There’s so much to love about the holiday season — the cooking and baking, the time spent with family and friends, and the festive plants. Poinsettias or a blooming Christmas cactus are compact yet boast of holiday spirit. The more plants, the merrier!
With just a little care, holiday houseplants can continue to thrive throughout the year. Knowing how to care for them helps to keep them beautiful. Repot later if needed.
So whether you’re getting or giving holiday houseplants, use these tips to help keep them blooming.
How to Care for Holiday Favorites
Poinsettia: No other plant quite marks the beginning of the holiday season like the poinsettia. With more than 100 varieties available today in colors of red, white, pink, and more, this plant can be found just about everywhere during the holidays.
First things first, don’t let poinsettias get cold on the ride home from the store. Keep trips and exposure to cold as short as possible. Once home, these cheery plants thrive on six hours of indirect light a day away from cold drafts and need proper watering. When the plant needs water, remove the decorative foil and let soak in a few inches of water for an hour or so. Let excess drain and rewrap.
Tip: Take the poinsettia out of its foil and place it in a decorative container.
Norfolk Island pine: A mini Christmas tree, this festive plant looks lovely when adorned with mini lights and homemade ornaments or just plain on its own.
Give pines about six to eight hours of light per day. Any less and lower branches are likely to drop. Water when dry to the touch. Fertilize Norfolk Island pines bi-monthly with our new liquid houseplant fertilizer to keep them happy and healthy.
Tip: Pines can last for years and be decorated for other seasons as well!
Christmas cactus: Though this cactus is known for blooming around Christmas, it’ll stay strong throughout the year and periodically rebloom. Its ruffled flowers range in color from reds to pinks to oranges and creams.
Give this plant bright indirect light and place it outdoors in a semi-shady spot during the summer months. Allow the plant to become slightly dry between waterings. Keeps this holiday plant reblooming for years to come by giving it a rest during the fall and placing it in the dark for about six to eight weeks, encouraging new blooms.
Tip: No matter how diligent you are about care, bloom time may vary based on variety. Whether or not it blooms in time for the holidays, you’ll still have winter blooms to enjoy.
Cyclamen: Cyclamen’s bright flowers in pink, white, or red are great for adding a pop of color where you need it. With the right conditions, they can bloom for more than eight weeks.
Cyclamen likes light, but not super-bright light. Keep the temperature consistent and deadhead spent flowers and leaves. Pour water into a saucer and let the plant absorb it for 15 to 20 minutes.
Tip: During the summer, cyclamen’s foliage turns yellow and dies back. This is their dormant period when they’re storing energy for the next flowering season.
Buddleia ‘Pugster Blue’
Full-sized flowers on a dwarf plant!
Meet Pugster Blue – it’s a whole new look for butterfly bush. This compact plant reaches just 2’/.6 m tall and wide but has the large, full flowers normally seen on a much larger plant. It blooms non-stop from early summer through frost with true-blue flowers, each with a tiny yellow-orange eye in the center. Thanks to thick, sturdy stems, the Pugster series offers vastly improved hardiness and winter survival over other types of dwarf butterfly bush.
Top three reasons to grow Pugster Blue butterfly bush:
1. Appealing true-blue flowers add hard-to-find color to any type of garden or landscape.
2. It produces full-sized flowers on a compact, dwarf frame.
3. Thick, sturdy stems ensure better winter hardiness in zone 5 than other dwarf butterfly bush.
Monarda ‘Pardon my Cerise’
Tuck this sweet and petite perennial into the front of your flower border where it will create a colorful edge of dark cherry pink flowers in high summer. Butterflies and hummingbirds adore it!
Salvia ‘Pink Dawn’
I BLOOM for your PLEASURE.
This colorful perennial produces cotton candy pink flower spikes atop the mounded, aromatic foliage. Lovely when planted in drifts. Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and resists deer and rabbits. Easy to grow in almost any climate in full sun. Drought tolerant but blooms better with average moisture. Cut back after flowering to promote rebloom.
Cupea ‘ Vermillionaire’
Abundant yellow-orange flowers all season long; loves the heat and loved by hummingbirds. Vermillionaire, like all Cuphea is a heat lover and will do best in warm gardens with bright light. Always keep this plant in full sun for best flowering and to avoid it stretching in the shade.
Don’t JUST keep up with the Joneses. LEAPFROG them.
Supertunia Vista petunias are very vigorous, with mounding habits that can reach up to 2 feet in height in the landscape and will trail over the edges of baskets and containers up to 4 feet by the end of the season. They are fantastic landscape plants and are great in large containers, where they function as both fillers and spillers. In garden beds, they will work either in the front or middle of the bed. They have medium-sized flowers.
I can go ALL summer.
Extremely heat tolerant; a brighter purple than Trailing Lavender.
If you are looking for a tough plant it’s hard to beat lantana. Lantana is heat tolerant, uses little to no supplemental water in the landscape, will tolerate less than ideal soils, and usually doesn’t need to be deadheaded. If you are looking for a plant that will thrive on neglect, lantana is the champ.
Autumn is a wonderful (some might say the best) time of the year for color. Trees and landscapes turn into amazing shades of reds, golds, and oranges. Everything in the yard makes us want to bring those same colors indoors.
While a cutting arrangement full of autumn flowers is wonderful, they won’t last all season. That’s why we have autumn houseplants. Indoor plants bring a welcoming burst of color during the dark winter evenings and keep homes feeling cheerful.
Keep plants happy during colder months by following directions for your houseplant’s light and water requirements. Feed regularly with Espoma’s Indoor! liquid fertilizer to keep those amazing colors vibrant all season long.
8 Houseplants You Need This Autumn
Invite this bold houseplant to your space this season. The foliage comes in incredible colors of red, green, orange, yellow, and even black! You will not be disappointed. Crotons like bright areas, so place them near a big window.
- African Violet
Bring vibrant hues to your home with African violets. They can be grown almost anywhere there is light and a bit of humidity. African violets prefer full sun in the winter to get their gorgeous color. Rotate them regularly to keep growth even. Feed regularly with Espoma’s Violet! liquid fertilizer to ensure sensational blooms.
Nicknamed the dragon plant, this houseplant brings great texture to any décor. Choose the variety of dracaena that best complements your design styles– such as dark green foliage or red lined foliage. These plants are easily cared for, tolerating low light, but thriving in medium to bright spots, too.
- Lemon Cypress
This holiday favorite brings joy to your home all season long. Keep it trimmed into the cone shape to keep it looking like a miniature tree throughout the rest of the year. Keep it in direct light and cool temperatures.
Mums are a sure indicator of autumn with their yellow, orange, and red hues. Put them anywhere they can get bright filtered light during the day but remain in the dark at night. They look great on shelves and desks that have some sunlight hitting them.
- Goldfish Plant
A member of the African violet family, the goldfish plant brings a unique orange flower to your home. It’s named for the flower’s fishlike bodies and puckered mouths. Place this plant a few feet away from windows. Its curved stems make this a great choice for hanging.
- Oxalis triangularis
Also known as red shamrock plant, oxalis triangularis is a wonderful addition to any houseplant collection. It has big, reddish-purple, clover-shaped leaves which give it the nickname shamrock. It blooms little pink or white flowers that contrast with the foliage so well. It is a dream to have. Oxalis triangularis doesn’t like direct sun, so anywhere will work for this plant. It is a bulb, so allow for drying in between waterings to prevent rotting.
Known for the bright yellow, it may be surprising to some that bromeliads are offered in a sunset of colors. Bromeliads thrive on low light and minimal watering. So those who are looking for hardy plants, this one’s for you!
Finally, mother nature is easing up on us just a bit.
With the sun finally shining and warmer temperatures you can’t help but feel the energy here at Van Wilgen’s. Every day we have more and more plants making their way up from the growing department. Billy and his crew have done their job, growing the most amazing crop of spring/summer color to fill our greenhouse. With the temperature on the warmer side these days, we need to be mindful that we are still in the month of April. So, even though temps are warm during the day, the nighttime temps can still be a little cool for some of the plants we grow in the greenhouse. Look for the signs that will remind you if a plant needs to be above a certain temperature, or just ask one of us, we are here to help make your gardening experience as easy as possible. Mid May is usually when it’s safe to plant outside worry-free. Until then if you are buying a plant such as geranium, you will need to protect it if the temperature drops below 50 degrees at night.
I generally say there are 3 stages of spring/summer plants.
- Pansies, nemesia, and osteospermum daisies. (The hardiest varieties.)
- Petunias, bacopa, alyssum, snapdragons dusty miller, and fuchsias. (These handles cooler temperatures but above 35 degrees.)
- The rest of the summer annuals (These can handle 50 degrees and above.)
If you really want to feel spring fever stop in and walk through our tropical paradise, enter through the back of our greenhouse. Take a deep breath and enjoy. Remember tropical temperatures are 50 degrees and above day and night.
What is a Freshtival?
Well, to us it’s a weekend full of fun, food, and planting. It’s how we celebrate our community and the arrival of Spring. Live music, great food, and fun for the whole family.
Just like years past our favorite food trucks will be here all weekend long. Van Wilgen’s greenhouse will be alive with plants & demo gardens. If you’re like us and want to get your hands dirty we have 3 fun workshops planned.
Ready to start talking about your garden? Saturday, March 18th Kerry Ann Mendez award-winning author, speaker, and garden designer, will be giving a presentation Spectacular Plants for High Impact, Low Maintenance Gardens Kerry Ann is a ‘passionate perennials with over 25 years of hands-on experience. As a consultant, designer, and teacher, she specializes in low-maintenance, sustainable garden and landscape design, incorporating perennials, ornamental grasses, flowering shrubs, bulbs, and no-fuss annuals.
Our Kids Klub is also throwing a big party this weekend with FRESHkids! All weekend long kids will get to hang out with baby animals, play some games, make a craft and plant some lettuce with Mom & Dad. Fun for the whole family!
The Van Wilgen Kitchen will host our favorite Chefs, right next to our Beer Garden celebrating local breweries and wine with tastings. Visit our Kitchen to see :
3/18 AT 11 am GUILFORD MOORING
3/18 AT 1 PM THE STAND BRANFORD
3/18 AT 215 PM CASEUS
3/19 AT 11AM BILL VAN WILGEN
3/19 AT 1 PM OLD QUARRY OLIVE OIL & SAM & OLIVER
In our Beer Garden we will host tastings with:
J Edwards Winery, Black Hog Brewing, Thimble Island Brewery, Stony Creek Brewery, and Duvig Brewery.
See you this weekend in the greenhouse!