Plantidote of the Day 2010-12-25
Tender tropical (zones9-10). Who can resist buying one of those boxes with that great looking flower printed on it? The instructions are on the box. If you stick to the plain red, white or pink coral variety, they're inexpensive ($5). If you didn't allow time for the bulb to grow, you'll pay a lot more for your impatience. It usually takes 7 to 10 weeks from planting to flowering. You can be even more frugal and replant the same bulb next Christmas. Cut off the flower stalks after bloom, but not the leaves. (Don't forget to water). You can keep it outside in the summer. In August refrain from watering it, and move it to a cool location (about 55F). It should drop its leaves. Bring it in the house in October. Clean up the bulb and repot it. Now you're ready to start the process all over again.
Readers, please send twig (firstname.lastname@example.org) images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chantrelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.
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