Holiday plants make lovely gifts, but if youre the recipient dont feel
guilty about tossing them out after they finish blooming. Most are not long-term
investments, but some do perform better than others. Heres our picks for the
best . . . and the worst.
Amaryllis bulbs always bloom their first year with magnificent flowers. Give the
pot a weekly quarter turn to keep the stem straight. You can discard after
blooming or keep the plant alive to (maybe) bloom again next winter.
Christmas cactuses make the best long-term houseplants on this list. To get them
to re-bloom next year, decrease moisture to almost nothing after they finish
flowering and trim the stem ends. Move them outdoors into a shady spot from June
until frost is predicted. Once theyre back indoors, keep them fairly dry and
cool until they bloom again, then increase watering. If your plants have
scalloped stems instead of stem margins with pointed projections, dont expect
them to re-bloom for Christmas. They are Easter cactuses.
Photo Caption: Phalaenopsis orchids, also known as moth orchids.
Photo Credit: Boston Globe
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