2023 Home For The Holidays

Page 15 2023 Home For The Holidays Lincoln Daily News November 23, 2022 4. Keep the soil moist, but be careful not to overwater, which is the most common cause of death. Only water when the top inch or two of soil feel dry to the touch. If underwatered, plants wilt and shed leaves. 5. Don’t let the plant sit in water or waterfilled saucers which causes root rot. Be careful to remove any foil which may gather water. Treat the saucers like water catchers and 30 minutes or so after a good watering detach it in the sink and let it all drain out. 6. Fertilizer is never recommended while the plant is in bloom. Fertilize only if you decide to keep them after their holiday bloom. 7. Poinsettias like humidity. Add plants nearby to aid humidity. Use a humidifier or place plants on a tray filled with pebbles and water to increase relative humidity. https://www.almanac.com/caring-forpoinsettias Poinsettias offer beautiful color during the holidays, but can also be enjoyed as a lovely leafy green plant throughout the year with proper care. To help it continue to thrive, prune the plant in the spring and continue watering according to the previous instructions. It can be moved outdoors in the summer or even planted in the garden. If leaving as a potted plant, monitor its growth as it will eventually need to be repotted into a larger pot. Some people who care for the plant throughout the year may be interested in forcing the poinsettia to rebloom the following winter. It takes some effort, but it is possible to bring back the colorful bracts. Julie Weisenhorn, horticulture educator for the University of Minnesota Extension explains, “It is not an easy task, as it requires excluding light from the plant for a period of time while keeping the plant healthy. The reduction in light prevents the plant from producing chlorophyll, the pigment that makes plant parts green. This changes the bracts to red, pink, or white, depending on the poinsettia variety.” She provides a detailed guide to yearlong care with the goal of forcing the poinsettia to rebloom the following winter on the University of Minnesota Extension website: “New Year's Day ● Fertilize if you see new growth. ● Continue to provide adequate light and water for prolonged bloom for several weeks. Valentine's Day ● Check your plant for signs of insects, such as white fly, and manage them if you find them. If your plant has become long and leggy, cut back to about five inches tall to promote more compact growth. St. Patrick's Day ● Prune off faded and dried parts of the plant. ● Remove leaves from the soil surface, and add a little more potting soil if the roots are visible. ● Continue keeping the plant in a bright, sunny window.