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Garden & Horticultural SocietyBeautifying Richmond Hill since 1914

Gardening Tips

Gardening Tips began in September 2020 as a weekly collaboration with OnRichmondHill.com. Email recommendations for future gardening tips to GardeningTipsRHGHS@gmail.com. 

Society members may click Add Comment following any article, and post comments such as adding more retrospective, agreeing with the contributor, or even suggesting a correction. 

  • April 15, 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Did you make too much for the Holidays?  It sure happened to me at Christmas and now with the multiple holidays coming this weekend and throughout April, I want to be prepared for the avalanche of leftovers!

    Last week we looked at making TV Dinners and this week from the leftovers soon to be in your fridge. I’ve named my leftover technique that I’ll discuss this week, MIX and MATCH meals!

    Mix & Match Meals: Although I still make TV dinners, I tend to make more of what I call Mix & Match Meals. That means I freeze each food item I want in a meal separately.  That way, I can mix and match every meal. 

    For the meats: When I cook my infamous Thai chicken thighs, I’ll cook 12 to 16 of them!  Then after I eat my initial meal, I freeze 2 of them in each freezer bag as 1 meal for myself. Chicken thighs work well as they don’t tend to dry out as the white meat does. Tonight, I pulled out a package of chicken wings from the freezer for my main.  I had cooked a complete tray of 26 wings originally ensuring they were not overly cooked. I used some for the first dinner and then froze the rest in a small tray from which I took 7 for tonight’s dinner. Simply defrost for 3 minutes at 30% power in the microwave, then put in the toaster oven at 3500F for 10 minutes.

    For the vegetables:  I already have multiple vegetables individually frozen from my garden’s harvest last fall so I can take out what I need for 1 meal. Right now, I have 1 large bag each of green beans, broccoli, and cauliflower. My brussel sprouts just didn’t do well enough this year else, I’d have a bag of those on hand as well. I also have about 20 bags of squash for 2 in the freezer, 20 bags of zucchini cut in 3 ways, and 20 or so bags of pasta sauce for 2.  Of course, you can buy bags of frozen veggies if you don’t have a garden. They taste good if frozen and don’t have the added salt found in canned veggies. Since I like mashed potatoes, I can make a lot and freeze them into 1 or 2 meal pouches with my handy-dandy vacuum sealer for freezer usage. Potatoes can take some time to cook so if you have to make them get the water boiling on the stove to boil before you start to peel them. By the time you’ve peeled, the water will be boiling and you are on your way. Be sure to cut the potatoes into smaller pieces, or use those wonderful ‘baby” potatoes by boiling them for 10 to 15 minutes.  Having a bag of French fries, onion rings, or deep-fried zucchini sticks in the freezer is also a good idea for a quick dinner.

    Here are some mix and match meals, I might “pull out and heat up” for a quick dinner:
    - Chicken thighs, roasted potatoes, squash
    Chicken wings, baked wedges (or fries) of potatoes, and some raw veggie sticks.
    - Chicken parmesan, pasta with homemade sauce on it
    Roast beef, mashed potatoes, zucchini
    Ham slices, scalloped potatoes, honey glazed carrots
    A chicken breast, boiled potatoes halved, broccoli, and cauliflower
    Pasta with homemade sauce then quickly fried hamburger. Mix all together and sprinkle shredded parmesan on top.

    This list can be as long as your imagination.  Taking some time to sit down and consider what you’d want on your plate at a deli or home, allows those combinations to come to mind.  Then next shopping trip, make sure you buy some of those desired sides and the main course!

    Note: This article is part of a series on Freezing Foods.  Below are links to other articles in this series.
    - Too Many Vegetables from your Garden? Read this article
    - More Veggies to Freeze.  Read the article
    - What else can you freeze? Baked Goods! Read the article
    - Cooking with Intent to Freeze: Read the article.
    - Be Prepared for Holiday Leftovers:  TV Dinners. Read the article.

    Article by Doreen Coyne, a member of Richmond Hill Garden & Horticultural Society

  • April 08, 2022 8:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Another set of Holidays is fast approaching and many of us will be making large family dinners again. This past December when we celebrated, many friends reported to me that they’d made far too much food and had “tons of ham, lamb, and turkey leftovers.” This can happen to any of us and not just at holidays. Family birthdays and getting together with friends can also be a source of too many leftovers.  It sure happened to me at Christmas and now with Easter coming, I am prepared for the avalanche of leftovers!

    Maybe these ideas will help you deal with all your leftovers as well. Today we will consider TV Dinners and next week, we’ll look at “MIX and MATCH meals”!

    TV Dinners:  Large meals prepared with the idea of many relatives and friends joining you for the holiday is a prime time to think about TV dinners.  And when it isn’t a holiday, cooking for one or two people isn’t much fun so I tend to make food for the “family” and then freeze the remaining portions for future meals!  Besides, the “dinner for one” meals in most grocery aisles are mainly pasta. I can buy larger trays of fresh meat at a lower cost and then use them to make nutritious, less costly frozen TV Dinners. 

    When I was a kid, my mom would save aluminum food trays. She’d even ask her friends to save them for her. Today you can actually buy these trays for 1 usage or as reusable trays.  These each typically had 4 spots in them. Some had 5 with one of those for desserts; but, I prefer the 4 spot trays. Nowadays you can buy those kind of trays!  And in a pinch, I use the rectangular black plastic dishes that most Chinese take-out restaurants use. They can even be put into your dishwaster although not in recycling.  So why not give them a more useful life.

    Mom made TV dinners so she’d have a quick, healthy meal for us kids when Dad was working the afternoon shift and wouldn’t be home for dinner.  In one spot would go mashed potatoes with gravy; in the next, slices of meat sometimes with gravy on them as well.  The two others were typically used for vegetables.  My sister and I helped prep the cooked food to use as individual servings and then formed an assembly line in the kitchen to fill the dinner trays. Once they were filled, we’d simply wrap them in tin foil, label them with a date and the contents, and place them in stacks in the freezer. Sometimes I got to make the labels by writing on masking tape. Here are some examples of meals that we’d build and freeze:

    • Turkey slices, mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing, and green beans (or corn or peas or mixed veggies.)
    • Ham slices topped with a slice of pineapple, scalloped potatoes, roasted Brussel sprouts, and a mix of carrots and peas.
    • Chicken pieces, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans, and a mix of cauliflower & broccoli.

    Enjoy your larger family meals and make great use of the leftovers for healthy, less expensive meals in the following months!

    Note: This article is part of a series on Freezing Foods.  Below are links to other articles in this series.
    - Too Many Vegetables from your Garden? Read this article
    - More Veggies to Freeze.  Read the article
    - What else can you freeze? Baked Goods! Read the article
    - Cooking with Intent to Freeze: Read the article.

    Article by Doreen Coyne, a member of Richmond Hill Garden & Horticultural Society. Photos from Amazon.ca shipping browser.

  • April 01, 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    If your backyard has become your dog’s potty place then you likely have lots of yellow or brown spots in it. This is both annoying but also doesn’t let your yard look BBQ nor party ready!  One colleague ended up replacing her lawn due to this issue.

    Why does the lawn turn yellow or brown?
    Dogs instinctually do their business in the same area each time, and repeated exposure to dog urine kills the grass. Dog’s urine is naturally slightly acidic (6 to 6.5). However, the dry kibble most dogs eat alters the pH of their urine, causing it to become alkaline.  This shift in pH is one reason why dog urine can cause brown spots in your yard.  Another contributing factor is that dog urine contains a lot of nitrogen, which fertilizes plants in small amounts. However, in large or concentrated amounts, excess nitrogen chemically burns plants including grass turning them yellow or brown.

    This is why it’s not uncommon to find yellowish-brown dog urine spots ringed by lush, green grass: the grass that got hit directly with urine died, while the grass that only received a little exposure got fertilized.  Salts and trace minerals from dog urine can also build up in the soil over time, contributing to dead spots.

    How to fix the problem.  There are several ideas which you can read below but if you do more than one, you can multiply their effectiveness.

    1. A new way to stop the PH effect from your dog’s urine. DOG ROCKS is a relatively new product and is available at Pet Value, PetSmart, and Amazon. I’ve included a photo so you know what you are looking for. 

    Dog Rocks are made from naturally occurring paramagnetic igneous rock mined in Australia, and provide a 100% natural solution to urine burn patches on the lawn, shrubs, and box hedge. Dog Rocks do not affect the pH balance of your dog's urine and are safe for all household pets. Rather, Dog Rocks work like a sponge, absorbing excess nitrates and other trace elements from your dog’s water that causes urine to burn the grass.  You just place 200 grams of Dog Rocks into a half-gallon of water, then use that to fill your pet’s water bowl.  They’ve been laboratory tested and are safe for your pets. Within 3-5 weeks, you should start to notice a change in your lawn’s appearance and new urine patches should not appear. If they do, verify that your pet’s water bowl is their primary source of water!  This is being used with great success by our member Debbie.

    2.  Change your dog’s diet.  Dogs are naturally carnivores, and their bodies are designed to subsist primarily on meat which makes their urine acidic.  But if the pH is normal, dog urine will fertilize the lawn and shouldn’t cause any problems. However, if a dog is fed a diet with more grains or carbohydrates (found in many brands of dry dog food), the pH balance shifts and the urine becomes alkaline which will harm your grass. 

    Feeding your dog a diet of fresh or canned food and reducing or eliminating dry dog food with potatoes, grains, or other carbohydrates should ensure their urine is more acidic and less likely to cause burn spots.

    3. Dilute the nitrogen. Spray water on the dog’s special potty areas. By washing down the lawn after your dog does her business, you will dilute the nitrogen and salts in the urine, preserving the life of your lawn.

    4. Train Your Dog to use one specific spot! Although it does take some time and effort, dogs can be trained to do their business in a specific part of the yard, away from the grass.  Another dog-loving friend, made a special area in an in-ground planter edged with 6x6s just for his dog. The dog loved it as it had some nice plants in it providing him with some shade and a little privacy. 

    5.  Take your dog for a walk every time he needs to use the facilities. At least it keeps him away from the yard more and it could help improve your fitness level as well

    6. Increase your dog’s water intake.  By encouraging your dog to drink more water, you can dilute the potency of the nitrogen in the urine.  This will make the pee less damaging to your grass. It won’t stop the brownish-yellow spots but can help if used in conjunction with some of the other methods mentioned.

    In summary, if you get desperate you could install a dog run (or even an entire yard) with artificial grass. Same attractive appearance as grass but is not affected by dog urine. This allows you to let the dog out to run or play or just to get fresh air – all within an area in which he can’t ruin real grass!  My friend used this with suggestion three after a few years making his designated dog potty area stain resistant.  By the way, nowadays artificial grass or turf has a 100% permeable backing allowing the urine to pass through into the soil so no concern re puddling unless you are putting it over an area of clay soil that already has puddling issues. 

    Submitted by Debbie Coleman and Doreen Coyne, members of the Richmond Hill Garden & Horticultural Society

  • March 25, 2022 8:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Coffee grounds are a good source of micronutrients such as nitrogen, magnesium, copper, calcium zinc, manganese and iron for your soil.  
    A good way to use used ground coffee is as a mulch around plants.  Do not throw the grounds onto the garden soil in thick clumps or layers; as they will clump and form a surface that is hard for water to penetrate.  Best to sprinkle the grounds over the surface in combination with other mulches to stop it from forming a crust and allowing the nitrogen to be worked on by microbes in your soil.  In this way, the nitrogen will gradually be converted into a form that plants can take up and use.  You may consider coffee grounds, another effective slow-release organic fertilizer.

    Coffee grounds are not overly acidic as most of their acid is lost while the coffee is brewed. Their acidity is about 6.6, which is good for most vegetables.

    Be aware some plants don’t do well with coffee grounds – especially tomatoes, peppers, eggplants – for them, use powdered eggshells. (See the article on Saving Eggshells)  

    You can also add the coffee grounds to a compost heap where their relatively high nitrogen content can add to your compost.  Coffee grounds can be used to help balance out other compost such as fallen leaves, straw or shredded paper.  Its small particle size means it’ll start to get to work immediately.  The microbes will break down the nitrogen into the plant-available form you need while generating heat to speed up the whole decomposition process and quicken your compost goods to be ready as compost sooner.

    Worms love coffee grounds too—it aids their digestion.  If you have a worm bin, this is also a great ingredient to add along with your other ingredients.

    Not a coffee person?  You can use tea leaves or tag bags as well. But beware, some teabags contain plastic particulates, so if you’re going to add the whole bag to your compost, switch to a brand with fully biodegradable bags. Or simply remove the grounds from the bag before adding it to your compost.

    BTW: You can also recycle banana peels for your gardening.
     Read the article


    Submitted by Doreen Coyne, a member of the Richmond Hill Garden & Horticultural Society.  Base photo without words
     by Andrea Tummons on Unsplash

  • March 18, 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This article discusses how banana peels can help your plants grow.  Banana peels are a relatively good source of potassium, as well as some other micronutrients such as calcium. But the value of these nutrients is often exaggerated. Some recommend soaking banana peels in water for several days to make a nutrient-rich tea for usage on plants. But it won’t be as strong or effective as you might hope.  Even drying out banana peels and turning them into a powder doesn’t make a great soil additive.

    The best thing you can do with banana peels is to add them to your compost heap, where they will—like other compost ingredients—rot down to release their nutrients into the final, crumbly compost.

    When adding banana peels, make sure to remove any labels. And to speed things up, cut them up into smaller pieces. Banana peels are a good addition to the compost heap because they do rot down fairly quickly typically in a matter of weeks.

    Submitted by Doreen Coyne, a member of the Richmond Hill Garden & Horticultural Society

  • March 14, 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As gardeners prepare their gardens for the winter, they are also thinking and planning for next year. If you are planting tomatoes or similar veggies such as peppers, eggplant, summer squashes, and melons, you must remember that they need Calcium!

    Some people who have planted tomatoes might have seen some of their harvest with blackened and rotted bottoms. The distinctive appearance of affected fruits and veggies is that of a circular blackened, slightly sunken rotten spot on the bottom (blossom end) of the fruits. The top of the tomato looks completely normal, but when you pluck it from the vine and turn it over, the black lesion is visible. This is referred to as “Blossom End Rot.” It means certain vegetables, including tomatoes have been both slightly stressed and have a lack of calcium. You can help its stress by properly watering and weeding. And you can avoid it not having enough calcium, by supplementing the soil naturally. Try these steps which I do in my garden every year.

    • During the winter months, I have a container under the kitchen sink and collect eggshells. Now and again, I crush them a bit.
    • In the spring, I take those eggshells that I put into the container and place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. I then cook that at low heat in the oven for a few minutes, or in a microwave on high power for at least 10 seconds. This will sterilize the eggshells; thus, killing any salmonella that may be there.  I do not rinse the eggshells as this will wash away some of the organic matter from the shell which you want to keep.
    • In the spring before I use the eggshells, it is best to crush them thoroughly. This increases their surface area. Or for even better results, it is best to grind the eggshells into a fine powder using a pestle and mortar, a high-speed blender or a coffee grinder. Get one just for this purpose from a thrift store or garage sale.  Calcium within an eggshell is locked up as calcium carbonate, making it unavailable to plants as it is. Grinding it up into a powder turns it into a form that plants can more readily use.  So now your eggshell powder is a slow-release source of calcium - released over several months.
    • When I’m planting my tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, I toss some eggshell powder into the hole that I’ve dug for the new plant.
    • I then plant the vegetables in the hole, deep up to the first leaves, pressing firmly on the soil.
    • Finally, I sprinkle more eggshell powder over the surface of the beds and then I water the new plants or seedlings.

    If you are planting tomatoes and don’t have many eggshells saved, make a quiche or breakfast strata this weekend!

    An afterthought – other good uses for calcium ladened powdered eggshells:
    Calcium helps promote the production of healthy cell walls, so this eggshell powder will help your next season’s crops. Its high calcium content will also be great for leafy greens like kale and cabbage.
    If you have a wormery, worms can easily ingest powdered eggshells, and it serves as a grit to aid their digestion and general health. And what do healthy worms mean? Better compost and better soil. 
    -
     If you don’t have a worm composter, add them to your general compost pile to help the worms that have moved into it.  They’ll enjoy the eggshells and produce better compost for you.

    Submitted by Rahe Richards, a member of the Richmond Hill Garden & Horticultural Society
    Photo credit: SavvyGardening.com

  • March 04, 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Leek is a great vegetable to grow. Although it can be expensive in the store; it is easy to grow. It has a milder taste than onions and can be used in soups and stews.

    Early March is a good time to start your leek seeds as they benefit from a long growing season.  Seed them indoors in plugs or even a  salad container. You can use the kind you get some veggies or salad in from the grocery store – clear plastic with a closable lid.  Keep the lid on until sprouting as it keeps the moisture in.

    Once the leek is growing, add diluted fertilizer every week or 2 with the watering. Leeks are heavy feeders.

    When the soil is thawed out in April and your leek have grown pencil thick, it is time to transplant outdoors.  Dig a trench about 6 inches deep and plant in a row 6 inches apart. As your leek grows, hill up the leek so it will have a nice white stalk growing (add soil from both sides about 1 inch at a time to give leek sunlight.) If you plant leek closer together, harvest them initially by thinning your rows.

    Instead of seeding indoors you can also use the mini greenhouse method. Use a big plastic jug. Make enough draining holes in the bottom. Cut the jug horizontally in half, keeping the side with the handle attached. Fill with potting soil and seed your leek. Then tape the top half to the bottom with duct tape and remove the cap. This jug be placed outside in a sunny location. The leek will start growing when the weather is thawing. Then transplant in April or May as with the indoor grown leek.

    Submitted by Greta Van den Bossche, a member of the Richmond Hill Garden & Horticultural Society

  • February 25, 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    With the deep snow fall we have had recently - and there may still more come - I found it difficult to take my kitchen scraps to my composter in the backyard. Instead of throwing the scraps in the green bin, I started composting in my garage!  Here’s how I did it:

    • I lined a large rubber bin with plastic. Try using a large black garbage bag as black helps composting go faster.
    • Then I hand shredded some newspapers and stored them in a box beside my lined rubber bin.
    • When the small recycling container under my sink fills up, I take it to the garage and put the food scraps in the bin. Then cover them with some shredded newspaper. The recycling container goes back under the sink where it can gather more scraps.
    • In the spring, I’ll take everything in the “interim” composter (i.e. the lined rubber bin) and add its composting scraps and shredded newspapers to my normal backyard composter.

    So far, it is working like a charm! And I’ll be able to put the scraps to good use as compost for my gardens this spring and summer.

    Submmitted by Rahe RIchards,  a member of the RIchmond hill Garden & Horticultural Society

  • February 18, 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Last year we started to place our seeds into the little pellets. We got ours when our Society was selling them but you can get them at nurseries, Walmart, and even local Dollar stores. Indeed, the one I got, was a mini greenhouse in that you put the seeds in the pellet and put that into the tray that came with the package. Then you water all the pellets and place the lid on them.  This created a self-watering unit that we placed near the window. Easy to use and no need to water for several weeks. It’s an inexpensive “seeding greenhouse”. This year, we’ll just need to buy the pellets. Or simply put soil in the sections in the tray and put the seeds in those.

    It worked. The seeds sprouted and grew. However, by the end of April they were already a good size; however, we still had another month before we could grow them outdoors. I wasn’t into replanting each of the seedlings into bigger containers; so, the seedlings got leggy which means they grew long stems to push the branches up higher in order up to get more sun. That kind of plant is weaker and typically can not withstand the outdoors too well as the longer main stem weakens the plant. So how do I avoid that this year? 

    After thinking about ways to avoid this issue, I had some ideas and suggestions from fellow members. 

    • One thought is to put them under grow lights. Remember that the stems grow longer to get the leaves nearer the light. So, if you move your plants closer to the proper light, or indeed put them under a grow light, then instead of getting leggy, the entire plant will grow proportionately and be larger seedlings by your planting date. My friend did this but because the seeds were planted so early ended up with fully grown plants in their living room by early May! Actually, that was really just a short term space problem as the plants looked excellent once moved outdoors!
    • The other idea is to plant the seeds closer to the date that the seedlings need to be planted outdoors. This idea is more appealing to those without space for another shelving unit with grow lights.  Let’s take a look at how to do this.

    Calculating the date to put seeds into the pellets.

    If I look at each package of seeds, they’ll tell me how long they take to grow.  Using that as the time to plant outdoors, then I can count backwards on the calendar to see when those seeds should be planted indoors.  Of course, each seed type and variety has a different growing time, so I’ll need to make a list of which seeds to plant in the pellets each day.

    I grew up in Leamington, ON and we always planted our seeds outdoors on the May 24th weekend.  But I find that Richmond Hill isn’t quite as warm as Leamington was then, so I think it is a good idea to start about a week later for your calculations in case the May 24th weekend is still a bit too chilly to plant the seedlings outdoors.  It is easier to start them a week later than to wish you had!  Of course, by May 24th, I actually mean the Victoria Day long weekend which is not often actually on May 24th.  In 2022, Victoria Day is a Tuesday so I’d hope to plant on May 21, 22 but more likely will be planting on May 28 and 29.

    As an example, if my tomatoes seeds take 50 days to germinate, then looking at my calendar I should put the seeds in their pellets by April 8th to ensure that they will be ready for the ground on May 28th. 

    Doing these things should make my seedlings stronger and ready to be planted and turned into wonderful flowers and vegetables!

    Submitted by Doreen Coyne, a member of the Richmond Hill Garden & Horticultural Society

  • February 11, 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    My newer Christmas Cactus has purple leaves!  They’ve turned from a green to a purplish red. Weird but attractive.  I wondered why as overwatering didn’t seem to be an issue.  But I also wondered if they could ever turn green again!  If yours are turning purple – even a bit – consider that they just finished blooming for Christmas and most will bloom again for Easter.  So now is the time to fix the issue.    

    Why do they turn purple?  I started looking for advice and as many of you might do as well, I asked Mr. Google.  Oftentimes, a purplish tint to your Christmas cactus leaves is normal. That said, if it’s noticeable throughout the leaves, it may signal an issue with your plant. Seems there are 4 main reasons why Christmas Cactus turn purple. Who would have guessed? They are stress, nutritional issues, crowded roots, and temperature issues.

    Stress – Just like us, Christmas Cactus can get very stressed out!  Turning purple is the plant's way of responding to environmental stress. Succulents, agave, and aloe varieties also turn reddish, burgundy, or purple when exposed to stress.  And if you catch this early, you can likely stop further colouring. What causes these plants to be stressed?  Several things –

    Nutritional issues – If you don’t fertilize your Christmas cactus regularly, the plant may be lacking the necessary nutrients. Feed the plant monthly from spring until mid-autumn with a general-purpose fertilizer for indoor plants. Additionally, because Christmas cacti require more magnesium than most plants, it normally helps to provide a supplemental feeding of 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of Epsom salts dissolved in one gallon of water. Apply the mixture once every month throughout spring and summer, but do NOT use the Epsom salt mixture the same week that you apply regular plant fertilizer.

    Crowded roots – If your Christmas cactus is rootbound, it may not be absorbing nutrients effectively. But they do like crowded roots so don’t repot them unless it has been in that pot for at least 2 to 3 years. If it needs repotting, it is best to repot in the spring so your time to do this is coming!

    Temperature Issues – They sometimes turn reddish-purple when their roots overheat or guess what? They also can turn red or purple when they get too cold! Move them to avoid placing your plant in extreme temperature conditions. So don’t put it near a fireplace, heater, fan, cooling or heating vent, nor a drafty window or a door that is frequently opened.  And a good thought – don’t plant it in a black plastic planter which will overheat as it absorbs the sun’s rays in the summer.  Perhaps try a light-coloured clay pot. My mom made special African violet clay pots - she did ceramics, and taught, pottery and ceramic classes. The pots are 2 pots really – one rounder one to hold the water and one like a deep pie dish with ruffled edges to hold the plant with its soil. You put water in the bottom one and then put the pie dish one back into the one with water.  If you see one of these, do get it for your African violets. These plants do require bright light during fall and winter, but too much direct light during the summer months may also be the reason for Christmas cactus leaves turning purple on the edges.

    Will they ever return to green leaves?  This was my second question and I couldn’t find anyone who had a positive answer.  If the leaves are just starting to turn purple, then it seems they could return themselves to normal green leaves by following the notes above. If they are more than a little purple, at least following the notes will stop further colouring. But if they are totally purple, no promises are made.  Experts hold out a small glint of hope that the plants could at least improve in health and not die if you reduce their stress. 

    Bottom line. Purple Christmas Cactus are attractive and unique, and a healthy plant is better than no plant; so, I’ve started to repot and relocate my purple Christmas Cactus! It's now 3 years old!

    Article and photos by Doreen Coyne, a member of the Richmond Hill Garden & Horticultural Society

Member of the Ontario Horticultural Association

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