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Sunday, December 1, 2013
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Indoor Plants

To be perfectly honest with all of you I know only enough about these Christmas wonders to be dangerous, though the ‘Wonder’ part is that in spite of my less than knowledgeable care this colourful native of Mexico looks good, too good actually to throw away after Christmas and I end up keeping it until summer when I guiltily sneek it into the compost. It makes me feel a bit guilty. When I retire one day I’d love to move to Hana Hawaii and have a Poinsettia hedge.

Red poinsettia flower

There is now a huge selection of colours and styles and they really do take a minimum of care.

Make sure you have them in a bag or have them covered when you bring them home…they really don’t like our Canadian winters! A little story my Mom told me about when she used to be in Real Estate; one year she and her partner bought about 100 lovely huge, wrapped Poinsettias as thank-you’s to clients and fellow realtors. They loaded them into their van that evening to be ready for the dynamic duo to deliver first thing in the morning…some of you may know where I’m going here…it froze that night, alas and both ladies were treated to the sight of 100 leafless Poinsettia skeletons. Yes, there were tears.

When you get them home safely, and warmly, bring them in to the house and keep them in a bright spot but not direct sun and let them dry out slightly in-between waterings. A yellowing poinsettia often indicated over-watering.

Keep them away from hot and cold drafts. They will look good often well into February.

Pink Poinsettia flower

Getting Poinsettias to Re-bloom

If you do want to try and keep your plant and see if you can get it to bloom the next year, give it a bit of a dormancy. In March , allow it to dry out a bit more in between waterings and place in a cooler area like a garage or sunroom. Keep a careful eye on the branches, if there is withering, water a bit more. Once the leaves have fallen cut back the stems hard to about 4 inches each. Start waking up your plant early May.

You can repot it at this time into a sturdier decorative pot using a well draining, light, all- purpose potting soil and bring it back to a warmer brighter area though out of direct sunlight. Gradually increase the watering.

Once your Poinsettia has flushed out begin fertilizing each week to two weeks with an all-purpose fertilizer like 20-20-20. You can put your Poinsettia outside for a summer vacation in a bright area but again, not in direct sun and bring back inside by mid September (earlier if it is cold). You can pinch back growth twice to encourage a bushy looking plant – once in June and again in August.

Right before Halloween, make sure your Poinsettia is in a dark area (no lights, reflected car lights nothing at all) from supper until morning (5pm until 8 am) to induce flowering. Poinsettias will produce flower buds after a period of 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. Make sure they are in a warm area – about between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius. By mid- December, you can bring your plant out into the main living area as…hopefully…it will have coloured bracts by that point.

Sounds like a challenge to me… if it doesn’t work out you’ll have a nice bushy green house plant that will put out oxygen and you know where to come to buy some really cool looking new ones! Here is a gallery of some really good looking ones this year.

Poinsettia collage

Drop by Art's Nursery during the holiday season to get the best selection of the new poinsettia varieties. Wholesale volume prices are available for large, corporate orders. Call 604.882.1201 for more information


Thursday, November 8, 2012
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Indoor Plants

Tillandsia - Air PlantsTillandsia is the largest genus in the Bromeliad family of plants. Commonly known as Air Plants, they are found from jungle to rain forest to arid desert environments and from sea level to high mountain regions.

Most Tillandsia species use their root systems to attach themselves to trees or rocks and absorb moisture and nutrients through their leaves. This classifies them as epiphytes.

As a result, where you plant them is limited only by your imagination. These hardy plants are adaptable and tolerant of a wide range of environmental conditions and require minimal care.

Caring For Your Tillandsia

If you Tillandsia are going to be at your home or office, care must be taken to provide enough light and correct moisture to maintain a healthy plant. Bright light or filtered sun is ideal. If these light conditions are not possible, use a broad-spectrum flourescent light. Indoor Tillandsia should stay healthy with a watering schedule of 1 to 2 times a week.

Air Plants do exceptionally well in outdoor environments. A backyard tree, screened patio or pool area will be the most likely areas to find the bright filtered light conditions that Tillandsias love. Plants grown in humid outdoor environments should be watered once a week.

In dryer climates, more frequent watering may be necessary. If your plants leaves start to curl or roll, it could be an indication of dehydration. This can be corrected by submerging your plant in water for 15 minutes. Thereafter, resume your normal weekly watering schedule.

Fertilizing Your TillandsiaTillandsia - Air Plant Roots

Fertilize Air Plants about once a month. Tillandsias have the ability to capture and hold nutrients with their foliage, and they have a tendency to be sensitive to over-fertilization.

Use a good quality liquid or water soluble fertilizer with a formulation low in copper. High amounts of copper are toxic to Bromeliads. Fertilizing is not absolutely necessary for survival, but will increase growth and vigor of your plants.

Temperature

Tillandsias are very tolerant of a wide range of temperatures, most species can withstand near freezing temperatures. Although preferring temperatures around 70 F, with increased water, air circulation and shade, they can do quite well into the 90's F.

Bloom

Tillandsia blooms are as diverse and beautiful as any in the plant world. they can last from a few days to as long as a year in some of the slower growing plants.

Tillandsia Availability

Tillandsia are generally available at Arts Nursery in our Floral Department. If you are making a special trip, please call ahead to confirm availability. Tel 604.882.1201


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Art's Nursery is a 10+ acre retail and wholesale garden centre located in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We've been in business at this same location since 1973 and we're proud to serve you today!

We carry an incredible selection of plants, shrubs, trees, annuals, perennials, vines, groundcovers, roses and much more. Soils, bulk materials, pottery and a variety of garden accents are also available.

Our plant selection is so large that you can actually drive a golf cart while you shop!

We pride ourselves on providing high quality plant, expert advice and an exceptional gardening experience.

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