Pacific Northwest

December, 2005
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Cyclamen
One of my favorite flowering indoor plants is cyclamen, with its showy, butterfly-shaped flowers held well above the attractive, marbled foliage. There are many cultivars available, varying in size and foliage patterns, and ranging in flower color from white to shades of pink, red, and purple. Bicolored flowers can be found, and miniature varieties also are available. For best flower display, provide bright light, moist soil, and cool (55 to 65 degrees F) temperatures.

Clever Gardening Technique

Custom Colors for Poinsettias
Buying the best poinsettia for your home can be a daunting task, considering there are likely 20 varieties in a dozen sizes and shapes from which to choose. Red is traditional, but available colors range from pink, salmon, white, pink with white splashes, and red with pink stripes. If none of these colors suits your decor, you can adjust the colors by spraying the plants with floral dye. Floral dye comes in an aerosol spray can and is used by florists to change or intensify the colors of cut flowers prior to arranging them. Floral dye is available in craft stores and floral supply shops and is harmless to plants.

If you have a pink poinsettia and want lavender, you can spray it with Hydrangea Blue or Lilac floral dye. Spraying it with Daffodil Yellow produces a peach color. A red poinsettia sprayed with Delphinium Blue becomes burgundy; sprayed with Purple Pansy, it becomes violet. A marbled pink and white poinsettia can become lavender and light blue when sprayed with Hydrangea Blue floral dye, periwinkle and dark blue when sprayed with Delphinium Blue, peach and golden yellow when sprayed with Daffodil, or two values of lavender when sprayed with Lilac floral dye. Let your imagination run wild and you can have some eye-catching poinsettias to wow your guests.

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