This month, millions of holiday-minded people will purchase poinsettias plants.

Alas! These plants can lose almost as much of their leaves within days.

With bare green stems underneath, the beautiful scarlet bracts look forlorn.

Temperature is the main reason leaf fall occurs. Temperatures below 15 C should not be allowed to touch poinsettias.

Nigel Colborn reveals how to keep your poinsettias happy by keeping it in the perfect temperature and watering regularly

Nigel Colborn shares how to maintain poinsettias health by maintaining the right temperature and giving it water regularly

Leaf-fall is possible even after a very brief time of low temperature, which can last for less than 10 minutes. It typically occurs days or weeks after the temperature drops.

You should never buy poinsettias at an outside seller. You should make sure that the plant is fully covered from the cold, even if it’s being moved from a warm place. While a paper cover will work, it is only temporary. 

Place your pot in the home by a double-glazed window, or some other warm location. 

You might consider moving the plant outside at night to a more warm part of your room. 

Make sure to water your poinsettias frequently.

Rhodoendron Simsii, the houseplant azalea of all rhododendron species, this Indian native is a small, slow-growing shrub, it could be yours for a decade or more

Rhodoendron Simsii is the houseplant azalea among all rhododendron types. This Indian native shrub can be yours up to ten years. It’s a slow-growing, small shrub that could last a lifetime.

The neat evergreen leaves are dark but non-glossy, making a perfect foil for the flowers

These neat, dark evergreen leaves make a great foil to the flowers.


Rhodoendron Simsii, an Indian native, is winter’s most attractive houseplant. It is a small shrub that can grow slowly and could last for many years.

They are a nice foil to the flowers, as they have dark and non-glossy evergreen leaves. These flowers can be found from midwinter until spring. They are available in a variety of colours, including single, double, and bi-coloured. The colours range from pure white to vibrant pink, and even some shades of crimson.

Leopold Astrid is my favorite, with white petals and pink edges. Make sure the plants are kept cool, well-watered and filled with ericaceous organic compost.


You still have time to prune ornamental shrubs or trees in winter. Pruning trees should be done only when absolutely necessary. The majority of trees do not require much more than trimming overgrown branches or the removal of damaged limbs. You can trim tree branches and shoots to near their base, but you should leave a small stump.

Cut flush can leave an open wound that could be susceptible to diseases. You should only prune shrubs in order to decrease their size. Only use fully-hardy and summer-flowering roses. Pruning spring flowering shrubs is possible right after their blooming.

Trees should only be pruned when necessary, and most need little more than a thinning of overcrowded branches or removing of damaged limbs

The tree should not be pruned more often than necessary.


If your holly tree is a female, you will no doubt be busy gathering branches to decorate Christmas. Be kind and remember the birds, so please share your berries.

Garden berries are a lifesaver for many birds, as winter can prove difficult. The holly berries are a favorite food of native thrushes, along with their cousins, redwings, and fieldfares. It is an enjoyable winter activity to watch these animals feed.

If the stems of cut holly arrangements are kept in water, they will last for a longer time. You can arrange greenery on tables in pots filled with water.

Share the holly berries: Winter is a difficult season for most birds and garden berries can be lifesavers. Native thrushes feast on holly berries, as do their relatives, fieldfares and redwings

Share the holly berries: Winter is a difficult season for most birds and garden berries can be lifesavers. The holly-berries are a favorite food of native thrushes, along with their fieldfares, redwings, and relatives.


In one of my flowerbeds, I dug through an assemblage of forgotten Narcissus bulbs.

These bulbs had a lot of root and were very overcrowded. Then I took out the individual bulbs and replanted them. What did I do wrong? They will flower next spring.

Mr E. Bailey

Yes, and no. Yes and yes. However, bulbs that have been cut in half will not survive. But the ones that are replanted will. The roots should be largely intact so that they will flower next year.

Bulbs can survive if they are damaged or accidentally removed. It was also a good idea to gently separate the bulbs before you replant them. These individuals will grow into new clumps over the years.

Planting daffodils or narcissus should be done deeply so that their tops are well below the soil. It helps avoid narcissus flies attacking bulbs.