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

            

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Got Milk, Sheik?

Local couple advocate camel milk at One Hump Farm

At Your Service

Caterers in the Bedford area

Ready, Set, Go, Go, Go

Places to go this holiday season in Ridgefield

Secret Bailey’s Treats

Bailey’s Backyard excels at Farm-to-Table

Upstairs Downstairs

Bernard’s and Sarah’s Wine Bar serve excellent food in both an elegant and casual setting

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

January 2019

Soprano Anna Netrebko joins the ranks of Renata Tebaldi, Montserrat Caballé, and Renata Scotto, taking on—for the first time at the Met—the...

Cost: Tickets: $25 | Members & Seniors $20 | Students $15 Ridgefield Library card hold

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Support from The Ridgefield Press and Whistle Stop Bakery
Website »

More information

Here’s a holiday idea for the whole family – a private tour of the Peter Parley Schoolhouse! The Ridgefield Historical Society maintains and operates the 1756 Schoolhouse, also called the...

Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

Where:
Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Here’s a holiday idea for the whole family – a private tour of the Peter Parley Schoolhouse! The Ridgefield Historical Society maintains and operates the 1756 Schoolhouse, also called the...

Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

Where:
Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Enjoy a story from the book Auroraand then paint your own nightscape featuring the Northern Lights using watercolors. Add trees, buildings, snow, and more to create your own beautiful scene...

Cost: $15; $13.50 member

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Here’s a holiday idea for the whole family – a private tour of the Peter Parley Schoolhouse! The Ridgefield Historical Society maintains and operates the 1756 Schoolhouse, also called the...

Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

Where:
Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Website »

More information

Simon Russell Beale returns to National Theatre Live screens following broadcasts of Timon of Athens and King Lear, and his recent role in the National Theatre’s critically acclaimed...

Cost: See Website

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Road
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-5795
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Here’s a holiday idea for the whole family – a private tour of the Peter Parley Schoolhouse! The Ridgefield Historical Society maintains and operates the 1756 Schoolhouse, also called the...

Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

Where:
Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Hartford Boat Show (HBS50) features the newest boats on the market including center consoles, fishing boats, luxury cruisers, deck and pontoon boats, sport and...

Cost: $12 in advance online, $14 at the door, $10 Senior/Military one day pass

Where:
Expo Center at Mohegan Sun
1 Mohegan Sun Blvd
Uncasville, CT  06382
View map »


Sponsor: Connecticut Marine Trades Association
Telephone: 860-767-2645
Contact Name: Kathleen Burns
Website »

More information

Here’s a holiday idea for the whole family – a private tour of the Peter Parley Schoolhouse! The Ridgefield Historical Society maintains and operates the 1756 Schoolhouse, also called the...

Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

Where:
Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Website »

More information

Do you have a child or teen with emotional or behavioral difficulties?  Join a powerful group course and discover a wealth of facts about mental health conditions and how best to...

Cost: Free

Where:
First Congregational Church of Ridgefield
103 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: NAMI Southwest CT
Telephone: 203-984-8329
Contact Name: Karen West
Website »

More information

Do you have a child or teen with emotional or behavioral difficulties? Join a powerful group course and discover a wealth of facts about mental health conditions and how best to support...

Cost: 0

Where:
First Congregational Church of Ridgefield
103 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: NAMI Southwest CT
Telephone: 203-984-8329
Contact Name: Karen
Website »

More information

Simon Russell Beale returns to National Theatre Live screens following broadcasts of Timon of Athens and King Lear, and his recent role in the National Theatre’s critically acclaimed...

Cost: See Website

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Road
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-5795
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Hartford Boat Show (HBS50) features the newest boats on the market including center consoles, fishing boats, luxury cruisers, deck and pontoon boats, sport and...

Cost: $12 in advance online, $14 at the door, $10 Senior/Military one day pass

Where:
Expo Center at Mohegan Sun
1 Mohegan Sun Blvd
Uncasville, CT  06382
View map »


Sponsor: Connecticut Marine Trades Association
Telephone: 860-767-2645
Contact Name: Kathleen Burns
Website »

More information

Here’s a holiday idea for the whole family – a private tour of the Peter Parley Schoolhouse! The Ridgefield Historical Society maintains and operates the 1756 Schoolhouse, also called the...

Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

Where:
Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Caring for a loved one with a mental health condition can be overwhelming and stressful. Family-to-Family is a free, 12-session education program for family, friends and significant others...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Greenwich Hospital
5 Perryridge Road
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: NAMI Southwest CT
Telephone: (914) 527-2994
Contact Name: Janet
Website »

More information

We invite you to join us at Dojo Fairfield on Saturday January 19, 2019 when we host the founder/CEO of C.O.B.R.A. Self-Defense, Chris Sutton, for a one-day self-defense/ASRP (Active Shooter...

Cost: $129.00

Where:
DOJO FAIRFIELD
2317 Black Rock Tpke.
FAIRFIELD, CT  06825
View map »


Sponsor: DOJO FAIRFIELD
Telephone: 203.319.9989
Contact Name: Karina Gramesty
Website »

More information

Celebrate Helena Hernmarck’s materials and processes at our monthly free admission day. Work with teaching artists and Museum staff on warm wintery projects while enjoying hot cocoa and seasonal...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Hartford Boat Show (HBS50) features the newest boats on the market including center consoles, fishing boats, luxury cruisers, deck and pontoon boats, sport and...

Cost: $12 in advance online, $14 at the door, $10 Senior/Military one day pass

Where:
Expo Center at Mohegan Sun
1 Mohegan Sun Blvd
Uncasville, CT  06382
View map »


Sponsor: Connecticut Marine Trades Association
Telephone: 860-767-2645
Contact Name: Kathleen Burns
Website »

More information

Here’s a holiday idea for the whole family – a private tour of the Peter Parley Schoolhouse! The Ridgefield Historical Society maintains and operates the 1756 Schoolhouse, also called the...

Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

Where:
Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Website »

More information

Join artists and crafters Amelia McIsaac of Flowering Heart and Susannah White of Carapace Farm Puppetry to explore the process of felting. Work with plant-dyed wool from their small family flock...

Cost: $15; $13.50 member

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Comedian, actor, and impressionist Frank Caliendo has been making people laugh his entire life.  He is well known for his impressions of famous personalities: Donald Trump, Morgan Freeman, Al...

Cost: See Website

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Road
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-5795
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags