Gardening Tips for December

A popular tradition at this time of year is to decorate and brighten the home with live poinsettias.

The most common poinsettia color is dark red but newer varieties like da Vinci, Ice Crystals, Marco Polo, Jingle Bells, Picasso, Strawberries and Cream and Red Glitter offer a blend of red, white, pink and marble hues.

Poinsettias are considered by some to be difficult to look after. This is not the case. If you follow some simple plant care instructions, your poinsettias will keep their leaves and look healthy throughout the holiday season and into next year.

Always place your poinsettias in a room with temperatures between 65 - 75 degrees. In general, if you are comfortable so are your poinsettias. Do not place outside or expose the plants to temperatures less than 50 degrees as this will cause leaves to drop.

Be very cautious about purchasing plants that have been left outside overnight or have been shipped in from colder states.

Provide 6 hours of filtered sunlight each day. If direct sun can't be avoided, diffuse the light with a shade or a sheer curtain.

Don't place plants near cold drafts or excessive heat. Avoid placing plants near appliances, fireplaces or ventilating ducts.

Water your poinsettias when the soil feels dry to the touch. Always remove a plant from any decorative container before watering and allow the water to drain completely.

Do not fertilize your poinsettia when in bloom. Wait until blooming has finished and use a balanced all purpose plant food.

When transporting your poinsettias use a box or roomy shopping bag to protect it.

A common myth that has existed for generations is that poinsettias are poisonous to children and animals. Research has shown that a child could consume over 500 poinsettia leaves without showing any toxic effects.

McDade's Nursery carries a wide selection of different poinsettia varieties in small, medium and large sizes. If you are looking for something unusual this holiday season come and visit our Nursery.

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