by Master Gardener Ellie Samuel
During the winter, many gardeners bring nature indoors. There are a number of opportunities to brighten our indoor space with holiday blooms. And for a number of gardeners, bringing a tree indoors to decorate is part of their tradition. If you have pets or small children, always check for toxicity before bringing plants indoors.
Why not choose a live tree to bring indoors for the holidays? Make sure that you know its mature height and width as well as the variety’s outdoor needs (watering, sunlight, etc.) so that it can be planted in the right place after the holidays. There are many miniature and dwarf conifers from which to choose if your landscape cannot accommodate a full-sized tree. A miniature is a conifer that grows less than 1 inch per year and has a ten year height of 1 foot or less; a dwarf grows 1-6 inches per year and has a ten year height of 1-6 feet.
Four of the most common indoor holiday blooms include Poinsettias, Amaryllis, Narcissus and Cacti.
Enjoy the nature you bring indoors! For more information about the care of house plants, see The Common Ailments of Houseplants and the UC California Garden Web’s indoor plant advice. And, you can always call the Sonoma County Master Gardener Information Desk (contact info on our homepage).