Keep Holiday Plants Looking Fresh

Mariah Bock  |  12/9/2014 9:33:54 PM

Poinsettias prefer to get at least some direct sunlight so place them in a sunny location. (photo by Tobie Blanchard).

If you are decking the halls with boughs of holly, follow these simple tips to keep your holiday plants looking fresh into the New Year.

Poinsettias are typically one of the first plants to make their debut during the holiday season. They prefer to get at least some direct sunlight so place them in a sunny location. Avoid dark interior hallways and rooms with poor lighting. Poinsettias do best when temperatures mimic that of the greenhouse they were raised in, 70 to 75 degrees during the day and 62 to 65 degrees at night. Most home temperatures are acceptable. Before watering your poinsettia check the soil surface, it should be dry to the touch.

Amaryllis plants also prefer a sunny location. The more sun the better for these big bloomers. Providing your amaryllis with plenty of light will prevent the flower stalk from growing excessively tall and falling over. When the flower stalk does begin to emerge, rotate the pot about one-half turn every few days, so it will grow straight. Otherwise, it will grow toward the window and look awkward. Keep soil evenly moist.

Fresh cut greenery, which can be used to make garland and wreathes, will last longer when used outdoors. By hanging it in a shady location and misting it with water each day it should last through the holidays.

The most important factor to keeping your Christmas tree looking attractive is providing it with plenty of water at all times. No additives are needed, just fresh water. Place your tree away from any heat source, like a furnace or fire place, which will cause the tree to dry out more quickly. After the holidays many parish governments will schedule a tree collection day. Check with your local officials before moving your tree to the curb. Recycled trees are often made into either mulch, fish habitat or used to help slow coastal erosion.

For more information contact Mariah Simoneaux at the St. John Parish LSU AgCenter Extension Office at 985-497-3261 or visit

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