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   TODAY'S GARDEN
         DECEMBER 2017

   

Plant paper-white bulbs or pre-chilled hyacinth bulbs for fragrant indoor winter blooms.

  

Christmas cactus plants are in bloom this month.  These plants prefer cool temperatures (70 degrees during the daytime and in the 60's at night), bright, indirect sunlight and  moderate to light water.  Fertilize plants monthly with a liquid fertilizer when they are not in bloom.  For fullness pinch them back in June.  In order to re-bloom they require 12 hours of darkness each night in the fall.
     
        Poinsettia Tips:
   
  • When selecting poinsettias, choose plants with dark green leaves and well-developed bracts (commonly called flowers). Try to get plants whose small yellow flowers haven't opened up yet.  These plants are very sensitive to cold temperatures and need protection when they are transported on chilly days.
  • Poinsettias prefer at least six hours of indirect sunlight daily.
  • Temperatures of 70 degrees  during the daytime and no lower than 60 degrees at night are recommended.
  • Water plants thoroughly whenever the soil feels dry to the touch.  Plants that are in decorative containers or foil should not sit in water.
  • Contrary to popular opinion, poinsettias are not poisonous.  They, however, should not be eaten.
    Reference:  Colorado State University Cooperative Extension's Planttalk #1325.

 

   

Be sure to protect rosebushes by placing a layer of mulch over the crown and keeping bushes well watered during dry weather.

  

Don't neglect winter watering.  Lawns, trees and shrubs need more moisture than Mother Nature usually provides during late fall and winter in many parts of Colorado.  Water plants when the ground isn’t frozen and the temperature is several degrees above freezing if there has been little or no snow for four to six weeks.
     

   

Dry winds, fluctuating temperatures and insufficient water can cause the needles of evergreens to turn brown in winter.  To prevent winter injury, water plants monthly and place mulch over the root zone of plants.  You may also want to spray conifers with a product such as Wilt-pruf to prevent moisture loss.
     

Care of Cut Christmas Trees:
  •  When you bring the tree home, cut off about one inch of the trunk and place the tree in a bucket of water until you are ready to put it in a tree stand that contains water.
  • The tree will absorb a lot of water the first few days.  Check the water level once or twice a day and refill as needed.  Do not let the container dry out.
  • Place the tree away from sources of heat such as heater vents, the fireplace, T.V., etc.

 

Care of Living Christmas Trees:
  • Avoid keeping the tree indoors too long.  Preferably, living trees should stay indoors no more than five days, with seven days the maximum.
  • Be sure the root ball stays moist.  Do not let it dry out.
  • Use only small lights that are cool-burning.
  • Keep the tree away from sources of heat such as heater vents, the fireplace, T.V., etc.
  • You may keep the tree in the garage for a few days prior to bringing it indoors and also after removing it from the house.  Be sure to keep it watered at all times.

 

  

 



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