Friday, December 5, 2008

Amaryllis Bulbs, Christmas Cactuses and Pointsettias

My mother-in-law visited us for a few days over the Thanksgiving holiday. One of the gifts she brought with her was an amaryllis bulb kit. I had a red one I planted up a few years ago but left it behind when we moved. I always regretted leaving it behind but there was only so much room in the back of the car for my garden plants. As it turns out my mother-in-law bought a red one so I was pretty excited to get another red amaryllis bulb to plant up. The last amaryllis bloomed well the first few years then never quite got back to blooming, although it produced long leaves every year. I'm hoping to read up on these bulbs and have more success with this plant. My guess is there was a little too much light where it sat in the patio area. I'll try this one out in the house and see how it does with less direct light.

Another plant I've always wanted is a Christmas cactus. I understand that they are very long lived. I really like the bright colored flowers they produce and the arching cactus branches shaping the plant. I'll keep my eye out for one when we next hit the garden center. Another plant I've never had is a pointsettia. Up until now our cat was too active to have houseplants around, he destroyed the few plants I had when he was a little kitten and it got no better as he got older. Now that he's up in years he is more sedate and I just may have to get one for myself for the holidays, placed high up from the cat of course. My dad saved a red pointsettia plant from Christmas and grew it as a houseplant for many years. It was green from then on but huge! It was probably a good foot wide and fairly tall in a plastic planter in his house. The pointsettia was very impressive even as a green houseplant. My dad had a real green thumb and I think I inherited at least a little of the green from him. Its time to start looking for a Christmas cactus and pointsettia and see how I do with houseplant duty.

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