As the days get shorter, holiday flora can add color to cheerfully brighten your surroundings. Chase away darkness with one or several of these easy plants:
• Poinsettias are tropical plants in shades of red, white, pink and marble. Keep in a sunny location and raise humidity by keeping in a saucer of pebbles.
• Frosty Fern, or Spike Moss, is great for a desk-dweller or home office. Keep the soil of this evergreen lightly moist by setting in a bowl of room-temperature water for 15 minutes.
• Christmas cactus is a succulent offered in a wide array of colors. Keep in a bright window, watering when dry by checking the soil every 7 days.
• Rosemary is an herb that blooms small, white or pale, lilac flowers, but this cheery evergreen boasts an amazing scent. Keep in bright light and evenly moist.
• Amaryllis have large blooms atop stout green stalks from bulbs that also come in a multitude of reds, pinks, apricots, whites, or candy cane schemes.
• Norfolk pine mimics a full-sized Christmas tree where space is limited. Delicate branches are decorated best with small bows, LED lights or other light-weight ornaments.
• Paperwhites are another bulb that can be grown indoors. Mostly white in color with 12-14 inch stems, these do best in the cooler locations of the home.
• Cyclamen are cool-weather plants that optimally perform in medium-diffused light and watered by placing in a shallow bowl for 15 minutes, then placed on a saucer of pebbles. Choose from a varied array of colors.
• Anthurium are red and green epiphytes with heart-shaped leaves typically grown on other plants, but easily kept in simple, clear vases of water. They prefer bright, indirect light.
Also consider planting any one of the beautiful winter flowering camellia japonicas or camellia sasanquas. Native yaupons feature bright red berries with dark green leaves reaching heights of 20-30 feet, or choose a weeping yaupon holly that hovers around 12 feet tall or a dwarf variety. The American holly, with its bright red berries, is the classic holiday plant known for decorative wreaths. All of these species attract birds and other wildlife by offering a food source and protection. Celebrate this holiday season with beautiful holiday flora and greenery. Happy Growing!
For more gardening tips, visit lsuagcenter.com.