An ageless floral gift during the holiday season

Poinsettias are a great touch of red and green during the holiday season.

The holiday season is not complete without adding some bright shades of red and green around the house, which perhaps is why poinsettias are a popular plant during the holidays.

Poinsettias originate from Central America and are mostly grown in southern Texas where they bloom in the month of December.

“Poinsettia really do like moisture,” said Stacy Fisher, store and creative director at Garden Gate Flowers. “We water our plants once a week with them being in a greenhouse, but with homes being drier right now they should be watered at least once a day.”

Repotting the plants also is a good idea.

“Whatever container your poinsettia comes in, it’s best to take it out of that container it’s in so the plant itself doesn’t stand in water,” Smith said.

If the plants are not receiving enough water, the leaves will begin to droop. Since they are a tropical plant, they also need six hours of indirect sunlight every day.

“To test your soil, you should always do the finger test,” said Stacy Smith, owner of Always Blooming in Atchison, Kansas. “If your finger comes out clean, your plant is dry.”

Even though they are a plant associated with winter, it’s important to not let poinsettias get too cold.

“They do not like anything cooler than 55 degrees,” Smith said. “Make sure that they are not in a drafty area.”

But poinsettias also should be kept away from heaters, fireplaces and radiators.

Christmas cactus is another popular holiday plant that is in high demand this season.

“They are a really fun plant that comes in pink, red and purple,” Fisher said. “We get a lot of orders for those early in the season.”

Christmas cacti are a more traditional flower known to bloom in December, but they need to be taken care of differently than most plants.

“About a month before Christmas you will take them out of the lights,” Fisher said. “This will force it to start blooming and put them into a shock state.”

The cactus has a unique characteristic that can allow it to grow small or large, depending on the size of the pot.

Amaryllis bulb is another red festive flower selling quickly at Garden Gate.

“Since it’s a bulb, you would cut them back and they would grow again the following year,” Fisher said. “It’s a fun one because it just keeps on giving.”

Having a more open structure makes them good for decorating.

“We put little Christmas balls on them to make them look like the Charlie Brown tree,” Fisher said. “If you’re looking for something a little more masculine, these may be something to send their way.”

Orchids, paperwhites, pines, ferns, rosemary and cyclamen are other popular buys around Christmas time.

“Flowers and plants are such a great way of letting somebody know you care and are thinking about them during this crazy time,” Fisher said. “It can add some sunshine in someone’s life.”

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