Flower Care Tips

                                MARCH 20 – FIRST DAY OF SPRING!
Friends of North County Recreation District hope you have had fun watching your bulbs spring out of the earth. We are seeing a few daffodils and hyacinths blooming, and the tulips will not be too far behind.
Once you see your flower shoots come out of the ground, it is a good idea to put some bulb fertilizer or bone meal around them. Just a teaspoon around each bulb will help it develop a flower for next year. Bulbs need at least 6 hours of sunlight to bloom.
When your bulbs have finished blooming, cut off the flower, but DO NOT cut or tie up the leaves. The leaves are needed to feed the bulb in order for it to bloom again next year. You do not want to remove the leaves until they turn yellow and wither.
While waiting to remove the leaves you can carefully work around the plant – even plant in between and around the bulbs. Depending on how much room you have between your bulbs, you can use either seeds or plants.
Are you an active gardener? While enjoying your flowering bulbs you can start getting the rest of the yard ready for planting. If you have plans for a flower and/or vegetable garden, now is the time to start weeding and planting. Weeding can be a bit boring, but if you do it, you will get to know your garden. You will find the wet spots and dry spots which, of course, will make a difference when it comes to planting and watering. Perhaps you are a passive gardener. Take a good walk around your garden to see what is going on, and decide if any changes need to be made.
It is time to plant both edible peas and sweet peas! Have fun in your garden!




*After flowering your bulb is exhausted.  If you want flowers next year you must allow it to rebuild itself.

*When the last bloom fades, cut off the flower stalk 3-5” above the bulb, do not cut off the leaves. They produce the food for the bulb.

*Place your plant in a sunny window, preferably one that is south facing.

*Water when the top inch of the potting mix is dry to the touch, and begin fertilizing with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer once a month.

*When danger of frost has passed in spring, set the pot outdoors, in full sun or knock the bulb out of its pot and plant in the ground in a sunny location.

*In fall—you can wait until frost blackens the leaves or mid-October-bring the bulb indoors, cut off the foliage just above the bulb, and store it dry in a cool (55 degrees F), dark place such as a basement for 8-10 weeks.

*Then pot (or re-pot) the bulb and water it. Thereafter, keep the potting mix almost dry until new growth emerges. Then follow the pre-bloom care above.

*Not all amaryllis will rebloom.  If you want Friends of North County Recreation District to try to get your amaryllis to rebloom we will try.  Fees involved would involve new coco core mixture for the growing medium and a bit more for babysitting your bulb.  If your bulb comes back soft, we would not want to try.  $15 for this service.

Holiday Poinsettia Plant Care

Friends of NCRD know many of you have Poinsettias in your home this time of year and so we offer the following articles to help you save your plant for next year.  This is not an easy task so we recommend using a calendar to keep track of all the steps.  This information came from the www.gardeningknowhow.com.  There are many, many sites on the internet with information such as this.  In February, look for information about how to care for your amaryllis bulb when it finishes blooming.  Just know there is little to no hope to save waxed amaryllis.


Poinsettia care begins with proper light, water, and temperature conditions. During the holidays, while in full bloom, they typically enjoy semi-cool, humid locations in bright, indirect light with plenty of moisture. Poinsettia plants should be watered thoroughly, taking care not to drown them by ensuring adequate drainage is available. Likewise, avoid letting them sit in water-filled saucers, which can lead to root rot [2]. Adding plants nearby can help increase humidity levels [3] in dry rooms, as will humidifiers.

Once flower bracts have fallen, you have the option of discarding the plant or keeping it an additional year. For those choosing to continue with poinsettia care, decrease regular watering to allow the plant to dry out some. However, don’t let it dry out completely. Also, relocate the poinsettia plant to a cool, dark area until spring or around April.

Fertilizing Poinsettia Plants

Fertilizing poinsettia plants is never recommended while they’re still in bloom. Fertilize poinsettias only if keeping them after the holiday season. Apply fertilizer every two weeks or once monthly using a complete houseplant fertilizer. Provided the poinsettia plant is given the proper environmental conditions, it should begin to regrow within weeks.

Poinsettia Care After the Holidays

In spring, return the plant to a sunny area and water well. Cut back all canes (branches) to about 6 inches from the pot’s rim. It may also be a good idea to repot the poinsettia using the same type of soil. While poinsettias can be kept indoors throughout summer, many people choose to move them outdoors in a sunny, but protected, area of the flower garden by sinking the pot into the ground. Either way is fine.

After new growth has reached between 6 to 10 inches, pinch out the tips to encourage branching. This can be done once a month until the middle of August. Once nights become longer in fall, bring the poinsettia indoors.

From about September through November light becomes crucial in poinsettia plant care. In order to encourage blooming, poinsettia plants require long periods of darkness at night (about 12 hours). Therefore, move the poinsettia to a location where it will not receive any nighttime light or cover it with a box. Allow plenty of light during the day so the plant can absorb enough energy for flowering. Warmer days (65-70 F./18-21 C.) and cooler nights (55-60 F./13-16 C.) are also recommended. Provide semi-cool, humid locations in bright, indirect light with plenty of moisture once blooming occurs.

Poinsettia Plant Leaves Are Falling Off

It’s important to pinpoint the possible cause in the event that your poinsettia plant leaves are falling off, as in some cases, this can be easily fixed. Environmental factors such as warm, dry conditions are most often the reason for leaf drop. Stress can also be a factor. Keep the plant in a cool, draft-free area and provide plenty of water. If all else fails, the plant may need to be discarded.

Now that you know how do you take care of poinsettias you can keep these lovely plants year round. With proper poinsettia plant care, they will give you many years of beauty.

Article printed from Gardening Know How: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com

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URLs in this post:

[1] holiday poinsettia should continue to put out blooms: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/poinsettia/how-to-make-poinsettia-turn-red-make-a-poinsettia-rebloom.htm

[2] root rot: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/disease/treating-root-rot-gardening-tips-for-housplants.htm

[3] increase humidity levels: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/hpgen/raise-humidity-for-houseplants.htm

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