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Seasonal greenery, plants refresh décor, make excellent host gifts

By: Leslie Massey, leslie.massey@gazette.com
November 25, 2015 Updated: November 25, 2015 at 12:18 pm
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Celebrate! is a your guide to events, shopping, dining, and enjoying the holiday season in the Pikes Peak region.

 

The holiday season is the perfect time to bring festive flowers and cheery greenery indoors.

“We’ve noticed a growth in popularity of families bringing potted trees indoors for their Christmas tree,” said Debbie Bradley, co-owner of Harding Nursery, located at 721 N. Powers Blvd. “It works best if you let the tree stay in the garage for the first night so it can acclimate before bringing it inside.”

When watering indoor potted trees, it’s best to add a layer of ice cubes on top of the dirt, allowing them to melt. “Pouring water onto the soil typically results in the water running right through, and that’s not really helpful for the tree,” Bradley said.

Potted trees stay freshest when not kept indoors for more than seven to ten days. “When you’re ready to take it back outside to plant, it should stay overnight in the garage once more,” Bradley said.

Heading to a holiday party? Gift your host with a colorful plant they can enjoy through the season, like a poinsettia.

“Poinsettias like to be kept warm and in direct light, but not too hot,” Bradley said. Water a poinsettia thoroughly when its soil feels dry, and allow excess water to drain from the bottom of the pot. “If your pot is covered in aluminum foil, it’s best to remove the foil so the water can’t build up,” Bradley said. “Poinsettias do not like soggy soil.”

Avoid placing your poinsettia near drafts, heaters, radiators, and cold windows. One of the most popular Christmas plants, poinsettias have been bred to produce a variety of colors other than the traditional cherry red, including pink, white, purple and even speckled bracts, the term for poinsettia leaves.

The Christmas cactus is another stylish plant that can augment holiday decorating. “Similar to poinsettia plants, a sunny location will help the cactus stay strong and produce blooms,” Bradley said. Keep your cactus moderately moist – almost dry – with delicate watering, but don't let the leaves get too dry and shrivel.

“Another inexpensive and fun way to decorate with plants is using boughs from evergreen trees,” Bradley said. “Place a few boughs in a glass vase and embellish them with ribbons and bows or ornaments, or maybe add a candle.” Change the water weekly, and your boughs will stay fresh for several weeks.

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