This is the thrilling tale of a not-so-ordinary poinsettia plant that has consistently defied the normal parameters of what these plants are expected to do. It is commonly taught in the care of poinsettias that they are not in favor of direct sunlight, but ours sets in a west window year-round: it is a tropical plant, after all. It is also generally expected that this plant of the Euphorbia family needs to be in the dark and drop all of its leaves (bracts) before it will re-produce the colored bracts that are typically viewed as the bloom. The bloom is, in fact, the cluster in the center of the colored bracts at the end of each stem. This plant never been placed in the dark or allowed to be dry for an extended period. It should be noted, however, that the soil has always been allowed to dry out before receiving minimal amounts of water approximately three times per month.
This plant consistently produced colored bracts for 16 months after the time of its arrival at our home. It was not repotted, however, until the summer of 2010.
The plant was repotted on 25 June 2010. The overall height was about 12 inches with colored bracts on 4 stems. It was rather spindly as the pot it had been in was much too small for too long a time.
After its repot, it dropped most of its leaves and started over. All of its non-green color was
absent until about 2 weeks before Christmas
this past year, but it came on very strong and currently (9 Jan 2011) shows no signs of slowing down. The picture to the right is in October. Since then, it has added several new branches and has filled in quite nicely.
It currently has colored bracts on 6 stems, 4 of which are just getting started. I have been treating it foliarly with the micronutrient product Emerald Mist and through the soil with a plant sugar-promoting product called MaxGrow
once a month.
Below are the pictures taken today (on the floor, not in her usual window seat.) As you can see, she is beautiful without ever leaving her west window - no trips into dark, no special treatment. Except the Garden Vigor program, of course!
for more information or with questions you may have regarding your house plant and garden growing interests.