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Were you gifted a flowering plant for the holidays? Here's how to keep some hardy ones blooming

Pink christmas cactus flowers
Karen Black
If you received a flowering plant as a holiday gift, it might continue to bloom and grow indoors throughout the winter. Some holiday plant varieties can even be replanted outdoors in spring.

Some holiday flowering plants can last through the winter and even be replanted outside next spring. Others just aren't hardy enough to survive outdoors here but you can enjoy their blooms indoors for a bit this winter.

If you received beautiful potted plants as presents this holiday season, depending on the variety, with proper care they can last all winter and you can even replant outdoors next spring.

Certain varieties of attractive flowering plants may not be viable long-term indoors, though, and especially outside.

If you received a dwarf campanula or hellebore, you're in luck. These are nursery plants forced to bloom for the holidays. These hardy plants can be grown as houseplants afterward and eventually planted in your garden outdoors.

The same can't be said for florist azaleas, florist hydrangeas or lemon cypress trees, though. Although these are showy holiday plants, none are hardy in our area.

You can try to grow them as a houseplant and force them back into flower next year, but it's pretty tough to do. After you've enjoyed their blooms and they've faded, these particular plants are probably good candidates for the compost.

Rosemary and lavender plants, however, should keep for a year, perhaps a bit longer. Grow them in pots indoors and move them outdoors in spring. Then enjoy them in your gardens until fall and bring them back indoors to overwinter.

Q: My African Violets are looking very wilted. I only water them once a week and have re-potted them using African violet soil recently. Their lower leaves are looking very limp and wilted. Can someone help? - Judith, in Morrisville

A: This might be a matter of overwatering. African violet plants are rather finicky.

Try watering them on a regular, once-a-week schedule during the growing season (from spring to fall) and then in the winter months, back off on watering a bit.

Repotting with fresh potting soil was a great idea and if only the plant's lower leaves are wilted, your plant might be just fine.

Just in case, take some small cuttings from the leaves, dip them in rooting hormone powder then put the cuttings into a pot with moistened potting soil and they will root readily. This way, you'll have some back-up violets, just in case.

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Mary Engisch is the host and reporter for Weekend Edition Saturday and Weekend Edition Sunday on VPR.
Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally recognized garden writer, radio and TV show host, consultant, and speaker. Charlie is the host of All Things Gardening on Sunday mornings at 9:35 during Weekend Edition on VPR. Be part of the fun and send your gardening questions here, for Charlie to answer on the air. Plus, find lots of great gardening tips and information for all seasons here. For more gardening information, check out Charlie's website, Gardening with Charlie Nardozzi. Charlie is a guest on VPR's Vermont Edition during the growing season. He also offers garden tips on local television and is a frequent guest on national programs.