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Holiday Plant Care - Spring

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Colorful spring plants arrive at local garden centers just in time to rescue us from winter doldrums. Time to embrace the new season!

With a bit of care, blossoms can last for weeks. In general, cooler temperatures and careful watering will keep plants healthy and attractive. Too much heat and direct sun will cause most flowering plants to quickly fade.

Plant Water Light Temp.  Notes
Azalea when dry to touch, but moist below 1”; do not allow to dry out! bright, sunny 50° ‐ 60° Remove dead blossoms. Plants can be kept for many years; maintain outside in a shady spot in the summer.
Rex Begonia When just dry to the touch, but moist below ½”; do not allow to dry out! bright, indirect Try an east window. 65° ‐ 75° Grow Rex Begonias primarily for their colorful, patterned foliage. Cluster pots together on pebble trays kept wet to maintain high humidity.
Crocus, Daffodil, Hyacinths, Tulips Keep evenly moist, not soggy bright Try a north window. 50° ‐65° Keep cool to encourage blooms to last.
Easter lily when dry to touch, but moist below 1”; do not allow to dry out! bright, indirect 55° ‐75° Buy plants with multiple buds and foliage to the bottom of the stem. Keep away from drafts and direct heat sources. Bulbs can be planted outside after flowering.
Primrose, Calceolaria, Cineraria Keep evenly moist, not soggy. bright, sunny 60° ‐ 75° Keep cool to prolong blossoming. Will flower dependably for one season.

Tips for Success

  • Remove decorative paper or foil ‐ or open a large hole in the bottom ‐ so that water drains freely from pot.
  • Check plants daily ‐ if your home is cool, most plants need water only once a week.
  • “Dry to touch” ‐ the top 1” of soil is mostly dry to the touch; below 1”, the soil feels moist.
  • “Evenly moist” ‐ the top of the soil is slightly damp to the touch, not dried out. Avoid soggy soil; plant roots need air!
  • Water just until the water flows out of the drainage hole. Do not leave pot standing in water.

Other Spring Plants

Aubutilon (Flowering Maple) - Flowers freely in shades of yellow, peach white, red and purple. Re‐pot and prune for a summer outdoor porch display.

Florist Hydrangea - keep cool, 55° ‐65°, and evenly moist. These plants are not frost hardy.

Resources

http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/agr/
www.massflowergrowers.com
http://ag.umass.edu/resources/home-lawn-garden

Topics: 
Home Lawn & Garden
Home Lawn and Garden topics: 
Cultural Practices/Fertilizing
Flowers