Fes­ti­val Sea­sonal Plants

Catron Courier - - Front Page - By Wilma Stan­ton, Mas­ter Gar­dener

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.

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