Western Mountains and High Plains

November, 2006
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Holiday Cacti
When it comes to bright and welcome color in fall and winter, holiday cacti
(Schlumbergera hybrids) are real show-stoppers. Their iridescent blooms trumpet like fireworks and come in shades of red, coral, orange, pink, and pristine white. They can be somewhat temperamental to bloom, but the secret is bright light in spring and summer, cool temperatures and drier soil in fall, and long nights in fall to promote flower bud development. Given these conditions, the flowers will ignite into bloom for a festive fall and winter season.

Clever Gardening Technique

Vacuum Away Houseplant Pests
You can use a hand-held rechargeable vacuum cleaner to get rid of many unwanted houseplant pests. Hold your portable vacuum over the foliage of the plants infested with white flies, aphids, or fungus gnats. Gently support the foliage of the plant with your other hand to lessen damage to the more tender leaves and shoots. Be sure to empty the vacuum afterwards and release the pests to the cold outdoors or into a sink of soapy water.

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