Holiday Plant Guide
The holidays are nearing an end and you may have questions about your Christmas Tree, greens or that seasonal plant someone gave you and you are not sure of the proper care or disposal.
According to Q13, Pertaining to Christmas Trees & Greens: SEATTLE Residents can compost their Christmas trees and holiday greens for free through January 31, 2019. Just place them next to your yard waste cart on collection day. Apartment residents can play two trees. They must be under four feet tall. All decorations and tinsel must be removed. Flocked trees will be charged extra. You may also drop them off at a Seattle Public Utilities transfer station. KING COUNTY- No flocked or artificial trees accepted. Some extra fees may apply. Check the King County Holiday Tree Recycling sheet for drop-off locations. PIERCE COUNTY- Flocked trees will not be accepted. If they are put in yard-waste bins, the lids must close. For more info https://q13fox.com/2018/12/27/how-to-recycle-your-christmas-tree-this-year/ Check your area for recycling and disposal laws.
Now what about Poinsettias? They come in many colors & sizes and be kept year-round as a houseplant. This Mexican native prefers to be evenly moist- not wet! or bone dry. Overwatering is the biggest issue. Take the plant out of the foil, water until it runs out of the bottom, allow to drain before placing back into the foil. Place in a bright location away from drafts. I replant mine with other plants to make a nice indoor planter. Fertilize only after it is done blooming. Keep away from pets. Christmas Cactus- These blooming beauties are succulents that can also be treated as a year- round houseplants. Remove blooms as they fade, use organic bloom fertilizer a few times a year- add into soil when repotting. Water as needed, more while in bloom-do not over water. Likes a bright sight indoors. Living Trees, misc. You may have been given a small, potted evergreen “tree”. If you can’t identify it, then keep it indoors in a cool bright location until it can be acclimated to the outdoors. Many Spruces, Cypress and other conifers as sold as small holiday trees, as well as herbs like Rosemary and Lavender. Most of these trees are hardy (look up your hardiness zone-USDA) and may not like to be indoors for long periods of time. I replant mine as they grow using them as fillers in pots until they are large enough to plant in the landscape. If you need help identifying a plant, send images to: firstname.lastname@example.org for a free ID and brief care guide. Blooming Flowers- Mums, Cyclamen, Bulbs. Mums or Chrysanthemums are an old-fashioned favorite often given during many holidays. Dead head spent blooms, water as needed. Place in a bright location. May be hardy if properly acclimated outdoors- sometimes they come back year after year, sometimes they don’t. Cyclamens have unusual flowers that arise on stems above thick variegated leaves. These are treated like Mums, may have a better success rate, they make great outdoor container plants or shade garden plant. Bulbs-Amaryllis, Paperwhites. Amaryllis is a large bulb, with enormous bloom clusters of 3 or more huge flowers. Long- blooming flowers in red, pink or white- some are fragrant. Once they are done blooming, “lift” the bulb and store bare root or without soil in a shoe box with newspaper or straw. Allow to rest until the fall when it can bloom again for the next holiday season. Often bulbs are placed inside special bulb vases, so the roots are in the water and the bulb is not or you can plant it in a bowl with decorative rocks and water. Paperwhites are pretty, small white flowers with a heavy fragrance. They are usually mass planted in a shallow dish with rocks for support. After they bloom, discard as usually don’t rebloom. Keep away from pets.
If you have additional questions email me or take my Indoor Gardening class offered at Highline College Jan. 19 and
Feb, 16th 2019.