Getting Ready for Spring

Getting Ready for Spring - text on a colorful background


Spring is a magical time of year when the world awakens from its winter slumber and bursts into vibrant colors and scents. It’s also the perfect time to get your gardens ready for early season plants like pansies and spring bulbs. At our greenhouse, we believe that the key to a beautiful and bountiful garden lies in proper preparation.


In this blog post, we’ll share some tips on how to get your gardens ready for early season planting, including spring clean-up, adding new soil, and selecting the right plants. Don’t forget you can always come in and talk to our team of experts(link) to get the specific advice you need. This is especially important if you’re struggling with a specific issue like soil pH, or a pest infestation. Our team is here to help you get the most out of your growing season.



Spring Clean-Up


The first step to preparing your garden for early season planting is to do some spring clean-up. This includes removing any dead leaves, twigs, and debris that may have accumulated over the winter. Raking your lawn and flower beds is also important, as it will help to remove any thatch and allow air and water to penetrate the soil. Pruning your trees and shrubs is also a good idea, as it will promote new growth and help to shape your plants.


Removing weeds is another important task in spring clean-up. Weeds can rob your plants of valuable nutrients and water, and they can also spread quickly and take over your garden. You can remove weeds by hand or with a hoe, or you can use an herbicide if necessary. If you choose to use an herbicide, be sure to follow the instructions carefully and apply it when there is no wind.


Finally, you should rake up any old mulch or other organic material that may be on the ground. This will help to aerate the soil and allow water and nutrients to penetrate more easily.



Adding Soil


Adding New Soil

Once you’ve done your spring clean-up, it’s time to add new soil to your garden and flower beds. This will help to replenish the nutrients that may have been lost over the winter months and provide a fresh start for your plants.


Before you add new soil, it’s important to test the pH levels of your soil. You can do this by using a soil testing kit, which you can purchase at most nurseries or garden centers. If your soil is too acidic or too alkaline, you may need to add some lime or sulfur to adjust the pH levels.

There are several types of soil that you can use, depending on the needs of your garden. Here are some common types:


Garden soil: This is a blend of topsoil, sand, and compost, and it’s ideal for most gardening needs. Garden soil is nutrient-rich and well-draining, which is important for healthy plant growth.


Potting soil: This is a soilless mix that is designed for use in containers. Potting soil is lightweight and contains peat moss, perlite, and other materials that promote drainage.


Compost: This is a nutrient-rich material that is made from decomposed organic matter, such as leaves, grass clippings, and kitchen scraps. Compost can be used as a soil amendment to improve soil structure and fertility.


Once you have checked your pH and balanced it. You should add a layer of compost to your garden and flower beds. Compost is rich in nutrients and will help to improve the structure of your soil. You can either make your own or you can purchase it at a nursery or garden center.


After you’ve added the compost, you can add a layer of topsoil to your garden and flower beds. Topsoil is the uppermost layer of soil and contains a high concentration of nutrients. This will provide your plants with the nutrients they need to grow and thrive.


When adding new soil, it’s important to mix it thoroughly with your existing soil. This will help to distribute the nutrients evenly and create a healthy growing environment for your plants. Be sure to add enough soil to create a depth of at least six inches, which will provide a good root zone for your plants.



Early season plants sprouting


Planting Early Season Plants

Now that your garden and flower beds are ready, it’s time to start planting your early season plants like pansies and spring bulbs. Spring bulbs like tulips, daffodils, and crocuses are also a great choice for early spring. They can be planted in the fall and will bloom in the early spring, providing a burst of color after the long winter months.


When planting your early season plants, be sure to follow the planting instructions carefully. Pansies should be planted in well-draining soil and should be watered regularly. Spring bulbs should be planted in a location that gets plenty of sunlight and should be watered deeply once a week.


It’s also important to mulch around your plants to help retain moisture and keep weeds at bay. You can use a layer of straw, wood chips, or shredded leaves for this.


spring flowers


Here are some popular choices for early spring plants and flowers:


Pansies are a popular choice for early spring because they can tolerate cooler temperatures and can even survive a light frost. They come in a wide range of colors and can add a pop of color to your garden. Pansies are easy to grow and can thrive in containers or in the ground. They prefer well-draining soil and should be watered regularly. Pansies also benefit from regular deadheading to encourage more blooms.


Primrose is another early season plant that can add a pop of color to your garden. They come in a range of colors, including pink, purple, and yellow. Primrose is easy to grow and can thrive in partial shade or full sun. They prefer moist soil and should be watered regularly.


Tulips are a classic early season plant that is popular for their bright and bold colors. They come in a range of colors, including red, pink, yellow, and purple. Tulips are easy to grow and can be planted in the fall for early spring blooms. They prefer well-draining soil and should be watered regularly. Tulips also benefit from regular deadheading to encourage more blooms.


Daffodils are another classic early season plant that is popular for their bright yellow blooms. They are easy to grow and can be planted in the fall for early spring blooms. Daffodils prefer well-draining soil and should be watered regularly. They also benefit from regular deadheading to encourage more blooms.


Crocus is a low-growing plant that is perfect for adding a pop of color to your garden. They come in a range of colors, including purple, white, and yellow. Crocus is easy to grow and can be planted in the fall for early spring blooms. They prefer well-draining soil and should be watered regularly.


Hyacinth is an early season plant that is popular for its fragrant blooms. They come in a range of colors, including blue, pink, and white. Hyacinth is easy to grow and can be planted in the fall for early spring blooms. They prefer well-draining soil and should be watered regularly.


In addition to the plants mentioned above, there are many other early season plants to consider for your garden, including violas and snapdragons. These plants can add color and interest to your garden, and they are easy to grow and care for.


When selecting early season plants, it's important to consider the amount of sunlight and shade in your garden. Some plants require full sun, while others thrive in partial shade. You should also consider the amount of water your plants will need and whether they prefer well-draining soil or soil that retains moisture.


In Conclusion

In conclusion, selecting early season plants is an important part of planning your garden. By choosing plants that can tolerate cooler temperatures and can even survive a light frost, you can ensure that your garden looks beautiful throughout the spring season.


Consider plants like pansies, primrose, tulips, daffodils, crocus, and hyacinth when planning your early season garden. With a little planning and care, you can create a beautiful and thriving garden that will provide enjoyment throughout the spring season.


Come by Warren Greenhouses and speak to one of our experts to get the plants and supplies you need to prepare your flower beds for a long growing season. By putting in a little extra work, in the early spring, you can set yourself up for whole summer for easy growing.



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How to care for your holiday Poinsettia

Poinsettia blog banner with text

A classic holiday gift to bring to the family dinner or a party with friends, poinsettias are a traditional part of North American Christmas celebrations. Right beside Elf on the Shelf, popcorn strings and twinkle lights, poinsettias are fan favorite décor, with their red and white leaves or bracts, tying nicely into the colour pallet of the holiday season. And like any good tradition they have a good story.


The first United States Minister to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett is attributed with introducing the plant in the 1820s to the US. As such, the English name, Poinsettia, pays homage to his introduction. Native to Mexico and Central America, the Euphorbia pulcherrima, are a perennial woody shrub and can actually grow up to 15 feet tall in their tropical environment. Today they are grown all over the world, with 4.93M produced in 2021 in Canada alone. In the US, over 70M poinsettias are sold over a 6-week period.


colorful poinsettias


As colourful as the rainbow

From creamy white, to pink and bright red. Some breeders have even got creative with patterns in combining the white with red, pink, green and even orange! Garden centres have gotten in on the act too, spray painting cream-colored varieties with blue or purple, and occasionally sprinkling with a little holiday glitter.


The poinsettia market has become so robust there can be up to 100 different cultivars to choose from. Some old favorites and fun new options include:

  • Christmas Eve: With pure red flowers and a long colour season, this is the traditional poinsettia we know and love.

  • Alaska White: A pure white option that compliments the Christmas Eve so well over the holidays.

  • Red Glitter: A mix of speckled cream and bright red with glossy dark green leaves.


4 quick facts

  • The plant will change color or “bloom” with shorter winter days.
  • Their flowers are really what’s known as bracts, which look like petals, with the tiny yellow flowers in the center, called cyathia. 
  • Poinsettias grow best in moist soil and temperatures between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius.
  • Poinsettias are not poisonous for pets or children, but the sap may cause dermatitis and should not be eaten.

Now that you understand the lay of the poinsettia land, let’s take a look at some basic care instructions.



close up of poinsettia


Caring for your poinsettias



Place your poinsettia near a bright window facing south, east, or west where it will get at least six to eight hours of light. Although the plants can survive with fewer hours of light, they won't be as vigorous or as long-lived. Be aware that exposure to direct sunlight can burn bracts and leaves and a lack of adequate light, can injure the leaves causing premature yellowing and leaf drop.



You should saturate the soil completely until water runs through the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot anytime you feel the soil is dry to the touch. Be careful not to let the plant sit in water which can lead to root rot. If your Poinsettia came in decorative foil, as they often do, poke some holes in the bottom to allow excess water to drain away. Overwatering is the quickest way to kill a poinsettia. Pay attention if the leaves are wilting, this is a common sign of overwatering.


Temperature and Humidity

As mentioned above, the best temperature range for the plant is 18 to 21 degrees Celsius. Avoid placing poinsettias where there are temperature fluctuations like cold drafts, fireplaces, heat ducts or space heaters. Poinsettias will suffer damage if they are exposed to temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius.

Lack of humidity particularly in the winter can be a problem for poinsettias, like most houseplants. If your home tends to be dry, consider a small space humidifier to increase humidity levels in the area and surrounding your poinsettia with other plants. 



Over the holidays your poinsettia does not need to be fertilized. This is their blooming period. If you plan to keep the plant throughout the year start fertilizing at half-strength when you see new growth, leaves, stems or bracts. You can use an all-purpose household plant fertilizer. Continue to feed every 3-4 weeks to keep the plant healthy and bolster nutrients for new growth.



If you’ve decided to keep your plant going all year and you’ve made it to May, you should transplant your poinsettia into a larger container, roughly about 2 to 4 inches larger than the original pot. Be sure to use a good soil mix that has organic matter such as peat moss and choose a pot that has good drainage.


Or if you are past frost, you could plant it in a part-sun garden bed. Ensure your location has a well-drained soil that gets 4 to 5 hours of sun every day. Just like that indoor pot mix, you’ll need to add organic matter like peat moss or compost into the soil. This will help with soil moisture and help out the roots.


Not matter what location you choose, indoors or outdoors, be sure to soak the poinsettia thoroughly after transplanting.



Annual reblooming

It is possible to keep your poinsettia going all year and have it rebloom, but it’s not for the lighthearted and requires specific care. The following process assumes you do not plant it outside and you’ve been watering it well since the holiday season.


Early Spring

  • Slowly decrease your watering and let the soil dry out in between. If you notice any shriveling in the stem it means stress and your plant is dying.
  • If the poinsettia manages to survive the drying process its time to find it a new place in your home. You want it somewhere cool like the basement or heated garage.
  • In a week or two, when the plant has acclimated to this drying process, move it to a cool spot, such as the basement or a heated garage with a temperature around 15 degrees Celsius.



  • Time to follow those transplanting instructions we talked about earlier. Cut the stems back to about four inches and get a slightly bigger pot filled with new potting soil.
  • Give it a good watering and place near the brightest window in your house, aiming to keep the temperature close to 18-21 degrees Celsius.
  • Water whenever the soil feels dray and keep an eye out for new growth.
  • Once new growth starts, it’s time to fertilize every two weeks.



  • Summer times means outside. Partial shade, partial sun is ideal. Same watering and fertilizing schedule applies.
  • To avoid growing a tall spindly poinsettia, in July pinch back the stems by about one inch. This will help grow a stout, well-branched plant.
  • Before the end of August, the stems should have grown and produced lots of leaves. Pinch or cut new stems leaving three to four leaves on each shoot. Then it’s time to bring the plant back indoors and near your brightest window.



  • Once October comes think of hibernation. Poinsettias need darkness to rebloom. For approximately 10 weeks, with 12-14 hours of complete darkness.

Put your plant to bed each night from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. If it’s exposed to any light this will delay the blooming process.


When we say light, we mean all light, including artificial light. Use an opaque box or other material to create a dark space. A closet will not suffice if when you open the door the plants see light.


Place the plant in front of its sunny window during the day and continue watering and fertilizing.


November and December

When Christmas lights are starting to appear in your neighborhood around the last week of November, it’s time to let those poinsettias sit by the window all day and night. Flower buds should start to appear. Stop fertilizing in December and treat your plant like when you first received it last year. If you’ve been diligent, your poinsettia bracts should start to have colour.


beautiful poinsettia


Poinsettias can be tricky

While beautiful and complimentary to your well decorated homes, these plants can experience some common problems with both their leaves and roots.


Yellow Leaves

A poinsettia under stress will have its leaves develop yellowness around the veins or turn completely yellow. Here are a few causes of yellow leaves:


  • Over-fertilizing
  • Overwatering
  • Not enough light
  • Temperature is too cool
  • Not enough magnesium or molybdenum - an essential trace mineral
  • Potting mix is too acidic
  • A powdery mildew is appearing on the leaves, meaning the plant needs fungicide.


Brown leaves

Brown spots or leaves can mean the poinsettia has a canker or is suffering from root rot. To try and save the plant, cut off any infected parts and transplant the remaining healthy parts of the plant. Get a clean pot and new soil, while applying a fungicide to the poinsettia for protection.


Leaves falling off

This is not a good sign and usually means the plant will die. When leaves fall it means that a cankar or root rot is well established from being underwatered, overwatered or overfertilized. If only some leaves are falling off, the plant might just need some more light.


Take care and enjoy

Poinsettias are beautiful and unique plants that require a lotta love if you want to keep them all year around. Or you can simply keep the poinsettia on your holiday shopping list and enjoy!


colourful area holding many poinsettias


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Sheila Holm
Name: Sheila Holm
Posts: 1
Last Post: May 11, 2023