Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Beyond Poinsettias

You deserve better than that for the holidays



It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas when echeverias (below left) are in blossom, and the leaves of flapjack kalanchoe (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora, above) resemble an immense blossom.

Photos by Kindra Clineff

Psst. Come here! There’s a holiday plant that’s not high maintenance. Yes, really!

Imagine going through the holidays without fussing over a needy houseplant. Imagine a windowsill bristling with gorgeous growing things that require almost zero care. Yes, you can give a green gift without taking a guilt trip afterward. The secret is out of the bag.

Amaryllis
There is no plant easier than an amaryllis. This is one instance when you can just sit back and watch while a bulb performs on autopilot. Isn’t that just what you need for the busy holiday season? Actually, amaryllis is just a common name for hippeastrum, cultivars of bulbous species native to South America that form immense trumpet-shaped flowers crowning stems that stretch one to two feet above the soil. They come in colors ranging from white through burgundy red with pinks abounding. Some have a hint of green in the throats of their petals, others blush peach. The single-flowering versions look most like trumpets, and doubles resemble snowflakes, so there’s always that 

holiday association. ‘Rapido,’ ‘Amalfi,’ ‘Merry Christmas,’ ‘Razzle Dazzle,’ ‘Snow White,’ and ‘Hot Lips’ will blossom for the holidays, if the bulbs are planted in late September. Note of caution: Amaryllis (and all members of the lily family) are toxic to cats.

Give amaryllis good light to achieve glowing flower colors. Keep the pot size snug around the bulb. Do not overwater. When they’re happy, amaryllis often stage repeat performances throughout winter: a gift that keeps on giving.

Orchids
Promise anything, but give an orchid. Not only are orchids incredibly rewarding and amazingly low maintenance, but they are now readily available and affordable. Get a tropical lady’s slipper (Paphiopedilum cvs.) or a moth orchid (Phalaenopsis cvs.) and the pride of accomplishment will continue long after the holidays. Not only do they look suitably snazzy, but these ultra-sophisticated plants are amazingly easy if you choose something accessible—such as a tropical lady’s slipper or moth orchid. And you can give them as gifts knowing that they won’t be a maintenance burden. All an orchid requires is indirect light and water about once a week. Skip the ice cubes. Tropical orchids will not be thrilled with frigid water.

Christmas Cactus
Christmas cacti have come a long way since your grandmother’s old standby. For one thing, the color range has increased to hit various shades of yellow, orange, fuchsia, red, and white. In that broad spectrum, even tiny cuttings of Christmas cacti send out large flowers that look like someone married a shrimp with a gaping dragon.

Although they sometimes get their holidays mixed up and open for Thanksgiving or Easter rather than Christmas, they generally blossom within the dormant season timeframe—just when you need pizzazz. And they thrive on neglect. Overwatering might lead to some grumbling from your Christmas cactus.

Succulents
Several succulents are a cinch in midwinter and often blossom when you need flowers the most. Grow an echeveria, and you might even see blossoms in addition to remarkable rosettes of fascinating foliage. Ditto for flaming katy (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana), (pictured to the right) which performs to beat the band in the flowering department. You can even rescue a flapjack kalanchoe (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora) from the garden. 

The trick to succulents—and all of the plants mentioned here—is to give them a natty presentation. Find a container that really does the plant justice, echoing foliage color and form and playing up the inherent architectural lines of the plant. And then just practice benign neglect. Although a south-facing window is optimal, most survive in a bright east or west-facing exposure. As far as watering is concerned, wait until the soil is dry before serving drinks. Talk about easy.

Add your comment:

Connect With Us    

Sign-up for our event 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

November 2018

Just a little over an hour from the northern suburbs of NYC, in the northwest hills of Connecticut lies one of the best kept secrets in trail running around! If you are ready for a new challenge of...

Cost: $50-$60

Where:
Steep Rock Preserve
2 Tunnel Rd.
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Steep Endurance LLC
Contact Name: Brian Vanderheiden
Website »

More information

Meet us under the Dome and catch all the excitement! Come out for the 16th Annual Festival of Trees to benefit Ann’s Place at the Danbury Sports Dome for a weekend filled with live events...

Cost: Ages 3 to 64, $10; Seniors, $5; kids under 3, free.

Where:
Danbury Sports Dome
25 Shelter Rock Ln
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Ann's Place
Telephone: 203-790-6568
Contact Name: Michelle Frosch
Website »

More information

Kiki Michalek will introduce a new series of paintings, celebrating the art of the carousel. “Carousel Dreams” is a collection of original work showing animals with different themes....

Cost: Free

Where:
Whiting Mills
100 Whiting St.
Studio 308, Air Borne Creations
Winsted, CT  06098
View map »


Sponsor: Kiki Michalek
Telephone: 203-913-3883
Contact Name: Kiki Michalek
Website »

More information

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join Art Rodia, an instructor with over 30 years of yoga teaching experience, as he guides this gentle yoga class. Created for people over fifty and beginners who need a gentle and accessible...

Cost: 10 per class

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: New Morning Market
Telephone: 203-263-4868
Website »

More information

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join New Morning Market’s new knitting club! We’re crafting wearable items for Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury and welcome all levels to join! Instructors will be on-hand for beginners. Yarn,...

Cost: Free - registration requested

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: New Morning Market
Telephone: 203-263-4868
Website »

More information

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

KMR Arts presents Mark Seliger: Platinum Prints. The exhibition opens on Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 3-6 pm with a reception and book signing of the monograph, MARK SELIGER PHOTOGRAPHS, with the...

Cost: no charge

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: KMR Arts
Telephone: (860)868-7533
Contact Name: Kathy McCarver Root
Website »

More information

EVERY THURSDAY | 7:30 PM - 10:00 pm Music | Spoken Word | Comedy | More Hosted by Don Lowe Hunt Hill Farm is excited to announce OpenMic night every Thursday night.  Please stop by to...

Cost: donation

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860.355.0300
Contact Name: John C. Maxwell III
Website »

More information

Join New Morning Market’s new knitting club! We’re crafting wearable items for Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury and welcome all levels to join! Instructors will be on-hand for beginners. Yarn,...

Cost: Free - registration requested

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: New Morning Market
Telephone: 203-263-4868
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Holiday Craft Day on Friday, November 23rd from 2 to 4 PM, followed by a 4:30 PM family movie (Disney’s COCO) for all ages. Local artist Katie Ré Scheidt will lead the Holiday Craft...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens
One Green Hill
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens
Contact Name: Laura Neminski
Website »

More information

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

KMR Arts presents Mark Seliger: Platinum Prints. The exhibition opens on Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 3-6 pm with a reception and book signing of the monograph, MARK SELIGER PHOTOGRAPHS, with the...

Cost: no charge

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: KMR Arts
Telephone: (860)868-7533
Contact Name: Kathy McCarver Root
Website »

More information

We will celebrate the Full Moon and use its powerful energy for personal growth and spiritual development, focusing on developing intuition and the “heart’s knowing.”  Music, ritual,...

Cost: 15.00

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: New Morning Market
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

KMR Arts presents Mark Seliger: Platinum Prints. The exhibition opens on Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 3-6 pm with a reception and book signing of the monograph, MARK SELIGER PHOTOGRAPHS, with the...

Cost: no charge

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: KMR Arts
Telephone: (860)868-7533
Contact Name: Kathy McCarver Root
Website »

More information

The New York Times bestselling author, Simon Winchester, traces the development of technology from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age to explore the single component crucial to...

Cost: 25.00

Where:
Sandisfield Arts Center
5 Hammertown Rd.
Sandisfield, MA  01255
View map »


Sponsor: Sandsifeld Arts Center
Telephone: 413-281-4100
Contact Name: Marcella Smith

More information

Join us for another incredible evening of music featuring four local singer songwriters performing original music! Doors open at 7pm upstairs in the handicapped accessible Community Room. Snacks...

Cost: Free - donations graciously accepted

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: New Morning Market
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Following a Dream

Peter Gallagher on Life as an Actor

Coal-Fired Kiss

Sasso’s Coal Fired Pizza also has incredibly fresh seafood

A Taco Sensation

Èl Camión has been crowned Connecticut's Best

What is the stone marker under a tree on the green in Litchfield?

Champagne Is So Over ...

What i’m bringing to your holiday potluck
Edit ModuleShow Tags