, a myth. If you want to enjoy a poinsettia in your home, by all means buy one and enjoy it.
Speaking of poinsettias, you can find some new colors in the garden centers. Poinsettia growers have found that you can spray a water-based colorant on the leaves of the poinsettia and create colors that will amaze you. In many cases a white poinsettia is sprayed with a colorant to make the leaves into a different color. You can find blue colored poinsettias, purple and even some interesting bi-colors. If you think that poinsettias are only a red plant, you may want to look for some of the new colored plants.
If you want to have paperwhites in color for Christmas, now is the time to get them started. The bulbs need about 4 weeks from planting until they come into bloom. If you do the math, it is time to get started.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.