Christmas lights strung from the deck, tins of baked goodies, the smell of fresh pine throughout the home; it truly is the most wonderful time of the year! We love the holiday season, there’s so much fun involved in decorating our homes and spreading the cheer amongst our friends and family.
One of our favorite things about holiday decorating is bringing home fresh holiday plants, and decorating our meticulously chosen Christmas tree. They add so much life and color to our homes, that we’d be totally on board if it suddenly became fashionable to just have them year ‘round. Following our tips on caring for your holiday plants makes it easy to keep them thriving well past the holiday season, and maybe, with a bit of luck, that trend would catch on!
Jolly Lane has a fantastic selection of Poinsettias, Christmas Cactus, and fresh cut Christmas Trees for your holiday decorating!
The most vibrant and beloved plant of the holidays, Poinsettias are as much a part of the Christmas tradition as Santa Claus. With a little love, your plant will stay blooming and beautiful for as long as you want to keep it around. There’s three main things to focus on when it comes to caring for your Poinsettias; light, water, and environment.
Fun fact: Poinsettias are native to Central America. Because of this, they are used to getting a fair amount of sun. The ideal placement for your plant is near a well-lit window, preferably an east-facing window which will allow it to enjoy the morning sunlight, and relax in the afternoon shade. Be careful that you don’t allow the plant to actually rest against the window, as the cold glass will damage the leaves.
You should water your Poinsettia whenever you feel the soil has gotten dry, or you notice any wilting occurring with the leaves. This could be a daily or weekly task depending on the humidity in your home and size of your plant. Be sure you’re not allowing your plant to be sitting in water, and that the water is draining out the bottom. You’re just trying to keep the soil moist, not submerged.
Remember, your plant originated from a tropical environment. And you’ll want to simulate that climate. Keep temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and try your best to not expose the plant to dramatic drops in temperature. You’ll know if you’ve been changing the climate too much if you start seeing wilting leaves.
If you want to know how to maintain your Poinsettias all year, stop in and see us!
These beautiful holiday plants aren’t really cacti at all, rather they’re similar to succulents. They add color and warmth to any space, and are also easily cared for. Christmas cacti prefer a humid climate, and require more water than your traditional succulents, but in doing so provide your home with some truly beautiful colors of pink and lilac!
While similar to succulents in that they require moist soil to grow, these cacti do not do well sitting in water. It’s important to find a balance between too much and too little, as too much water will cause brown spots or rot the roots, while too little water will inhibit blooming. When the soil feels dry to the touch, that’s when it’s time to water.
Soil and Fertilizer
Your cactus is going to want soil that is well draining, so use a mixture of potting soil and something like sand or small stones. This will also help with drainage. If you’re reading this during the Christmas season, and your plant is in bloom, there is no need to use any feeding fertilizer, as it’s not needed when in full bloom.
This plant likes a lot of sunlight, but it prefers indirect light. Direct sunlight can easily burn the leaves of the plant, so windows that are facing east or north are best. A Christmas cactus is able to adapt to low light conditions, but it thrives in bright, indirect light. Christmas cactus will also do best in a room that does not receive too much artificial lighting in the evening hours. The lack of sunlight and shorter days through the winter are what triggers the cactus to bloom. Too much artificial light in the evenings can trick the cactus into thinking it’s still summer and not time to bloom yet.
Temperature and Humidity
Due to its tropical origins, this plant needs a moderate temperature with high humidity. Keep your temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and if possible keep the humidity between 50 and 60 percent. If your home has drier air, you may need to create a source of humidity. PRO TIP: You can create a humidity tray for your plant by lining a tray with some medium sized stones, filling the tray with just enough water to cover the stones, and place your plant on a waterproof saucer atop the rocks. As the water evaporates, humidity for the plant will be created!
Christmas cactus plants can be cared for and kept for years. If you would like to keep yours around well past the holiday season, ask us about long term plant care!
Fresh Cut Christmas Trees
The centerpiece of the holiday season! These pillars of Christmas joy are like the cool whip on top of the holiday pie, so take care of it and enjoy it for as long as your husband or wife will let you! Quick tip: If you’re unable to set up your tree when you bring it home, store it in a cool sheltered area, away from wind and sun. We always provide a fresh-cut on your tree before you bring it home, but if you wait longer than one hour before setting your tree up in it’s stand, we recommend giving it another fresh cut – at least one inch above the previous cut at the trunk.
Choosing a spot
We’re not interior designers, at least not professionally, so we won’t tell you that the best place for your tree is definitely in the center of your nice bay window. Instead, we’ll tell you to keep your tree away from heat sources such as heat registers, space heaters, fireplaces, electronics, wood stoves, etc. These will speed up evaporation and suck the moisture out of your tree. So yeah, dead center, directly in front of your nice bay window!
Jolly Lane has a fantastic assortment of decorations and ornaments to help you put your best tree forward this holiday season!
Place the tree in a large capacity stand with warm water. The stand you use should hold at least one gallon of fresh water. Do NOT add anything to the water, regardless of what Suzy from accounting told you. Some commercial additives and home concoctions can actually decrease a tree's moisture retention and increase needle loss. All of our trees have been treated to help retain needles and do not require any additional additives.
Check your tree daily
Do not allow the water level to drop below the fresh cut or the stem will reseal and be unable to drink. Christmas trees are very thirsty! It is not unusual for a tree to drink 2 gallons of water the first day it is the stand. Checking your tree every day might seem like a hassle, but look how pretty it is!
Disposing of your Christmas tree
Once the holidays are over and the ornaments have been taken down, it’s time to dispose of your Christmas tree. Many people like to give their tree continued life through the winter by leaving it in their yard for birds and small animals to use as shelter. This is a great idea if you have a fir or spruce tree. However, if you have purchased a pine tree, it’s best to take your tree to the local landfill or tree disposal drop-off immediately after taking it down. They will have a designated area for trees to be dropped off, and will handle the task of properly disposing of them. Pine trees come with the risk of hibernating Pine Shoot Beetles, which are currently not a threat in the Black Hills, but we’d like to keep it that way.
If you have any questions regarding the safe disposal of your leftover trees, you can contact us or the Department of Agriculture. Find information here: http://bit.ly/USDA_PineShootBeetle
There you have it, friends. Keep your Christmas plants, your Christmas tree, and your Christmas spirit looking their best this holiday season!
Have you forgotten to take those family holiday photos? Stop out to Jolly Lane, we have a few spots around the store that would make a perfect stage for all of your holiday photos.
As the Black Hills’ premier garden center, Jolly Lane Greenhouse is open 7 days a week all month long to provide both novice and experienced gardeners alike with seasonal plants, trees, and herbs, as well as offer expert advice on landscape design and plant care. We’re conveniently located at 2962 Jolly Lane, right off of Highway 44 in Rapid City.