Diagnosing Houseplant Problems
This Houseplant Problems site from the University of Vermont Extension Service has charts that can help you diagnose what's wrong, judging by leaf symptoms, flower symptoms, and overall growth. It makes the point that diagnosis requires close examination before jumping to conclusions.
Clever Gardening Technique
Decorating With Evergreen Boughs
To prolong the life of evergreen boughs used for holiday decorations, keep them outdoors out of the sun until you're ready to use them. You can place the stems in water if convenient, but some evergreens, especially holly, will try to grow once in water, and that can speed wilting and loss of color. Most evergreens will only look fresh for about two weeks indoors, longer if kept outdoors. For an outdoor decoration by the front door, insert boughs into a large winter-hardy planter filled with old soil or peat moss. Holly will turn black after it freezes, but other boughs will last a month or longer.