Northern & Central Midwest

December, 2007
Regional Report

Continue Watering Evergreens

Even though the weather is cold, the ground is not necessarily frozen. As long as it's thawed, you can still water evergreens. Evergreens lose water through their needles throughout winter, never going completely dormant. Keeping the roots well supplied with water through the fall will help them survive the winter without damage.

Set Up a Terrarium

For a beautiful indoor display, set up a terrarium with orchids, bromeliads, and button ferns. Any kind of glass container can make a terrarium. If the glass becomes clouded with condensation, simply remove the cover and let things dry slightly. Place near a window with southern exposure but not in direct sun.

Take Care of Amaryllis After Blooming

After the flowers fade, cut the flower stalk an inch or so above the bulb. Set the plant in a sunny window and water normally. Leaves should develop. Don't fertilize until May when temperatures warm and you can set the plant outside. Choose a protected location where light is filtered. Continue watering and apply liquid fertilizer every two weeks.

Use Only Water on Christmas Tree

Water is still the best preservative for Christmas trees. Make sure trees have a fresh cut and always keep the tree stand basin filled with water. If the tree absorbs all the water and the basin is empty, you should ideally make a fresh cut on the tree. Aspirin, pennies, sugar, and bleach have not been proven to prolong the life.

Water African Violets Carefully

Make sure your African violets are potted in well-drained soil that holds some moisture but doesn't promote rotting. To water, set the plant in a bowl of water and allow the plant to soak up water from the bottom, or water from the top as long as you don't wet the leaves. Allow the plant to dry slightly before watering again.

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