Festive Dish Gardens:
|Mixed Holiday Planting – cyclamen, peace lily, ivy, palm, kalanchoe|
- The traditional holiday plants like poinsettias, cyclamen and rosemary are never out of style for the holidays – they look perfectly placed as single plants around the house or grouped and combined with houseplants to make lovely seasonal specimens.
- How to – just like planting outdoor containers, use the tried and true rule for a mixed holiday dish – combine thriller (tall), filler (round around the middle) and spiller (edging). Or toss out the rules and let your creative juices and plant availability shine with seasonal colors of red, white and green and shades in between. Toss in variegated leafed plants to kick it up a notch.
- Use – containers that drain are always best, but don’t let that prevent using a non-draining pot, place a layer of pebbles on the bottom so the roots aren’t sitting in water. Use fresh potting soil and a tiny bit of slow release granular fertilizer to keep the plant or plants happy well into next year
- Once you have the container and plants place them in the container while still in their pot to see how they can be arranged. Next remove the plants from their containers and plant one at a time (I start with the middle plants). Decision time – you may have to plant more than one container with the pretty seasonal plants available. Be sure to read the plant label for watering and light information.
Mixed Succulent Dish
- The short list of plants to consider for mixed containers or specimens: Norfolk Island pine, lemon cypress, anthuriums, euphorbia, arrowhead plant, ivy, silver lace fern, coleus, cyclamen, poinsettia, holly, kalanchoe, peace lily, pothos and many more. A succulent dish garden works well too, choose vibrant colors, leaf shapes and rosettes for the most impact.
- Don’t forget to add pinecones or ornaments for more holiday cheer. Consider using decorative moss around the plants after watering to tie it all together.
- Keep plants away from cold windows at night.
Miniature Red Pepper Plants
|Mixed Container – poinsettia,cyclamen, lemon cypress, palm, ivy|
- This holiday go to plant was used by the Aztecs for dyes and cosmetics instead of seasonal holiday decorating – at least as far as we know!
- Poinsettias were first introduced to the United States around 1825 by Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and amateur botanist. He found this large, red-flowering bright shrub growing near roads – good eye Robert!
- He brought cuttings back to his South Carolina greenhouse, then on to Philadelphia where other nurserymen saw the plant merits. In the early 1900s The Ecke family in California took poinsettias to the next level by mastering grafting techniques for mass propagation while promoting them for growing and decorating during the Christmas season.
- There are hundreds of poinsettia varieties on the market today, colors ranging in shades of white, red, pink, burgundy, yellow and peach. Blotched, marbled, variegated and splattered markings make heads turn and wallets open. Ruffled leaves mimic rose blooms. Red is still the the mainstay and never a bad choice to bring home.
- Poinsettias need six hours of bright, natural (not direct) light from a south, east or west facing window (not too close). Keep them from cool drafts and heat vents. They like 60 to 70 degree indoor temperatures. Colors last longer at cooler temps. Never expose them to cold outdoors to and from the garden center. I use a insulated cooler or boxes to transport home.
- Don’t forget to remove the foil or poke holes for proper drainage. Water when the surface feels dry to the touch. Avoid watering too much. Plants are not poisonous to people or pets, but the milky sap from leaves may irritate the skin.