12 January 2010

But wait, there's more! What to do with your poinsettias in January

It's the same thing every year. We decorate our homes for the Christmas season with garland and bows, greenery and flowers, including the venerable, charming and somewhat cantankerous poinsettia.

Now the tree is down, the decorations put away, and there's nothing left of the Christmas baking except that fruitcake from aunt Shirley that you've been regifted seventeen times in the past five years. And the poinsettias. WHAT should you do with them? They're living plants, after all, they were so lovely during the season, but now, they're getting a little moody, dropping leaves and bracts, feeling the weariness of having been rushed into growth and then subjected to less than ideal conditions for living.

Well, my favourite floral designer and plant buff Neville MacKay gave me an excellent piece of advice back in November, and I put it into play just the other day for one of my plants, that's been needing a bit of a tonic.

Members of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Poinsettias and Other Annoying Christmas Plants (SPCPOACP) might want to avert their eyes now.

"Come January," Neville said breezily, "I just put the poinsettias outside on the deck for some fresh air for a few days. It works every time!"

Yes, yes, it does.

One down. Three more to air out in the next few days.

Bwah ha ha ha ha.

Post written by jodi (bloomingwriter) who is NOT a member of SPCPOACP

30 comments:

  1. This is definitely a very good idea. I used to wonder what will happen to the poor drooping poinsettias after the festive season is over. Jodi, my latest post on Trailing abutilon is dedicated to you, my first commenter for my previous post. This is double happiness for me because you happened to be my first commenter for 2 consecutive times. May you have many many more wonder years of blogging and I really look forward to reading your posts.

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  2. Thou are a genius Jodi..... evil, but a genius just the same! Now, what suggestion have you for an Amaryllis that had outstayed its welcome, red beastly that it is?

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  3. I didn't even get one this year. Now those blue sparkly ones looked kinda fun but then I end up wearing the sparkles till June.

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  4. That is too funny, and as soon as I realized that it was going to be about Poinsettias, I was thinking to myself. Put them out in the snow.

    And you did, this is too good to be true. Hate them, with a passion.

    Had too many thousands of them in my life.

    Jen

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  5. Murderer ! All you need is a warm rosy grow light :-) I keep mine alive and then plant them out in the garden where they grow into a small shrub.

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  6. Wow, that's kind of... well, that's one method of "dealing with them". Tough love!

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  7. I have to say floral designers are twisted. At the flower shop where I used to work, when customers would ask how to care for them (after Christmas) we would say, expose it on the hillside. I like the fresh air comment better, will file it away for next Christmas.

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  8. You must have read my mind!
    BUt I can't I thought...but isn't it pay me now or pay me later, actually?
    out they go....soon

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  9. This is hilarious...and quite an effective approach. I've been passing the buck for a few years - I'll buy one for my place early in December - and then travel with it to Virginia and leave it there (so I'm not responsible for the looming carnage).

    SPCPOACP made me laugh. A few years ago the lab organized 'PETPA' - people for the ethical treatment of plastic animals. The lab had a few token 'lab rats' - the plastic variety - and one of the graduate students 'kidnapped' one and threatened to torture it - and PETPA came to the rescue. I think the rat ended up on a beach in Tahiti (at least, that's where we got it's last postcard...). At least we didn't put it outside for a few days....brrrrr.

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  10. Its quite a good pc of tidbit on Poinsettia's.... Somehow we seem to loose ours potted Poinsettia during the july-aug monsoons period, due to excessive water logging leading to stem rotting. Howver, they do well thru the Winters n Springs, while summer is harsh on the foliage. I have to get myself another pair of these lively plants this winter again.

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  11. Ha! Perfect! Now I won't feel I have to pretend it was an accident - LOL!

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  12. Jodi .. I don't think this will work on the fake ones will it ? LOL
    I haven't had one in the house for a few years .. the girls would hang off the ceiling light to get to it (cleaning cat fur off that area .. well you know what I mean .. the dust bunnies become saskwatch size ?) I think it is good closure for saying GOODBYE to the Christmas season ? harsh but final .. till next year ? ;-)

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  13. Perfect solution, Jodi! I did the same with the orchids that were not chosen to live inside the greenhouse this year. They are still in their baskets, outside, getting that nice crisp fresh air. :-)
    Frances

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  14. Positively sinister, you are! :)

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  15. I've also done what Carolyn gail does: nurture them through the long hard winter, then in the spring plant them among my other lovelies in the flower garden where I can conveniently forget to transplant them back into the house in the fall ~ Oops! It does resolve a bit of a sticky wicket though...and it's absolutely painless and guilt-free for the plant and for me! :]

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  16. Brilliant! And I loved that evil little laugh at the end.
    Cindee

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  17. LOL! I might have well followed that sound advice rather than trying to baby one all summer and then trying to get the lousy thing to bloom this winter.
    Sounds like the best way to treat them. ;-)

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  18. Oh, that is so very funny. I always groan when people ask me how they can take care of their Poinsettias until next Christmas. I think I will recommend your method ;-)

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  19. What great advice, Jodi! I wish I had heard of this method before all those years I spent trying to make increasingly leggy and ugly, foliage-only pointsettias do something interesting. A few years ago, I switched to decorating with cyclamen at Christmas. They are very happy living in my cool, sunny front window after the season is over. -Jean

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  20. I love it! I've done this before with other plants I didn't know what to do with. Thanks for a good laugh :)

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  21. Missing something here. If you all hate them, whyever do you buy them?? Why don't you buy a plant you LIKE?

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  22. Giggle. I like poinsettias, Elephant's Eye..I like them a lot. But they are difficult to nurture through to successful flowering/bract formation the next year, without the proper amounts of light, etc. So I just enjoy them for a couple of months and then send them to the compost heap, and buy new ones next Christmas. Sort of like we do with annuals out in the garden. They're just indoor annuals to me.

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  23. Ha Ha Ha, the best bit of advice I know, and I did something similar with two hideous Strelitzia I was bequeathed some months back, I just had to wait for the snow to be white and crisp and even on the deck! For the real freshness of the air to take affect!
    The Gardener x

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  24. Hillarious!!! I chucked mine straight onto the compost heap

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  25. Who knows what evil lurks in the pots of... no, wait, that's something else. Thanks for showing that this tip also works on poinsettias. I have a fuschsia airing out on the deck as we speak.

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  26. Thanks for the chuckle! I don't do poinsettias, but now that I know this tip, I may try one. I have an angel wing begonia that may end up outside, too, if it doesn't perk up after getting too dry.

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  27. This is why I don't usually buy them ~ I hate to kill a living thing but it's a quandry what to do! I did break down and purchase one this year and now I have the same problem. It's going great guns and I don't know if I have the heart to put it out or not????? Give me strength!!! Thanks for the chuckle.

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  28. Thats funny.......... and I agree - I can't have people keeping their poinsettias from one year to the next! I'm in the poinsettia business so I depend on new sales each year.

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