Friday, November 30, 2012

Making a Poinsettia Last

My seven year old Poinsettia
I always believed it was inevitable.  You had to throw out the Poinsettia's when the holiday was through.  They weren't suppose to last beyond the festive season.  As my enthusiasm for growing anything facilitated I decided to the possibility of giving this doomed plant a shot for a longer life. 
My 2nd Generation Poinsettia
It was my second Christmas with my husband, and the first in our new home.  That sentiment made me even more determined to cherish the memory by holding on to the first Poinsettia he brought home to me.  I know that I had often heard Poinsettia's do not tolerate a lot of sunlight.  I decided to put mine in the one bay window of our house that got the most direct light.  It took off with a bolt. 
Not only did I discover that these beautiful plants do well with direct sunlight, they require constantly moist soil.  I found that if the soil became dry the leaves fell off very quickly.
The plant become so large I opted to try my had at growing another one.  Talk about an easy task. I carefully cut some strong ends from my plant and placed them in a large pot I had blended with compost. I placed the plant in another window filled with sunlight.  I carefully watered it and checked the growth every day until new foliage began to appear.  Now I have a second generation poinsettia that is out growing it's current container.

As the holiday approaches I removed the Poinsettia's from the direct sunlight.  As you can see as a result of reduced daylight the plants are beginning to obtain their festive red coloring.

I know I will need to thin my original plant down again this year.  I'm certain I will start another plant to pass on to my daughters.  It's a pleasure to know this memory will live on and be shared with a new generations to come.