Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Basic Poinsettia Care

Happy Holidays from the Victory Garden! We have been busy with preparations for Hanukkah and Christmas, buying and wrapping gifts, party planning and entertaining, mailing holiday cards, and generally attempting to keep the house in order.

For the first time, I have purchased a poinsettia with gorgeous red blooms. I tend to see all holiday plants as annuals, for one season only, one and done. Being a newbie, I started with a bit of research. Poinsettias like bright light, so place in the sunniest location possible if placing indoors (but do not place close to a heater; it will dry out the plant). My poinsettia is outside my front door welcoming guests, where it gets lots of lovely sunshine from the southern sky. Although a winter plant, poinsettias will not tolerate overly cold temperatures, so in the event of a frost warning, please bring it inside for the evening. Do not over-water, water logging will make for one unhappy and potentially dead plant. I recommend a light drink two to three times a week, more of a splash than deep watering. I purchased this lovely specimen from my local Armstrong Nursery; the white pansies surrounding the festive flower is a nice touch. Some people like to plant their poinsettias after the holidays. While the plant will thrive in the Southern California climate, I don't recommend it. The plant will turn tall and leggy, unattractive except for its winter blooms. If you don't have the heart to toss it, place it outside, but keep it in a pot!

Scraggly poinsettia - this is what happens when you plant them!
Rumor has it that poinsettias are poisonous to both Fido and Fluffy. The ASPCA has debunked the death by poinsettia myth as false, however, keep out of the reach of pets since ingestion of the plant will lead to upset tummies and consequent fall-out.

May Sandy Claws bring you treats not coal . . .
. . .  And may your Hanukkah be filled with sacred light!

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