Monday, 9 July 2012

Priscilla the Poinsettia

Last Christmas I was given an enormous Poinsettia. (Euphorbia pulcherrima in case you need to know.) Lovely! So Christmassy. I put it on the floor by the window and enjoyed it's cheery red colour.
But as January and February progressed, I got a bit tired of it. Christmas was over.... why do I still keep this messy Poinsettia around, dropping dead leaves on the floor and generally looking a bit tarnished?
It refused to die. Even when I went to England and didn't water it for three weeks.
It's been living outside on the deck ever since the snow melted. And thriving in spite of my lack of TLC.
And now it's producing flowers. Strange little yellow mouths accompanied by red blobs with antenna. They look like something from outer space.

This plant definitely has a will to live, so I'm being nice to it right now. But starting in October I'm going to be mean to it again, by shutting it in a closet in the dark for 12 hours a day. This should cause the red colour to return to the bracts or leaves around the crown of each stem. That's the plan.... I'll let you know if it works.


madretz said...

If you really want it to die (which i don't think you really want to do) you can send it to me and within a few days, i promise it'll be brown, wilted and struggling to survive. i can't keep a plant alive to save my life.

Hilary said...

I'm om the Madretz school of black thumbery. I'm glad your plant has such survival instincts.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

It is a Euphorbia and they need very little attention and very little water. BUT...if you DO put it in a closet in the dark---I believe it WILL die! They like lots of light, my dear...And is very happy where you have it....! If you really want it to die---And I hope you don't--The ckoset will probably do it.....Leave it where it is and see what happens!

Mark said...

I spent the first 18 years of my life in The Closet. No fun at all! But I like to think that I turn out okay too!
Good luck!

Rock Chef said...


Anonymous said...

It obviously thrives on your care! It looks very pretty though.

Ginnie said...

Don't you wish everyone had that kind of determination! :)

Xtreme English said...

that's one S C A R Y plant!!

Suldog said...

As you may know, I am a big proponent of keeping poinsettias alive.

Having said that, I've managed to kill two of them despite my most well-intentioned efforts. One lesson I learned is that poinsettias very easily acquire root rot if you give them too much water. They should be watered sparingly - just enough to keep the soil from being dust. They do love sun, but they will grow big and green and leafy if they have a light source. The only way they turn red is if they are deprived of light, so OK to put one in the closet (provided you don't totally neglect it, so give it water now and again, but remember that even the slightest bit of light breaks it from the cycle that brings the red leaves, so ONLY give it light when you water it.)

Good luck!