Shari Sagan McGuirk's Blog
Poinsettias are plants most often associated with Christmas, but you can display them indoors during any season. They are beautiful and can add color to your home. Poinsettia flowers come in pink, white, cream and red (which is the most popular). These flowers grow up to 18 inches tall, but to keep them looking stunning requires a substantial amount of attention.
Poinsettias initially are from Mexico and South America and were grown strictly for making a red dye and for medical use. The plant became famous and synonymous with Christmas in the 16th century. These holiday plants can be grown outdoors in your yard if your home is in a frost-free environment.
Poinsettias require a temperature of about 65 to 80F during the day and nothing below 60-degrees F at night to keep them healthy. The holiday flower does better in the sun, but if exposed to cold weather, the foliage will drop.
How To Care For Poinsettias
- Light and Temperature: Poinsettia plants like very bright but indirect light with ample moisture; these plants survive longer in a semi-cool and humid environment. Light is vital for growth and color retention.
- Water: It’s advisable to water the plants thoroughly every time the soil feels dry to touch. The plant doesn’t like water accumulation at its bottom. To avoid this, slit the bottom of the pot, if it’s in a basket, drain all water that might have collected.
- Fertilizer: The plant requires a well-balanced fertilizer like Peter's 20-20-20 until the plant attains its full color. Reduce application of fertilizer to ½ strength once whenever you water your plant.
- Temperature: Poinsettias like a warm room that ranges between 65-80-degree F in the day time and 60-65-degrees F at night. Avoid excess heat or cold, temperature generating appliances and fireplaces.
How To Maintain Your Poinsettia After Christmas
The holiday period is over; you want to have this beautiful flower in your garden. First, remember the plant likes a sunny environment with lots of water.
To transport from your pot into your backyard soil, remove all the branches and cut to about six inches of the pot rim. Use the same dirt from the pot container when you are transporting your plant to your backyard.
During the coming months, especially between September and November, light plays a vital role in poinsettia plant growth. It requires sufficient energy to produce flower and needs long periods of darkness at night to bloom out fully.
For the most success with your Poinsettias and any other flowers in your garden, have a reliable landscape specialist take a look at your home garden and recommend best practices.
20 Everett Paine Boulevard, Marblehead, MA 01945
20 Everett Paine Boulevard, Marblehead, MA 01945
Money is the root of many people’s stress and anxiety and it’s also the cause of many fights. But it doesn’t have to be for you. You may own a home now, but it doesn’t mean you should stop saving or that saving has to be a difficult undertaking.
Ideally you already have a robust emergency fund—this type of account is suggested by financial experts to have even before paying down ‘good’ debt such as student loans. This account is extremely important as you never know when or if that “rainy day” will come. The suggested amount to have in an emergency fund is six to nine months’ worth of income—and to be on the higher end if you own a home and have children. For instance, if you take home $3,000 a month, you should have $18,000 to $27,000 in your emergency fund. You should also consider whether it’s best to keep these funds in a regular savings account or a money market account.
Now that we’ve covered the importance of an emergency fund,let’s discuss how to keep saving—whether you are saving just to save or saving for a vacation, new car, or that fancy grill you’ve been eyeing.
Automatic deposit from primary income: If you aren’t doing this already then you should be. Automatic deposit is the easiest way to save money. Many places of employment offer this option, and if not your financial institution will. Automatically depositing money into a savings account (separate of the rest of your income) will force you to save. And if your place of employment offers this option then that money will never enter your checking account—out of sight, out of mind. If you must use your financial institution then have the automatic transfer occur on the day you are paid so the money is almost like it was never there for spending. Of course, this will be an adjustment if you are used to living off that money, especially if you just purchased a home. However, you can start small and work your way to a larger amount such as when you receive a raise or have other forms of incoming income.
Automatic transfer from checking to savings: Many financial institutions offer the ability to automatically transfer funds between your checking account and savings account each time you use your debit card. If your bank does not offer this opportunity there are apps for your phone that can easily connect to your online bank accounts and do the work for you. It’s a great way to save a small amount of money each time you swipe your card. And depending on how often you use your debit card, those savings could add up quickly. For example, you spend $25.33 at the grocery store and use your debit card to pay. Your bank (or app) will round that number up to $26.00 and transfer .67 into your account of choice. It’s too easy not to participate!
There are many other ways to be a better saver, but it’s best to start simple and small. Overwhelming yourself with how much you need/want to save and with many ways of saving, might cause the opposite to happen. Remember, you have a house to pay for and all the other expenses that come with it. Be conscious of your financial situation and be diligent with your savings strategy and you’ll be on the road to being a savings master.