Holiday decorations include live Spathiphyllum or peace lilies, Euphorbia pulcherrima or poinsettias and miniature conifers. After the holidays, the blooms fade and the needles drop. You can prolong the life of your holiday plants with a little care and continue to enjoy them throughout the year. There are some things you can do to during the next year to use the plants in your next holiday celebration.
The small conifers are the easiest to care for during the year. Keep the plant away from drafts and the heat of the afternoon sun. The soil must remain slightly moist but too much water causes the needles to turn brown. Stick your index finger to the first knuckle in the soil Check the moisture level. If your finger is dry so is the conifer.
Transplant the miniature tree to a larger pot so the roots do not get cramped in the pot. You can set the tree outdoors during mild weather. If you leave the small conifer outdoors until fall, spray the tree with a mild mixture of dish soap and water to remove any pests that may have taken up residence in the needles or soil.
Care for the peace lily as you would any other bulb plant. Allow the plant to reach full bloom, remove the faded flowers and water each time the soil dries. After the holidays, set the lily in a bright location that receives indirect sunlight most of the day. Keep the plant away from drafts and register vents. When the weather breaks and night time temperatures reach 60 degrees Fahrenheit, you can move the peace lily outdoors. Increase the watering schedule and feed the plant once a month with a general-purpose plant fertilizer mixed at half-strength. Repot the peace lily when the plant appears root-bound. Use a quality potting soil and a pot with drain holes. Bring the plant in about a month before cooler temperatures arrive so the peace lily can acclimate to the indoor growing conditions. Continue feeding and watering and the plant should bloom again.
Poinsettias need special care to bloom again the next holiday season. Provide the plant with plenty of sunlight during the year. Drafts and temperatures below 60 degrees will harm the plant. Feed and water the poinsettia during the winter months. In the spring, only water the plant when the soil becomes dry. Move the plant to a cool area like the garage or basement. The temperature should be about 55 to 60 degrees. Just before early summer, cut back the plant to about half its size and move it outdoors in a shady location. Water the plant as needed. Pinch the stems as they grow to produce a bushy plant. Move the poinsettia indoors in the early fall and place it in a bright location. Allow the plant to remain in place until October. From the first of October to the end of November, the poinsettia needs 12 hours of darkness each night. Place a box over the plant or move the plant into a seldom-used closet each night. Terminate this treatment the first week of December and allow the plant to remain in a bright window. The plant should form bracts and begin to turn red just in time for the holidays.