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Traditional, bright-red poinsettias are a popular holiday decorative plant. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
November 2, 2015 - Filed Under: Houseplants

We all knew it was going to happen sometime.

That change in the seasons is an inevitable event as we move into the later months of the year. But I’m not referring to the time of year when we start planting all of the gorgeous cool-season bedding plants like pansies, violas and dianthus. The change I’m talking about is from Halloween to Christmas; it seems like it happened overnight. Maybe it had something to do with the time change, that whole falling back that also occurred this past weekend.

Poinsettias, which are known in their native Mexico as Flores de la Noche Buena, or Flowers of the Holy Night, may be the perfect Christmas plant. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
November 24, 2014 - Filed Under: Houseplants

Although it seems like Christmas decorations have been in the stores since Labor Day, what really tells me it’s beginning to look like Christmas is when the poinsettias hit the garden centers.

Poinsettias may be the perfect plant for the Christmas season. In their native Mexico, the poinsettia’s bright red flowers of are known as Flores de la Noche Buena, or Flowers of the Holy Night, as they bloom each year during the Christmas season.

Jim DelPrince, a professor in Mississippi State University's Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, surrounds himself with tropical plants on display in the greenhouses at Dorman Hall on Dec. 4, 2012. DelPrince recently published a textbook for college and university courses on interior plantscaping -- using green and flowering plants and trees in indoor commercial and residential spaces.
December 6, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Houseplants

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Plants can increase a person’s productivity, and a Mississippi State University floral design expert is smiling about his new textbook on using plants in interior spaces.

Jim DelPrince, a professor in MSU’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, spent five years developing a textbook on “interiorscaping” -- using green and flowering plants and trees in indoor commercial and residential spaces.

The yellow flowers of this kalanchoe will last for weeks. Although the individual flowers are small, they are numerous enough to create a splash of color for winter enjoyment. (Photo by Lelia Kelly)
February 18, 2010 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Houseplants

This time of year can be hard on gardeners. The weather is nasty and we’re all closed up inside the house getting more irritable by the minute.  It’s time to liven the mood with a blooming houseplant.

Check out your local garden centers or even the grocery store’s florist department for a cheery blooming azalea, Reiger begonia, cineraria or kalanchoe. Once you bring yours home, there are a few things you can do to get the longest cheery impact.

Neoregelias bromeliads will look great in a home for about four months. They are grown for their exotic foliage.
November 30, 2006 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Houseplants

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Poinsettias, cyclamen and kalanchoes rank as the most popular plants for decorating or gift-giving at this time of the year. This year, consider another plant that is readily available at most garden centers and florists: the bromeliad.

When I mention bromeliad, what is your first thought? Is it of a finicky, hard-to-grow tropical? Do you think it might be impossible to get it to rebloom? If those are your impressions, I want to help you reconsider.

November 21, 2006 - Filed Under: Community, Houseplants

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A carpet of red poinsettias and other holiday plants will great visitors on Dec. 1 at Mississippi State University’s annual horticulture open house.

Poinsettias in all shades of red, pink and white, as well as a few novelty-type plants, will be on display from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the greenhouses on Stone Boulevard behind Dorman Hall. Poinsettias also will be on sale at the greenhouses.

A red poinsettia placed in a container with the white-flowered Diamond Frost gives the impression of the red poinsettia sitting on a bed of new-fallen snow.
November 21, 2006 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Houseplants

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

This year's poinsettia crop is without a doubt the best I have ever seen, and as usual, our growers are on top of the curve in quality, variety and innovation.

In late summer, I told many of you via television and newspaper articles about the hot new Diamond Frost euphorbia. This is a tough-as-nails plant that produces hundreds of tiny flowers and is related to the poinsettia.

August 31, 2006 - Filed Under: Houseplants

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A video conference on Sept. 26 will help participants learn the value of plants for improving indoor air quality.

The two-hour conference will begin at 10 a.m. in locations around the state. Contact county Extension Service offices for local availability.

Kerry Johnson, area horticulturist in George County with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said the concept for the conference started as a Master Gardener effort called the 4-H Fresh Air Project.

This lilac painted poinsettia can add to your Christmas decorations, then with some extra care, can still look good for Easter. Try it with some pink eggs underneath or surrounding white Easter lilies.
December 15, 2005 - Filed Under: Houseplants

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

I just placed a poinsettia in my living room called Orange Wonder. It is incredibly beautiful and what I tell you about it will most likely stretch your poinsettia comfort zone a little.

This Christmas cactus is beautiful outside on a warm winter day, but most of the time these dependable holiday plants brighten up special areas inside the home.
November 4, 2004 - Filed Under: Houseplants

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Plants can make memorable gifts for the hard-to-buy-for person on anyone's list this holiday season. Unlike many other gifts, plants are easy to shop for, come in colors and sizes to please almost anyone, and can last for years with proper care.

Plants make good planned or last-minute gifts because they are so widely available. You can pick them up in nurseries, garden centers and florist shops.

Satsumas like these perform well in containers and are known for their cold tolerance and great taste.
November 4, 2004 - Filed Under: Houseplants

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Last week I had the opportunity to help with a plant auction at a field day in Lucedale. One of the plants that caught everyone's fancy was a fruit-laden Improved Meyer lemon. In fact, it went for a pretty price. I wanted it, too.

Mojo's Gem and Illumination offer the gardener great creamy-gold and green variegation on a vigorous groundcover or vining plant that will hang gracefully from a basket or cascade over the rim of a mixed container.
July 22, 2004 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Houseplants

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

One of the hottest plants for container gardens is the old-fashioned vinca. Maybe I should not say old-fashioned because the popularity is coming from selections like Illumination and Mojo's Gem.

It seems like it was only yesterday that the word vinca brought to mind the Madagascar periwinkle, now known botanically as Catharanthus, the common periwinkle we use as a groundcover. Now we look at the common periwinkle as a hot, new plant for large, mixed containers.

In all but the extreme southern coastal Mississippi, the bougainvillea will have to be treated as an annual or grown in a container for protection during the winter. They bloom easily in containers and can be kept pot-bound for a long time.
July 8, 2004 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Houseplants

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

When the intense heat of summer sets in, we often find it is tropical plants that explode with color around the home. One of the most floriferous is the bougainvillea, which has hundreds of almost-iridescent-colored flowers.

These colorful flowers are actually three bracts, or modified leaves, and surround a small white or yellow tubular flower. This tubular flower is a delight to the darting ruby-throated hummingbird that will come to feast on the nectar.

November 13, 2003 - Filed Under: Houseplants

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- More than 80 poinsettia varieties will be on display during Mississippi State University's annual horticulture Christmas open house from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Dec. 5.

The free event will take place in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences' greenhouses behind Dorman Hall. In addition to poinsettias in shades of red, pink, white and novelty colors, the open house will feature educational seminars, displays and door prizes. The horticultural student clubs will sell poinsettias, pecans, wreaths and garlands.

Winter Rose
November 6, 2003 - Filed Under: Houseplants

By Norman WinterMSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Known today as the most popular Christmas plant, poinsettias long ago were called Flores de Noche Buena (Flowers of the Holy Night).

Christmas cactus
December 2, 2002 - Filed Under: Houseplants

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

If you want a Christmas or holiday plant that will easily re-bloom every year, then the Christmas cactus is unbeatable.

The cacti in my office are living and blooming proof. Although I have had them for several years, they are abandoned for weeks on end during the spring and fall garden season. If they get water or any other light sitting in a north window, they are lucky.

November 18, 2002 - Filed Under: Houseplants

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The holidays would not be the same without colorful poinsettias decking the halls and rooms across this country.

A native of Mexico, poinsettias were first brought to the United States by Joel Poinsett, an ambassador to Mexico in 1825. Once known as Flores de Noche Buena (Flowers of the Holy Night), most people know them by color, not variety. The colorful parts of the poinsettias are modified leaves known as bracts. The true flowers are the small yellow buttons in the centers of the bracts.

Kalanchoe is a member of the family known as Crassulaceae.
December 17, 2001 - Filed Under: Houseplants

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Cnter

Kalanchoe, one of the most beautiful holiday plants in the world, is showing up at garden centers everywhere. A native to Madagascar and Africa, kalanchoe will certainly display its outstanding features in many Mississippi homes this holiday season.

Plum Pudding
December 10, 2001 - Filed Under: Houseplants

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Trends toward richer colors during the holiday season may be one reason Plum Pudding, a new maroon poinsettia, will be in demand this year. Excelling in consumer and grower trials, this beauty also is sure to delight lots of Mississippi State University fans who still want to show their school colors during the holidays.

December 4, 2000 - Filed Under: Houseplants

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Long ago they were called Flores de Noche Buena (Flowers of the Holy Night), but today we know poinsettias as the most popular Christmas plants. Christmas is loaded with legends and stories like the Little Drummer Boy and the origin of the poinsettia.

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