Holiday plants are cherished by many and bring the magic of the festive season to a home.
“Nurturing a living plant, coupled with memories of family and friends, is something very special,” said Denise Rodriguez, county extension agent for Texas A&M’s Agrilife – Horticulture.
“A lot of people want to try a living tree, and we want them to have information on how to care for it properly so they can be successful.”
According to El Paso County Master Gardeners, not all of plants are suitable for El Paso weather, but one that is popular in our area is the Afghan Pine.
Another holiday plant that is beautiful and affordable is the poinsettia.
The delicate yet affordable plant blooms in different colors, such as deep red, pink and white. Though most people want them in their gardens, poinsettias are a semi-tropical plant and won't likely survive if transplanted in the El Paso region.
SHOPPING FOR LIVE CHRISTMAS TREE
• Short roots are good indicators that a tree is healthy.
• Make sure needles are not too dried out (brown and brittle).
• Warm temperatures and light encourage trees to grow.
• Norfolk Island pines must be used as houseplants because they don’t tolerate temperatures below 40 degrees.
CARING FOR YOUR LIVE TREE
• Don’t keep a live tree inside longer than three weeks.
• Don’t let your tree sit in water. Water will damage its roots.
• Make sure tree is well watered (about one quart for every inch of trunk’s diameter).
• Your home thermostat will determine how often you water. Colder homes don’t have to be watered as often.
• When the top two inches of soil are dry, it’s time to water your tree.
• Do not place near heat sources such as fireplaces or heaters where they’ll dry up faster.
• Smaller trees transplant better and are less prone to stress.
• Dig the whole as deep as the container the tree comes in and twice as wide.
• Loosen the soil in the area before placing your tree.
• Don’t give your tree fertilizer, let it get nutrients from soil.
• Make sure you have good irrigation.
• You can also recycle your live tree for free at the city’s Citizen Collection Stations, which will turn it to mulch and make it available to customers at no charge. Call 3-1-1 for information.
• Look for tight yellow flower buds and nicely colored bracts.
• Make sure that the potting soil is not overly dry.
• Poinsettias do not tolerate cold or rapidly changing temperatures.
• Keep poinsettias above 60 degrees – between 68 and 75 degrees is ideal
• Water when soil feels dry; ensure water drains out at bottom and don’t let sit in water.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.