Belgian Nursery Blog

November 15, 2023

Festive Finds in our Tropical Greenhouses!

There is never a dull season at Belgian Nursery. Even when the temperature drops and that weird white stuff appears on the ground again, new plant shipments are arriving in our greenhouses that we simply cannot get in the spring and summer! Every plant has its season to shine, and these beauties just happen to prefer the shorter days of fall and winter to show us what they’re made of:

Christmas & Thanksgiving Cacti (Schlumbergera)
This unique group of flowering cacti is actually from tropical southern Brazil, not the desert! Their long green stems resemble flat, toothed pads that are linked to create an arching, sometimes trailing effect. The short days of late fall and winter trigger their bright buds to burst open to reveal some of the brightest hues this side of the polar vortex: pinks, purples, white, even the rare yellow! The tubular, multi-layered blooms typically last for weeks, and even when they’re gone you’re still left with its interesting greenery. These plants can last for years or even decades with the right care!
Light: Bright, sunny, direct light.
Water: Keep these plants on the dry side when they’re not in bud; they’ll need more frequent waterings while in bloom. Feed a flowering fertilizer monthly during their flowering season.

Speaking of brightly coloured blooms, it’s hard to miss the beautiful Cyclamen flowers that seem to drip from their upright stems. The down-facing buds open to reveal delicate petals that unfurl in tones of pink, purple, red, white, and even bicolour; some varieties even have adorable ruffled petals! These tuberous plants will sprout rounded green leaves that are mottled with silvery-green, making a perfect backdrop for their gorgeous flowers. It takes a lot of energy to be that gorgeous, so your Cyclamen will need a few months of rest after flowering to bring up their energy levels.
Light: Medium to bright light.
Water: Let dry slightly then water well.
Temperature: Prefer cooler temperatures; keep away from any heating sources and/or vents.
Tips: When Cyclamen flowers are spent or the leaves turn yellow, be sure to remove entire stem from the plant’s crown to reduce the risk of mold or fungus entering the tuber. Just a gentle tug will do.

Frosty Fern (Selaginella)
If you’re looking for cute and adorable foliage, then check out the Frosty Fern! They’re actually related to Club Moss, but their bright green leaves with contrasting bright white tips look more like something from the Cedar family than low growing mosses. This indoor houseplant likes to stay evenly moist, so check your pots every day so they don’t dry out. And if you see the tips starting to fade from bright white to light green, try placing the pot in cooler temperatures so it can get “frosty” again.
Light: Medium to bright, indirect light.
Water: Keep evenly moist. Mist for extra humidity.

Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla)
A great option for a small indoor Christmas tree! But don’t be fooled by the name “Pine” since this indoor tree hails from the South Pacific and would not do well in our Canadian winters. These upright trees feature soft, thick green “needles” that cover their branches and even grow from the main trunk. The foliage is wonderfully soft and can handle very light ornaments, like tinsel! Choose your decorations carefully, since these island dwellers appreciate a daily misting for extra humidity.
Light: Medium to bright, indirect light.
Water: Let dry slightly then water well. Mist for extra humidity. Feed an all-purpose fertilizer every 4th watering.

Cypress “Goldcrest” (Cupressus macrocarpa)
And speaking of indoor Christmas trees, another option is the Cypress “Goldcrest” or Lemon Cypress! This adorable upright grower feature bushy cedar-like foliage in bright tones of chartreuse and gold, and is even lightly lemon scented! Indoor Cypress varieties don’t grow very fast or tall, so this is a perfect option for a tabletop Christmas display with tiny baubles and glittery garland!
Light: Medium to bright, indirect light.
Water: Let dry slightly then water well. Feed an all-purpose fertilizer every 4th watering.

Seasonal Dish Gardens
We carry a selection of mixed Seasonal Dish Gardens for the holiday season, which are typically a combination of three or more of the following, depending on the size of pot: Poinsettia (usually red), Frosty Fern, English Ivy, and Kalanchoe. A light covering of moss finishes the look and beautifully ties all the plants together. Try to water around each individual plant to ensure that everyone gets a good deep drink. A gorgeous choice for the home, office, and as a gift for anyone on your holiday list!
Light: Bright, indirect light.
Water: Let dry slightly then water well. Feed an all-purpose fertilizer every 4th watering.

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