Now that the holidays are over, here are a couple tips on what to do with those Christmas flowers and your Christmas tree, wreaths, garlands and other evergreen Christmas decorations.
Five Things to Do with Your Christmas Tree, Wreaths and Garlands
- Sink it in a pond or stream. Submerged Christmas trees make great habitat for fish. If you don’t have a body of water on your property, a local conservation group may pick up the tree and toss it into an appropriate pond or stream for you.
- Put it outside on your land. A Christmas tree can provide lodging for all kinds of birds, squirrels and other small animals. Once it starts to decompose, it can become a nursery to insects, fungi, even amphibians and reptiles.
- Protect your perennials. Wreaths, garland, and boughs cut from a Christmas tree can be placed over perennial beds to reduce frost damage to plants, as well as frost heaving caused by freezing and thawing. Saw up the trunk to create sturdy, homemade trellises or tomato stakes.
- Toss it into the woodstove. Use a few dry evergreen branches as kindling to start your fires.
- Mulch it. Many communities have tree recycling programs that turn everyone’s old trees into valuable garden mulch.
(Thanks to Mother Earth News)
Making Your Amaryllis Rebloom
You don’t need to throw away your amaryllis bulb kit. Amaryllis is a perennial, so If you’d like to see your amaryllis plant bloom again, remove the blooms once they have faded, so the plant’s energy will go into the bulb rather than seed production. Continue to grow the amaryllis inside at a south-facing window for about four months (through April, say), until the weather warms enough to put it outside.
Next put your bulb outside, in an area sheltered from rain (or turn its put on its side so it won’t collect rainwater). This will trigger dormancy. Snip off the dead leaves and bring the plant inside in the Fall when temperatures fall below 50 degrees. Finally, water the bulb to break the spell of dormancy and initiate new growth, and place the plant in a bright light while continuing to water moderately. Once it starts to bloom, move it to a spot with less light to prolong the bloom time.