Monday, November 30, 2015

A Christmas story: the poinsettia saga

About 20 years ago, our single Christmas poinsettia was still green and fresh-looking well into the springtime. It was still so lovely in April, I decided it should be saved. I filled some pots with soil and I cut it back quite ruthlessly. I dipped the cuttings into a little rooting hormone and stuck them into the extra pots.

(As always, my reminder: click on the photos to enlarge.)

They lived and grew. Every spring, I kept cutting back, adding new pots, looking for nooks and crannies in the house where they could reside all winter. For the first few years, I followed book rules and covered them every night so they'd have a period of complete darkness. I used dark garbage bags. Then, for awhile, I started stashing them under the table and hung blankets around the sides to block any light. I got tired of that though so I began to treat them like all the other plants. It's been many years since I've worried about them getting light overnight.

After they're cut back, I put them outdoors for the summer. They love being outdoors and stay out well into October. They grow lush and green and they thrive. All these photos were taken this past summer so some of these are just a few months old.

Many pots of poinsettias moved to Ottawa with us in the mid '90s, in the moving truck, and lived happily there in two different houses. After a few years, we all moved back to Halifax – toddler, cats and about 20 poinsettias.

Many of the plants produce red bracts for Christmas. They're not at all like the big gaudy ones you see in the stores which look unnatural to me now but that's because these ones look so natural.

There are 17 plants at this point – there have been more and there have been fewer. In the photo below, the one in the top left corner is the Mother of them all. Her main stem is woody, like a small tree trunk. Long may she live.

Below are some of the red bracts that were produced last year although this picture is at the end of the winter when they've become scraggly and are ready to be cut back and ready to enjoy another long summer outdoors.


  1. "........toddler, cats, and about 20 poinsettias......."
    I wonder what the movers thought.

    1. Audrey from the MiramichiDecember 1, 2016 at 9:00 PM

      Very interesting Sharon !! Please keep your stories coming, I look forward to reading each day's episode. Take care 1