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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


Give it a Rest: Post-Holiday Plant Care

Home Depot
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Difficulty: Beginner
Duration: 1 hour



Holiday houseplants brighten up the winter gloom. Plus, they make great gifts and can last for months.

With proper plant care, Christmas cactus and amaryllis will bloom year after year. The key to beautiful blooms from these sturdy plants is allowing them time to rest.

Help Christmas Cactus Bloom Again:

  1. Move plants that bloomed in November and December to a cool room and water sparingly for a month. This rest period primes them for a new set of blossoms in late spring. But don’t move plants that are actively blooming; wait until all the blooms have faded.
  2. Revive rested plants in February by repotting and placing in a bright window. Water well and feed a half-strength dose of a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer.

Help Amaryllis Bloom Again:

  1. Cut off the bloom stalks close to the bulb after the last amaryllis bloom fades. Allow the leaves to continue to grow. The leaves may appear quite floppy even if the plants are kept in a very sunny window, but this is natural.
  2. Keep the soil lightly moist through winter.
  3. Repot in spring, at about the time of your last frost, to a roomy pot. Keep the top third of the bulb above the soil line.
  4. Move the plant outdoors to dappled shade until early August.
  5. Place the plant in a cool basement or dark closet. Water sparingly to keep the soil from going bone dry.
  6. Set the amaryllis to a well-lit area in November, or about six weeks before you want it to bloom. Water regularly.

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