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Gardening expert offers ways to make sure your Christmas tree is standing strong for the holidays

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MILWAUKEE -- Gifts for gardeners and a guide for those whose thumbs aren't quite green. Gardening expert Melinda Myers helps you keep your needles on your Christmas tree and put some presents under it.

Tips for maximizing the life of your Christmas tree

  • Make fresh cut
  • Keep your stand filled with Water - best way to keep tree fresh
  • Preservatives

Safely transporting your flowering holiday plants in cold weather

  • Wrap to protect from cold temperatures
  • Remove from sleeve as soon as possible - especially for poinsettias

Proper care for keeping holiday plants looking their best throughout the season and beyond

  • Fold down foil wrapper if needed to let light in
  • Water thoroughly as the soil slightly dries
  • Set on pebbles to elevate pot above excess water in saucer
  • Avoid drafts of hot and cold air

Alternatives to the traditional Poinsettia

  • Waxed amaryllis
  • Cyclamen
  • Kalanchoe
  • Christmas cactus
  • Spike moss
  • Mini trees
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Nortfolk island pine

Unique gifts for gardeners

  • Hummingbird glass feeders - use as decorations until spring arrives
  • Diffuser
  • Copper watering can
  • Diffuser with lavender essential oil
  • Eucalyptus lap blanket
  • Lavender wrap
  • Handpainted pots
  • Rain barreL
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