Holiday plants provide a burst of winter color, but after a week or so, the bloom is often off the rose. Or, in this case, the poinsettia.
How can you make your holiday plants last well beyond New Year's?
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First, read the directions.
"The biggest mistake that we see customers make is just not reading the care instructions and treating every plant as equal,” says Kelly Funk, president of J&P Park Acquisitions. The company owns the garden sites Jackson & Perkins, Park Seed and Wayside Gardens as well as Van Dyke's Restorers, which sells restoration hardware.
It could be a good year to work on your green thumb because a lot of holiday customers wanted long-lasting plants like Christmas cactus, Funk says. “That's a gorgeous blooming succulent, and when properly cared for, can live for decades.”
This also might be the year you received an unfamiliar plant. Teresa Thomas, owner of Crazy Plant Bae in New Orleans, which has both an online and a brick-and-mortar store, says a lot of her customers opted for tropical plants this year. This includes the wide-leaved, vivid green monstera and the bird of paradise, which is usually known for its spiked avianlike orange or yellow blooms but also has handsome foliage.
"The last two years have “been completely different than others,” Thomas says. “A lot of us couldn't go on vacations; we kind of want that [exotic] feeling in our house as much as we can.”
No matter what kind of plant you get, there's a second basic rule: Resist the urge to water, says Angela Floyd, manager of French Florist in Los Angeles, which makes 90 to 100 deliveries a day all around the L.A. area.