Holiday plants

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

The holidays are here and it's time to add some special plants around your home for some great decorations and color. You can sometimes find these plants year-round or others that were planted in the fall that have bloomed for winter that show their colors very well. They are great in pots for indoor and outdoor areas or can be planted as well and with the proper care they can last from now until the end of the year or longer. Christmas cactus, rosemary, cyclamen, poinsettia, Christmas tree wreath (live), and amaryllis red lion bulb are a few of the great plants and cactus you can get for some added decoration.

• Christmas cactus – These are great indoor that require indirect bright light during the day but total darkness at night. They require 50-60 percent humidity so it’s good practice to place a glass, vase or tray of water near it. Avoid placing it near heating ducts or the fireplace and drafty areas to help last through December. Once the Christmas season has passed to promote new growth you want to place the cactus in a cool room with limited water for up to 30 days of rest  No trimming/pruning is needed until March and a few leaves may fall during the rest period.

• Rosemary – (1) topiary and (1) Christmas tree shaped - Another great indoor plant that does best in cool locations with bright direct light and good air circulation, the more light it receives the denser it will stay. Do not overwater the topiary and after watering empty the drainage saucer so it’s not sitting in water. Wait until summer to plant outside and hold off on fertilizing until spring time.

• Cyclamen – Bright in color that needs so good care, you always want to keep the soil moist and avoid getting water on the crown of the plant. They require high humidity during the winter, and keeping it on a tray that is in water is ideal. They also require bright indirect light in the winter and dormant and less light in the summer (they do not like heat).

• Christmas wreaths – These are wonderful decorations that need to be placed away from direct sunlight and misting it with water will keep it fresh through season.

• Poinsettia – Most common plant you can find in many stores like Costco and Home Depot they are bright red and great potted plants that is a tropical plant and likes as much direct sunlight that can be provided so near windows is preferred. Maintenance is easy as the surface feels dry add more water and makes sure to let it run through the bottom and not let it sit.

Adding compost to your garden frequently, along with foliar feeding my entire garden every 6 weeks with Extreme Juice ( is how I got the results you see at my Channel 3 garden – and how I’ve been so successful growing just about anything I've ever tried to grow!

For more information check out my website, and my books: Extreme Gardening; How to Grow Organic in the Hostile Deserts, The Garden Guy: A Seasonal Guide to Organic Gardening in the Desert Southwest and The Garden Guy’s Southwest Bug Guide

Extreme Juice: A blend of fish emulsion, liquid seaweed, humic acid, soft phosphate and much more.  Perfect for foliar feeding or soil drenching, this natural product will revitalize micro-biotic activity in the soil, stimulate roots, and make plants stronger and healthier.

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You should also start fertilizing your palms with Dr. Bob’s Queen Palm Remedy: which is a custom desert blend fertilizer specifically for Queen Palms. High in manganese and designed to lower the Ph of the soil so the palms can get food it needs out of the soil.