Since the holidays are in full swing, I thought it would be fun to blog about poinsettias. Poinsettias are often related to Christmas-time, and are rarely seen after the season is over. The common misconception about poinsettias are that they are a winter plant (totally tropical!). In fact, if poinsettias are exposed to low temperatures, even for a short time, can injure the leaves and bracts. Poinsettias are long-lasting flowers if nurtured correctly, and bloom from December to February (if kept indoors).
To care for them, poinsettias must be brought indoors well before the first frost, and thrive in 60-70 degree weather. Only water them when necessary because over watering can cause the leaves to turn yellow and drop. Pruning is very important in growing poinsettias, they grow better when you cut them back around September for maximum growth.
South Louisiana’s first freeze is expected to be next Saturday! It is important to prepare your garden from the harmful frost. If you are worried about your plants, here are a few tips and tricks on how to protect them.
- Bring Indoors: any container plants that are small enough to carry should be brought inside the night before the freeze.
- Watering: watering your plants and soil thoroughly before the freeze can prevent dry outs
- Covering: covering small trees and shrubs with old towels or bed sheets will protect them from frost and trap heat.
- Clustering: group containers close together for warmth
Bald cypress trees are native to the swamps of South Louisiana. Bald cypress thrives in wet, swamp-like conditions and grow very tall making them iconic in my area. Recently, my parents cut down three bald cypress trees in our front yard, and were left with great slabs of cypress that we used in DIY projects. The first project we tackled was a side table. We used two thick coats of glaze coat, and four pipes for the legs. The second project, we used the remaining slabs to create a walkway in our back garden. We first used a stain to protect the slabs and remove all the moisture from the wood. Then we excavated the spots in the ground where we wanted to lay the slabs, and laid them in place. It was hard work, but the results were priceless!
With fall lasting a little longer than expected here in South Louisiana, it is not too late to plant some mums! Brightly colored mums are a great way to add color to your yard or house during the fall. Mums are good year round, they never go bad so do not pull them out when they die because they will grow back. When they do begin to grow back be sure to remove the old stems, and begin watering them every month. Once your mums become bushy, it is recommended to pinch them 1 to 2 inches for new growth. Remember, mums like full sun so plant them in a sunny area.
Are you wondering what to plant in mid-October? Look no further, because I have the bright idea, bulbs! It’s best to plant your spring bulbs now before winter because when spring arrives, so will your beautiful spring flowers. Make sure to change the soil in your flower beds from the summer, and pick out any weeds for good growth.You may also plant your bulbs in pots and containers if you think it will be a harsh winter, but with living in South Louisiana that shouldn’t be a problem.