They may be the three most common winter houseplants, but that does not stop them being many people’s favorite way to bring some color into the house. They are, of course, the Christmas cactus, the Amaryllis and the Poinsettia in their red varieties to match the color of the season. Carson Arthur in his article which I found on The Chronicle Herald website describes them as his three favourites for chasing away the December blahs.
When it comes to plants and gardens, December is a bit of a bleak month. Everything seems to revolve around boughs, trees and wreathes. There are, however, a few standouts at this time of year for those craving blooms.
I have three favourites for chasing away the December blahs.
The Amaryllis flower is becoming a Canadian household staple around the holidays because it loves to bloom when light levels outside are at their lowest . . . making it perfect for bringing a much-needed splash of living colour. Amaryllis bulbs will grow and flower in many different conditions. Some people plant their bulbs in soil, others in moss, and some even just place their bulb in a vase with some water and rock. All of these options will work, as the Amaryllis gets most of its nutrient from what it has stored in the bulb. What we plant it in is more for stability as the stalk gets taller and taller.
Best conditions for Amaryllis are a spot with diffused light and an average temperature of 15 C. Little tip: If you save your plant after it has flowered and plant it outside in a sunny spot, you can bring it back indoors the following year and enjoy the blooms again.
Christmas cactus is a personal favourite of mine. I have been nursing one back from the brink for the last four years and it finally bloomed this year. Known for its bright pink, red and even white flowers on the end of segmented branches, the Christmas cactus gets its name because it blooms right around the holidays.
See more at The Chronicle Herald