Poinsettia at Christmas time

The colorful poinsettia is a beautiful addition to end-of-the-year holiday festivities. One of the most common questions about poinsettias is how to keep them and get them to rebloom the following season. 

The first step to reblooming is to keep the plant healthy and growing throughout the year. Around the first of the year, fertilize your poinsettia with a soluble houseplant fertilizer. Six hours of indirect light and consistently moist soils will keep the plants healthy.

Colorful amaryllis

The large, colorful blooms of the Amaryllis can brighten dreary winter days. This South American native has showy flowers in a range of colors from white to pink to red. Amaryllis is a beautiful addition to holiday or winter décor.

Getting Started

Often you will find Amaryllis sold as a bulb in a kit with soil and a pot. These large bulbs produce bell-shaped flowers on long stalks. As the flowers begin to open, large, straplike leaves emerge.  

Paperwhites in winter

The delicate paperwhites, Narcissus tazetta, are a lovely way to brighten winter days. 

These relatives of the daffodil are an excellent choice for winter blooms as they don’t require a chilling period as other bulbs do.

Paperwhites have a cluster of small blooms at the end of a flower stalk (scape). The flowers can be white, bi-color, or doubles.  

Paperwhites can have a strong fragrance. Some varieties have more of an odor than others. Two varieties with less scent are Ariel and Nir. 

Poinsettias

The beautiful Poinsettia is a colorful plant that brightens dark winter days. Whether you use it to decorate for the holiday season or it was given to you as a gift, giving the plant the care it needs can keep it colorful for six to eight weeks in the home.

The showy-colored parts of the Poinsettia are colored bracts (modified leaves). The yellow flowers or cyathia are in the center of the bracts.

Poinsettias

The festive poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima, is a lovely addition to holiday décor. The bright, cheery plant, a native to Mexico, comes in many colors and sizes making it a good choice to brighten up the long, dark days of winter.

The showy colored parts of the poinsettia are colored bracts. The yellow flowers or cyathia are in the center of the bracts. 

Seed in a glass

At first: Why save seeds? 

Saving seeds is a great way to save money and be prepared for the following year, but it is also a way to pick out the best of what you have grown and save seeds from that specimen (flower, vegetable, etc.). With each successive year, you will be picking out the hardiest and delicious/beautiful specimens until you have amazing strains of your favorites.

wedding bouquet using local blooms

Flowers are a wonderful way to make any wedding day special.  There are many ways to choose beautiful and sustainably grown and arranged flowers. 

Choose a local source for your blooms.

Flowers that are locally grown have a much smaller carbon footprint than flowers flown thousands of miles in refrigerated containers.  By choosing locally grown flowers for your wedding décor, you are getting fresh, high-quality blooms and can be a cost-effective option. 

field of pink cosmos

Spring brings thoughts of beautiful, colorful, fragrant blooms that brighten up our landscapes after a long winter.  

But we aren't the only ones on the lookout for flowers. Pollinators are looking for them also. Heirloom flowers provide these pollinators with more of the resources they require. 

Dried flowers in vase

Bring nature to the table this Thanksgiving by creating decorations from collected natural materials. Fall is a great time to explore outdoors and use what you find almost directly in arrangements after gathering.

Dry not Damp

Make sure to collect when material is dry. Damp material breaks down more quickly. Collect more than needed because dried material is fragile. Choose only material that is free of insect and disease damage. 

Written by Rhonda Ferree, retired horticulture educator

Easter is just around the corner. Have you purchased you Easter lily yet? If not, be sure to choose an Easter lily with lots of unopened buds for longer bloom enjoyment.