With the holidays close at hand, consider an environmentally friendly gift of a plant. Besides the seasonal star, the poinsettia, take a look at the amaryllis and the Christmas Cactus.
It is hard to beat the drama of the giant amaryllis bulb as it bursts forth with one or more tall stalks each having three to five large trumpet shaped blooms of various colors. A special gift would be to pot up three or more of these beauties together for an unbelievable display. Expect to pay in the range of $6-15 dollars per bulb depending on the size and cultivar.
Kits are common at Holiday time for those who might enjoy the whole planting/growing experience themselves. Thanksgiving and Christmas Cactus both flower when the days are short. These are sold as potted plants or in hanging baskets all budded up and ready to bloom for several weeks. The fun and the challenge lies in growing them on and having them flower each year. For more detailed care instructions for any of these indoor plants, contact your local Cornell University Cooperative Extension. Happy “indoor” gardening!