Festival Seasonal Plants
December is a wonderful time for a variety of "showy" and colorful houseplants. Since I was interested in what plants are available this year, I recently walked through the garden section of several stores and nurseries in Albuquerque to see what I could find. In many of the stores, I found a beautiful selection of holiday plants. I also checked out the decorations and the decorated trees, as you can usually get some fabulous ideas if you see what others have done. After you have observed the ideas of others, using your own ingenuity you should come up with ideas that will surpass anything you have seen.
Several colors of poinsettias are available this year, giving you many beautiful choices, although I still prefer the traditional shades of red. Also, at least 5 colors of Kalanchoe are in the stores. Remember, they do best in winter, when days are the shortest. The clusters of flowers are really pretty and are long-lasting. Kalanchoe make great gifts, especially for shut-ins and people with limited space.
Now is the time to plant your Amaryllis bulbs, as they take 3 to 4 weeks to bloom. Amaryllis are available in 5 colors, however, I still prefer red. The flowers are huge, about 5 to 8 inches in diameter, and only last one day. However, the buds will develop on new growth through the year. When I give them as gifts, sometimes I wrap the package they come in, and other times I plant them first, especially if I am going to deliver them.
As I looked at the little Norfolk Island pine trees, I was reminded of when I lived in a small apartment, and decorated one, which became my Christmas tree. If kept inside, a Norfolk Island pine can serve as your Christmas tree for many years. It is hard to believe they grow up to 200 feet tall when planted outside in other parts of the world.
After visiting the stores in the "big city", I came home ready to start on my plants and decorations for this year. Before I started, to do this, I decided to make sure that my other plants were in good shape and were in a place that would maximize their beauty and where I could provide them with lots of "TLC".
Try to organize and finish your decorating as soon as possible, so you have time to invite friends and family into your home for food, fun and fellowship. In addition, find time to take a plant to someone who is sick, or a shut-in. This will enrich your life and greatly increase your joys of the season.