Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) / Khight's Star Lily
For indoors, greenhouse, or a sunroom.
May be white, cream, red or bicolored. Prefers full sunlight; tolerates filtered sun.
Temperature range from warm to cool (down to 41F). Place the bulb where the temperature remains above 60F. The warmer the temp, the faster the bulb will sprout and grow.
Feeding with a low-nitrogen fertilizer every two weeks during growing season, from after flowering until the rest period begins.
Special care After flowering, your bulb is exhausted. If you want flowers next year, you must allow it to rebuild itself. The plant needs a dormant period. After the last bloom fades, cut off flower stalk 3-5 inches above the bulb, but leave the foliage intact. Put your plant in a sunny window (a south-facing one is best) and begin fertilizing with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer once a month. Stop watering the plant in late summer and place it in a cooler position, at about 50-59F, which will make the leaves wither. After a few months, it will be possible to make the bulb flower again. Repot (or pot) the bulb, place it in a warmer position, and start watering again.
Calla (Zantedeschis) / Calla Lily / Arum Lilly
For indoors, a greenhouse or sunroom, or outdoors from spring to fall.
From pure white to yellow, peach, salmon, red, or purple. There are many hybrids with varying colors of spathe. The large, arrow- to lance-shaped leaves range in color from yellow-green to dark green, and sometimes who white spotting.
Temperature from warm to cool, tolerating down to 41F. The flowers will last longer, and their color will be brighter, if the plant is placed in a cool position.
Water regularly, allowing the soil to dry out slightly before watering again. This plant will rot and die if overwatered.
Special care The plant will wither in fall. Discard after flowering, as it is difficult to make it flower again.
Pests and diseases Aphids and spider mites.
Moth Orchid / Phalaenopsis
This exquisite blooming orchid will flower for a long time and is a luxurious way to celebrate a wide variety of occasions.
Broad range of colors, from white to yellow, greenish, pink, or purple.
Light Give filtered light, not too bright. Prefers warm position but tolerates temperatures down to 59F.
Water regularly, allowing the soil to dry out slightly before watering again. This plant prefers soft water. Avoid letting water stand around the bulbs and roots, which may cause fungus disease. Mist the leaves frequently with a hand-spray.
Feed an orchid with fertilizer once amonth from spring to fall. Do not feed during the remainder of the year.
Special care When the flowes have withered, cut off the inflorescence to grow. Repot the orchid, using orchid compost, when the pot is full of roots and flowering is over.
Pests and diseases Scale insects, spider mites, and fungus disease.
Christmas Star / Euphorbia pulcherrima
Mexican Flame Leaf/Lobster Plant/Poinsettia/Painted Leaf/Christmas Flower
Origin South Mexico and Central America
Flowering ornamental shrub for indoors.
Light Prefers filtered sunlight; tolerates full sun.
Temperature from warm to cool, tolerating down to 41F.
Water by standing the pot in water for ten minutes. Water every day or every other day. Keep the soil constantly moist, as the plant does not tolerate drying out.
Special care Protect the plant against cold, as this may result in leaf drop. The sap may cause irritation; avoid contact with skin or eyes. Discard the plant after flowering.
Rosemary Shrub / Rosemarinus officinalis
Rosemary is a member of the mint family. It grows wild in the Mediterranean region. It is a perennial in warm areas. But, it is susceptible to frost and therefore, is grown as an annual in many parts of the country. The evergreen shrub grows 3-6 feet tall.
Light Prefer full sun to partial shade.
Water your rosemary (at the base of the plant) every day or every other day. It doesn't need much, perhaps half a cup. Rosemary likes to be constantly moist but doesn't like to sit in the water, so it has to be well drained. It hates water around its roots, but it will die if the roots dry out.
Decorating You can use any mini ornaments and lights, as long as they don't weigh much. Rosemary branches are pretty tender. You could even make a star out of gold gift wrap and light cardboard (like cereal-box cardboard) to put at the top.
Christmas Cactus / Schlumbergera x buckleyi
Winter-flowering succulent for indoors, or a greenhouse or sunroom in summer.
Broad range of bright colors, such as white, salmon, pink, or red.
Light Filtered sunlight. Keep the plant away from full sun from spring to fall. Warm to cool temp, tolerating down to 59F.
Water regularly during flowering, allowing the soil to dry out before watering again. Keep the soil drier during winter if the plant is kept cool. This plant will rot and die if overwatered.
Feed every two weeks with a weak fertilizer during flowering and active growth. Do not feed during the remainder of the year.
Special care Repot every second year in early spring, using well-drained, peaty soil. At the same time the plant can be cut back to promote a more compact growth.
Azalea (Rhododendron simsii)
Flowering shrub for indoors, a greenhouse or sunroom, or outdoors in summer.
Found in a broad range of colors, such as white, salmon, pink, red, crimson, or purple.
Temperature from warm to cool, tolerating down to 41F (5C). Prefers a cool position in fall.
Light Shade to filtered sunlight. keep the plant away from full sun.
Water regularly, allowing the soil to dry out before watering again. Prefers soft water. Water more sparingly when it is kept cool.
Feeding with an acid fertilizer once a month from flowering to fall.
Special care repot after flowering in an acidic, well-drained soil, although it is difficult to make this azalea flower again. Keep it in a warm position (64F/18C), to promote flower formation between may and June. From June to August, plant it in a shady spot in a garden. In September place it in a light, cool position indoors, at about 41-50F, if placed at a higher temp. one or two months later, the plant may flower again.
Pests and diseases Aphids, scale insects, spider mites, white fly, gray mold.