Robin’s Nest Monthly Gardening Tips

Robin’s Nest Floral & Garden Center – 9399 Ocean Gateway (route 50 Westbound between Easton Truck Center & Sharp Energy), Easton, MD 21601 (410) 822-8700

Ken-Do Attitude Article ~ January 2023
Happy Houseplants & Holiday Storage Hacks

A New Year is upon us, and so is a cold couple of months. Don’t let the winter darkness get you
down, though. There’s plenty of things you can do to stay busy until the sun decides to warm us
up again!

We don’t realize it, but plants collect dust. It’s important to dust the leaves of your houseplants
over the winter. Not only are your plants already receiving less light than normal, but if left the
dust will hinder the plants from being able to absorb the nutrients they need from light.
Microfiber cloths with a spray of mild soap and water, baby wipes or a feather duster work well.
However, if you want to truly pamper your plants, try using Leaf Shine to give them that extra
sheen – you can find some in our Greenhouse and Plant Barn.

Now is a great time to be sure that each of your houseplants are receiving the correct care.
Take some time to research your plants and their specific requirements. Some may require
more humidity, water, or sunlight than others, some may require less. Consider moving your
plants away from windows on exceptionally cold nights. Otherwise, you may risk cold damage.
Call or stop by Robin’s Nest with any plant questions!

It’s recommended that you move any cast stone or pottery to the garage or basement in order to
prevent damage during the cold winter season. If your containers are too large to move, cover
them up to prevent water from collecting in them or turn them upside down during the winter so
water will not collect, freeze and cause breakage.

For those that have a wood burning stove or a fireplace, storing firewood inside your home isn’t
recommended. Only bring in enough to burn at one time. Otherwise, bark and other
wood-boring beetles might emerge inside your home and wreak havoc on your houseplants.
Wood stoves are notorious for drying out the air in your home, which can harm some of your
plants. If you have a wood stove, make sure you’re adequately misting your plants that prefer
humidity. If you don’t want the hassle of having to remember to mist your plants, try placing your
pots in a tray full of pebbles and water so that the plants can absorb the humidity on their own
time; or simply run a humidifier near them.

If you have a Christmas Cactus, when the blooms begin dropping, pinch off the blooms and
begin a 5-week dormant cycle. Don’t water or fertilize for all 5 weeks. After this period, begin
bi-weekly feedings of Jack’s Classic 20-20-20. This should help your Christmas Cactus rebloom
in the Spring.

Holiday Storage Hacks:
Before taking down your decorations for the season, take a photo! Next year, you’ll be able to
look at the photo and know exactly where you put everything before. As you’re putting your tree
away, you may have a difficult time trying to tame it. If you have any old belts that aren’t being
used, wrap them around the tree and secure them. If your tree box is falling apart or you’re
looking for an alternative way to store your tree, we have tree storage bags available here at
The Nest!

When storing wreaths, try hooking them around a coat hanger and covering them with a dust
bag or trash bag. Treat wreaths with the same care that you give your favorite party dress — by
hanging it in your wardrobe or in the closet that you rarely use.

If you have any ornaments that are smaller in size, storing them in used egg cartons is an
awesome way to reduce your waste and reduce the amount of space that your ornaments may
be taking up. Other useful storage options include fast food beverage holders, red solo cups,
and coffee filters. If you have any extra shoe boxes or Amazon boxes laying around, those can
be used for bigger storage if you don’t want to buy plastic tubs. Don’t forget to label! Labeling is
one of the best things you could do to save yourself from a headache next holiday season.
When putting your lights away, after wrapping them up, use cable ties or craft pipe cleaners to
secure the lights together. This will streamline next year’s decorating, since you won’t be
wasting time wrestling with your lights trying to untangle them. Alternatively, you could wrap your
lights around a slab of cardboard. If some of your lights have burnt out, we have a large
assortment of replacement bulbs to choose from. At Robin’s Nest we’re here for all of your
Christmas light needs.

If you have a pond, use a deicer to prevent solid ice formation on the pond. This allows for good
gas and oxygen exchange between the air and water so fish can stay alive over the winter
Do not feed your fish until the water temperature is at least 50 degrees. Their metabolism shuts
down in cooler temperatures and food will not digest resulting in illness or death. Be careful to
keep all ice melting products and materials away from landscape plants. Builder’s or all purpose
sand is a good alternative to improve traction without damaging plants.
Spring may still be a couple months away, but slow-growing plants can be started now. Save
time later by planting parsley, thyme, tarragon, bedding geraniums, and sage indoors. Chives,
onions, and leeks are hearty enough to live outside before the last winter frost. Since they’ll be
ready to go relatively soon, start their seeds as well. Towards the end of January, there are
some seeds you should be starting indoors. Broccoli, cabbage, and cold crops can be started

Finally, always be sure to remove heavy snow from evergreens and shrubs as soon as possible
after a storm. Heavy snow or ice accumulating on the branches can cause serious damage.
Using a broom, brush in an upward sweeping motion to knock the snow off. If the plants are
coated with ice, don’t touch them and allow the snow to melt. Attempting to brush plants that are
coated in ice may cause breakage to the stems or the plant.
Thank you for reading. Stay safe & warm, friends!

Listen for Ken’s tips on the air Tuesdays & Thursdays (7:20am on 94.3 WINX-FM & 7:40am on 96.7 WCEI). Ken can be reached at Robin’s Nest at 410-822-8700.