Joel In The Garden

Taking care of Christmas trees and poinsettias

Taking care of Christmas trees and poinsettias »Play Video

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COBURG, Ore. — Many people have already decorated their trees and plants for Christmas, but there's no reason those plants can't last for a few days longer.

Experts say there are proper ways to care for your trees and plants.

Not far from Coburg, Vern Johnson's festive halls are decked out with more than a dozen varieties of poinsettias in colors of all kinds. And while they're typically a nice accent piece on the holidays, these tropical plants can easily outlive the holiday.

“If it's properly cared for, it can go actually year-round as an indoor plant,” Johnson said. “But I — just for fun — take one up in May and show it at our register.”

Caring for a poinsettia isn't too difficult. Johnson said to keep it properly watered.

“A poinsettia detests being dried out,” Johnson said. “That's the worst thing you can do.”

Even though they're not poisonous, Johnson said it's a good idea to keep the plants a safe distance from pets and any heat sources.

“They don't like cold drafts like near a door that opens or closes, by a heater vent that blows on them or wood stoves. Wood stoves can be very hard on them,” Johnson said.

A heat register can also do a number on your Christmas tree if you're not careful.

“It could be pretty dangerous to put a tree close to a heat source. A humidifier could help the tree stay fresher a little longer as well,” Alby Thoumsin said. Thoumsin works for Sperry Tree Care in Springfield.

Thoumsin said trees will lose even more moisture through their needles the longer they sit in a lot. 

“If they buy from the lot, maybe make a fresher cut,” Thoumsin said. “You'll have a better connection with the water than to put it underneath the tree.”

And Thoumsin says so long as you keep adequate water under the tree, it should stay green beyond Christmas. You can also add a cup of lemon-lime soda, such as 7-up or sprite, to your tree water to keep it looking fresh through Christmas. The tree likes both the citric acid and the sugar.