Now is the time of year that we are giving or receiving Poinsettias, Christmas Cacti, Cyclamen or other flowering or green plants. When transporting them, protect them from the cold temperatures by sleeving them in plastic or paper. Remove this plastic or paper as soon as possible. If the plant has a foil cover over the pot, it is best to punch holes in the foil to allow any excess water to drain out. To avoid water damage to your furniture (with or without punching any holes), it is wise to place a saucer or plate under the plant. Adding some decorative pebbles or marbles in the saucer helps to keep the plant’s roots out of any excess water as well as creates a humidity tray under the plant. It’s good to keep most holiday plants soil moist and in a bright location but be careful not to place them near an air vent. Cacti and Succulents prefer to have their soil on the drier side.
Other indoor plants or plants you moved in from outside should be watered whenever the top few inches of the soil starts to dry out. Apply enough water so that the excess runs out the bottom but be sure to pour off the excess with-in 10-15 minutes. No need to fertilize them at this time as they are working on adjusting to the lower light levels and lower humidity. Wait to feed them until you see new growth. When you have actively flowering plants be sure to feed them at a slower rate or dilution.
Amaryllis & Paperwhites are fun gifts as well. They come in a kit where you or the recipient get to plant the bulbs and watch them grow. Pot them up and place them in a cooler area of the house and keep the soil moist but not too wet as you do not want to rot the bulb.
While it is cold outside and warm inside, we often neglect to think of our lawns, except to dream about when they will be green again. We want to help you keep your driveway and sidewalks safe while making sure to reduce any negative impact on your lawn. Here are a few tips: shovel first and then apply salt if needed, use sand or kitty litter instead of salt, with either product apply it down the center of the area as it will get dispersed as it’s driven or walked over, in the spring water any areas that would’ve received salt spray in order to dilute the salts in the soil.