Care of violas, pansies and snapdragons - Our plants come to you in 6” grower pots and should be transplanted into the landscape bed or into larger containers for best results. All three plant types are great for companion planting and are cold hardy and as long as they are well watered and get at least a half day of sun. They will survive most freezing weather in our area of the Texas hill country. To transplant in to a larger container choose a container several sizes larger with a drain hole in the bottom and place gravel, rocks or broken pot shards in the bottom of the pot. Fill halfway with a good potting mix. Take your 6” plant out of its grower pot and place it in the larger container. Fill around it with more potting mix and water well. Plant several together in a large container for a great burst of color. Fertilize with a time release fertilizer for easy care. Remove the spent blooms regularly to keep the plants from setting seed which will stop flower production. Water when the top 2-3 inches of soil are dry to the touch. We water our large containers here on our porch at the offices once a week.
To plant into a landscape bed, dig a hole an inch wider and two inches deeper than your plant, place plant in prepared hole and press the soil around the root ball. Water thoroughly. When the top 2-3 inches of soil around the plant is dry to the touch water thoroughly. I like to plant snapdragons in the back row of a bed with pansies and violas in front. We kept our snapdragons blooming all through the summer last year.
Poinsettias - Poinsettias are native to the tropics and will not survive temperatures lower that 40°. In nature, as in our greenhouses, the plants thrive in a sunny, warm, humid environment. The winter temperatures and dryness in our homes are not ideal growing conditions, and may cause leaves to drop. Keep your poinsettia away from drafts and heat sources in an area where it receives good light. When the soil in the pot begins to dry out, remove the plastic pot cover and water thoroughly allowing water to run out the bottom of the pot. Allow the plant to drain before replacing the pot cover. Never allow plant to stand in water. When danger of frost is past, you can plant your poinsettia in the garden. Cut back top of plant to encourage new growth. The new leaves will be green. The bracts (leaves) turn red in the fall, when the daylight hours are shorter than the nighttime hours. When temperatures are below 40° bring plant inside.
Easter Lilies - Easter lilies bloom for only a short while. After your plant has finished blooming, you may plant it in the garden. The foliage will die down, but the plant will sprout new growth, and bloom again next spring. Enjoy!
Geraniums - Geraniums need sunlight, water, and fertilizer to thrive. Place your plant outdoors, after frost danger is past, in a location where it receives plenty of light. Morning light is preferable to the hot afternoon sun. Our geraniums in the greenhouse get a mild fertilizer with each watering. At home you may use any fertilizer that you mix with water and apply, or you might choose a time release granular fertilizer that you apply to the soil in the pot. Always check on your plant's water needs and never apply fertilizer to a dry plant. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch about 2 inches down into the soil. Remove any spent blossoms and dead leaves promptly to encourage new blooms.
Removing Geranium Blooms and Dead Leaves
To remove blossom, grasp stem firmly.
Remove blossom stem where it joins main stem.
Remove dead leaves regularly from base of plant.
Check plant's water needs regularly