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Keeping Poinsettias Alive Like a Pro

Every year people from all kinds of plant backgrounds ask me how to keep poinsettias alive through Christmas.  Anyone who has ever had a poinsettia in their house has .  First of all, take your plant out of the plastic/paper sleeve that it came in.  Second, if it has a decorative colored wrapper (called a "hat") around the pot be sure to cut a large hole in the bottom so that water can drain out.  The number 1 killer of these plants is when they are left to sit in water that has collected in the "hat" causing the roots to drown and die.





Dealing With Shady Spots


The first thing to consider when choosing a plant is to know how much sun it is going to receive.  While there are thousands of options for your sunny or even partially sunny location, many gardeners are at a loss at what to plant in their shady locations.  While we have many more options in store, this small list can help you start planning.

-Annuals:  Browallia, impatiens, begonias, coleus, alyssum, torenia, violas.

-Perennials:  Hostas, ferns, hellebores, astilbes, epimediums, daylilies, hardy geraniums.  

-Bulbs: Caladuim, tuberous begonias, and daffodils. 

Annual-

A plant that will not survive the winter and will last only one season.  Annuals are loved for their flashy, long lasting color from spring to fall.


Biennial

A plant that normally lasts two years.  They grow foliage in the first year then bloom, produce seeds and die in their second.  But don't worry, many biennials like Foxglove and Hollyhock will self-sow. This means they produce new plants in following years without any human help. 


Perennial-

A plant that will live for two or more seasons and are considered cold hardy.  This means they go dormant in the winter but will grow again in the spring. Perennials provide excellent texture, and color for any garden.


Ornamental Grass

A winter hardy, low maintenance grass that adds texture, motion and sound to any garden.  They range in texture from soft and tuffy to tall and spiky.   Some produce flowers and interesting seed pods. 

Tender Perennial
A plant that will survive some, but not all, low winter temperatures.  These include begonias and coleus.  They can be dug up in the fall and overwintered indoors.  

Basic Terminology

If you are new to gardening, this glossary is the perfect start to understanding plants and how we organize them.   These definitions will help you select and maintain the plants most suitable for your landscaping.


Tips and Ideas