Western Mountains and High Plains

November, 2008
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Holiday Cacti
When it comes to bright and welcome color in fall and winter, the 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 when it comes to blooming, 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. Provided with the proper conditions, the flowers will ignite into bloom for a festive fall and winter season.

Clever Gardening Technique

Vacuum Away Houseplant Pests
Use a small, 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, and fungus gnats. You can gently support the foliage of the plant with your other hand to lessen damage to the more tender leaves and shoots.
Even though you've vacuumed the pests off the plants, be sure to empty the vacuum afterward and release the pests to the cold outdoors or dump in a sink of soapy water.

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