Punch list: Indoor houseplants and holiday bulbs

Red amaryllis take on a festive holiday look when planted in vintage clay pots. (Provided by www.digdropdone.com)

Gardening isn’t over even though we turned our clocks back over the weekend. Turn your focus indoors to get your planting and blooming fix. The rake may also need a workout before storing for the winter.

Holiday bulbs

It’s not too early to think of holiday gift-giving with plants. Indoor bulbs will be ready to bloom in time for the month of December if you start now.

Amaryllis bulbs are super easy to grow and a favorite by seasoned and new gardeners. If planted by Nov. 15 they should bloom anywhere from Dec. 20 to early January. Garden centers have the best selection now so don’t delay; get out there and stock up. Have fun choosing colors and sizes (many bloom as large as softballs). Some come already potted in kits, all ready to bloom for the holidays. They range in shades of red, salmon, pink, green, yellow, white or dramatic bicolored or striped colors. Stagger planting bulbs well into the New Year.

If planting a new amaryllis bulb, place fresh potting soil in a 6-inch container with a third of the bulb showing above the pot rim. Bulbs don’t like to be in large pots. Insert a support stick at planting. Water well and place in a cool area. Hold off on watering until growth appears, then water more frequently and move to a sunny location. Fertilize every couple of weeks after it starts growing. Good quality bulbs should produce two flower stalks with four flowers on each stem.

Paperwhite narcissus bulbs are quick and super easy to grow in either water or soil. Have the family join in to help with planting. Use a clear container filled with a 2-inch layer of pebbles, place the bulbs on top and fill in around them with more pebbles to keep them in place. Add water until it touches the bottom of the bulbs and maintain that level. Place in a bright room, not too warm (70 is just fine). They start blooming as early as three weeks. Use twigs, chopsticks or stakes to support the stems as they grow taller.
General houseplants

Houseplants add warmth, fullness and interest to your indoor spaces They need regular attention during the winter with our dry air, fluctuating temperatures and light conditions.

Know your plant and what kind of moisture it prefers; too much

Source:: The Denver Post – Lifestyle


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