Pointsettia
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Plants that keep on giving

POINSETTIA: Just a Christmas plant? Ha! Keep these guys in their containers, placed in a cool room with indirect light, for the rest of winter. Water only when the surface of the soil gets dry. When the weather turns warmer, move them outside to a bright spot protected from the wind. When leaves fade, cut the stems to about 8 inches and begin twice-monthly fertilizing. By summer, they will be ready to transplant into wider pots. Pinch new growth to keep a bushy form. Colored foliage will reappear in the fall. (Bryan Chan / LAT)
MINIATURE ROSE: So pretty in the store, so difficult to keep alive at home. Many of the miniature rose bushes sold in holiday arrangements at grocery stores have dim long-term prospects, whether kept indoors or transplanted outside. (Nursery plants are another story.) There are always exceptions, of course, but odds are that the cute little shrub with Christmas-red flowers is, for all intents and purposes, a disposable plant. (Bryan Chan / LAT)
AMARYLLIS: What you see in stores are usually HippeastrumÖ hybrids forced into bloom early for the holidays. Once planted outside, the flowers revert to their natural spring-flowering cycle. With a warm spot in the garden and enough water and food (say, once a month), you’ll have foliage year-round and blooms every year. Container gardeners should choose a pot that’s double the width of the bulb. Plant in coarse, fast-draining potting mix — the same kind used for cactuses. (Bryan Chan / LAT)
HYACINTH: One of Trader Joe’s holiday offerings is a festive red tin with three white hyacinths just starting to bloom. Hyacinths are a little trickier than some of the other bulbs. They need winter chill to perform well the following year. Two options: Put the plants in the ground while they’re still green, or wait until they fade, cut them back and keep them in a dry pot until fall. Then move them to the flower bed. In subsequent years, the blooms with be pleasingly less rigid. Spikes rise like teeny Christmas trees with bells. (Bryan Chan / LAT)
MINIATURE TREE: Though most are slow-growing conifers, the majority are sold unlabeled. Take a snippet to a nursery and ask for help identifying the species. That way you’ll know what kind of tree you have and how big it will get. Meanwhile, In the meantime, transplant it your living greenery to a good-sized pot. If it’s in a 6-inch container now, then try a 12- or 14-inch pot. Each year, increase the pot size by 4 inches or so. Kept in a pot, your living Christmas tree will be ready to roll into the living room next year. (Bryan Chan / LAT)
LILY: A no-brainer, really. Lilies don’t really go dormant. After they flower, plant them in rich, acidic soil that gets plenty of shade and water. As a general rule, they do well anywhere azaleas thrive. (Bryan Chan / LAT)
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