The poinsettia is one of our favorite plants at Christmas. Though we may often think of a red one, today breeders have developed many colors and varieties. Colors range from pinks to multi-colors to purples and burgundy with names such as Monet, Ruby Frost, Ice Crystal, Strawberries and Cream, etc. They have even developed one with variegated foliage called Tapestry.

With proper water (not over or under, just evenly moist), bright light and temperatures in the 60-75 degree range, poinsettias can grow happily and give you months of enjoyment. You can even get them to bloom next year if you follow some re-bloom guidelines.

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With proper water (not over or under, just evenly moist), bright light and temperatures in the 60-75 degree range, poinsettias can grow happily and give you months of enjoyment. You can even get them to bloom next year if you follow some re-bloom guidelines.

Another great blooming Christmas plant is the Christmas cactus. It’s not really a cactus, in fact, it likes the same growing environment as orchids. If you keep them cool in the fall, are careful on the watering, give them bright light in the day but total darkness at night you should get them to bloom in time for Christmas. This is a plant that lives a long time and has traditionally been passed down from generation to generation. It’s not uncommon for someone to tell you that they inherited their grandmother’s Christmas cactus.

Other favorite plants for Christmas are amaryllis, paper white narcissus and cyclamen. And don’t forget the herbs. There’s nothing like a fragrant rosemary to freshen the house, or a potted ivy wreath to set in your window.

Whatever your favorite is, brighten your home or someone else’s this Christmas with a living plant.

If you are in the Leesburg, Virginia area the next couple of days, stop in the Monroe Technology Center and visit the plant sale where you will find lots of Christmas favorites.

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