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Hoya Houseplant
Hoya Hanging Basket
Hoya are available in many different varieties.
Flowers grow in umbels usually with many flowers per umbel.
Trailing Hoya varieties can be trained to grow up and around structures.

Hooray for Hoyas

Hoyas are tropical plants with thick, leathery, leaves and small clusters of star-shaped, fragrant flowers. Often referred to as wax plants due to their thick, waxy leaves, this low maintenance houseplant comes in a variety of leaf sizes, colors, shapes & textures.

Hoya blooms are just as diverse as their leaves and are available in many colors, sizes and forms depending on the species of Hoya. Flowers grow in umbels (a flat-topped or rounded flower cluster in which the individual flower stalks arise from about the same point), usually with many flowers per umbel. Some bloom in the first year & others take a few years to establish before they bloom.

These semi-succulent, vine plants love to send down trails of leaves, so they are often seen in hanging baskets. Even a plant novice can be successful growing a Hoya plant, which are, for the most part, very easy to grow. Basic requirements include well-drained soil, warmth and lots of humidity. Here are a few general guidelines for caring for a Hoya, but as always, talk with one of our houseplant experts for detailed care for specific Hoya varieties.

Light the Way:
Hoya plants don't tolerate much direct sunlight, however they do require very bright light in order to bloom. Place your plant in an east-facing windowsill where it will receive sunlight for about three hours in the early morning and bright, indirect light for the rest of the day. Hoyas will live in low light but may not bloom.

High and Dry:
Water soil thoroughly, but wait until the top one-third to one-half of the soil is dry before you water the plant again. Be sure to use a pot with drainage holes and empty the drainage tray. Use room-temperature water, since cold water can shock them. In winter, water sparingly giving the plant just enough to keep the soil from drying out completely.

Food for Thought:
Low-maintenance Hoyas don’t require a lot of fertilizer, but you can fertilize if you want it to bloom better. Use any general-purpose houseplant fertilizer and follow the directions on the packaging.

Flower Power:
Keep your plant slightly pot-bound, since it is more likely to bloom if its roots are a little crowded. Hoyas usually flower during the spring or summer, although some types can bloom sporadically throughout the year given the proper conditions. Don't move your plant after it has begun to set buds or it may drop them.

Keep it Neat:
Hoyas are fast-growers, so you can prune back long vines if you prefer to keep it compact. The best time to prune is early spring before Hoyas start their most vigorous time of growth. And, don’t pinch or snip off the spent flowers, as the short and leafless stems on which they appear will produce more flowers in subsequent years if they aren't broken off.

Keep it Warm:
Remember, Hoyas are tropical plants, so you don't want to keep them in extremely cool temperatures. Try to maintain the room where you have your plant located at a temperature of at least 50 degrees.

Click here to see Hoya varieties.

On the Front Door
As a Centerpiece
In a Bedroom
In the Kitchen
On a Mirror

Holiday Wreaths, Not Just for the Front Door

When it comes to holiday decorating, wreath, fresh or faux, are a timeless symbol of the holidays. And, while wreaths can usually be found decking the front door, there are countless other ways to integrate this holiday staple into your yuletide decorating. Here are few simple and delightfully unexpected ways to decorate with wreaths:

Hang Them Up High - Hanging a wreath is easy but turning it into a stunning chandelier is a great way to take your holiday decorating to new levels. Take an ordinary fresh or faux wreath and wap it with ribbon and bows and hang your favorite ornaments for a unique Christmas piece for your living room or dining room area.

Let Them take Center Stage - Centerpieces are a big part of holiday decorating but can be time consuming and expensive to make. Turning an ordinary wreath into a stunning table-top display is easy. Incorporate festive ribbon, metallic ornaments or tuck a few red berries in and around the wreath. Or add a subtle glow to the table by placing a hurricane lamp with a candle in the middle of the wreath. Go a step further and fill a glass container with cranberries and water and add a few floating candles. It’s a simple yet beautiful way that will set the right mood for your holiday celebration.

Now’s the Time - Wreaths are an excellent way to add seasonal style to everyday items. Give a wall clock a holiday makeover by covering the frame with an evergreen wreath and take the ordinary to extraordinary.

Light the Way - Giving your side table or nightstand a festive touch is easy. Simply lift a lamp, place the wreath on the table, and set the lamp directly in the center of the wreath. Now you have a quick and easy accent for every room in your home!

Bring Them Indoors - Wreaths aren’t just for outdoor use; they can make a great addition to indoor rooms as well. Create a cozy, festive feel to a living room with a wreath above the fireplace mantle or give your wreath some depth and hang it directly in front of a mirror in most any room. For something unexpected, place a wreath on the wall directly behind the bed in a guest bedroom to help get your guests into the Christmas spirit! And, while you’re at it, add one in the master bedroom, too.

Don’t Forget the Kitchen - The kitchen is the heart of the home especially during the holidays. Adding small touches of Christmas decorating in this otherwise unchanged space is a fun way to dress-up the area. Add wreaths to a breakfast nook, on cabinets, to the back of chairs and open walls, or place smaller wreaths on kitchen window. And, don’t forget about the kitchen island.

National Poinsettia Day 2018
Red Gltter
Winter Rose
Ice Punch
Traditional Red

Celebrate National Poinsettia Day

It's December 12th, and that means it's National Poinsettia Day! The poinsettia is one of the few flowers of North America that can claim its own day thanks to Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. It is Roberts who is credited for bringing this beautiful traditional Christmas gift to our land. And it all happened like this: Ambassador Poinsett was on a diplomatic mission to Taxco, Mexico. The year was 1828. Admiring the tropical environment, he became entranced with the plant’s beauty, its medicinal uses, and its artistic applications by the natives of the region. So enamored was the ambassador that it was one of the first things he brought back to the United States.

The plant proved to have a major impact on not only Christmas in the USA, but agriculture, for many years to come. Because of its important role in the celebration of Christmas and its beautification to America, Congress set December 12th each year as National Poinsettia Day. The good Ambassador would be amazed at what started as simple cuttings from Mexico have become. According to USDA, poinsettias are the number one potted plant grown in the nation! Here’s a few of our favorite poinsettia varieties:

Winter Rose - similar to the traditional red poinsettia but with a twist. This unique variety has puckered, down curling leaves and bracts that resembles a large, open rose. Perfect for the traditionalist who likes an edgy touch.

Picasso - speckled with tiny dots of red and white resembling tiny brushstrokes on the leaves. If you’re looking for something outside the box this season, then Picasso is the one for you.

Ice Punch - a nice mixture of pink-red with a pale pink in the center. This variety features brats that are pointier than most. Ice Punch works well as a statement piece on its own or several grouped together.

Red Glitter - features red bracts covered in white speckles and splashes. For those who are looking for something fun and but classic at the same time.

Traditional Red - you can't go wrong with this showy holiday favorite. Nothing conveys the joy and spirit of the season like this Christmas classic.

Poinsettias are easy to keep beautiful and blooming throughout the holidays and beyond as long as you follow a few simple tips:

  • Avoid exposing the poinsettia to freezing conditions. Do not leave it in the car while you finish shopping. Take it home and place it inside the house as soon as possible after purchasing it.
  • Place your poinsettia in a spot with bright natural light, but do not expose it to direct sunlight.
  • Do not place your poinsettia in an area where it will be exposed to drafts, heat from appliances, radiators, or ventilation ducts.
  • The color of your poinsettia will last longer with temperatures around 65 degrees F during the day and 60-65 degrees F at night.
  • The soil should be kept moderately moist; check every few days and water when the soil feels dry to the touch. Before watering, remove the pot covers or foil wrapping; water to saturate the soil, and then allow the pot to drain. Do not let the plant sit in standing water.
Pink Frost
Shooting Star
Monte Christo
Cinnamon Snow

Hellebores, the Cold-Weather Bloomer

There are few shade perennials that can compete with the seasonal interest of hellebores. Also called the Christmas Rose or Lenten Rose, bloom-time often coincides with the Christmas holidays. This hardy perennial offers beautiful blooms all through the dreary days of winter and into early spring. Hellebores features blooms with five petaled, cup-shaped flowers with dark green foliage that makes for a beautiful back-drop. Available in a variety of colors from white to pastel-yellow to pink and purple, this intriguing perennial is without a doubt the star of the winter landscape. And, throughout the summer the deep green foliage creates visual depth and interest in the landscape, too. This low maintenance plant is drought tolerant but will also thrive in moist, well-drained soil. And did we mention that hellebores are deer resistant. Not only will they grace your table with beautiful cut flowers, they'll provide color in your landscape at a time when there virtually is none. Here are some of our favorite stunning selections:

Pink Frost (Heritage Gold Collection) - a blend of white, pink, and deep rose on upward-facing petals - unusual for a hellebore. Burgundy stems support leathery leaves with a silver frosting. This upright grower blooms winter to early spring and is happy in beds, borders, or containers. Plant in part to full-shade.

Frostkiss Pippa's Purple - oodles of outward-facing, purplish-pink flowers overtop foliage that is mottled and veined with pink and silver, mellowing to mint on dark green. Pippa has a winter bloom-time and is ideal nuzzled into beds or containers. Plant in part to full-shade.

Shooting Star (Heritage Gold Collection) – dusty-rose buds open to white flowers that fade to sage-green with dark-red stems. Blooms winter to early spring and is right at home in beds, borders, and pots. Plant in part to full-shade.

Monte Christo (Heritage Gold Collection) – creamy blooms tinged with a peachy-rose-blush. Foliage is blue-gray with red stems. Blooms winter to early spring and is the perfect perennial for beds, borders, and containers. Plant in part to full-shade.

Marlon (Heritage Gold Collection) – large, cream flowers that mature to green on cinnamon-colored stems surrounded by deep-green foliage. This compact grower blooms late winter to spring and does best in beds, borders, and containers. Plant in part to full-shade.

Mahogany Snow (Heritage Gold Collection) – large, creamy with light-pink petals that age to a soft mahogany-pink. Mahogany Snow blooms winter to early spring and fits perfectly into shady beds, borders, or containers. Plant in part to full-shade.

Gold Collection Cinnamon Snow (Heritage Gold Collection) – large, creamy-white flowers blended with rose and cinnamon hues and cinnamon-red on the flipside. Foliage is deep green. This winter-time bloomer is well-suited for shaded beds and borders. Plant in part to full-shade.

Jacob (Heritage Gold Collection) - smooth, dark green foliage with crisp, 2 to 3-inch white flowers that mature to a pink and rose color in cool temperatures and turn light green in warmer climates. Stems are a rich burgundy highlight by dark green foliage. Blooms in winter and performs well in beds, borders, and pots. Plant in part to full-shade.

Jesko (Heritage Gold Collection) - large, pure-white blooms maturing to pale yellow-green with deep green, leathery textured leaves. Jesko is a compact grower and blooms in early winter. Perfect planted in pots, or in a shady spot in the landscape. Plant in part to full-shade.

Photos courtesy of Skagit Gardens