dr marten shoes ebay Poinsettias can be restored to re
Leftovers will be a treasured part of the holiday season as long as Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas goose continue to headline family menus.
And return fare need not be confined to the dining room. Take potted poinsettias, for example. They can be restored from dormancy to vibrant color for many celebrations to come.
Poinsettias are perennials, so they don’t have to be discarded with the post holiday litter. Restoring a dormant poinsettia to color, however, is labor intensive work. It’s easier to spend $10 and change for a fresh plant than it is to re bloom that favorite on your mantle, said Rick Schoellhorn, director of new products for Proven Winners Inc., an international plant marketing company with offices in Alachua, Fla.
“Many people when they buy a plant want to keep it as long as possible,” said Schoellhorn.
“There’s a level of personal involvement with over wintering and a great deal of personal pride when you succeed. Poinsettias, like any plant, can be an emotional investment. Perhaps someone gave them to you. But for the average person, it’s easier not to mess with them then it is trying to keep them going for another season.”
If you do decide to carry over a poinsettia, understand that the process can vary from region to region. How you would treat such a plant in California differs from what you might do with it in Ontario. But generally:
Start now by extending the bloom period. Most poinsettia varieties retain their peak colors for only a couple of weeks, but their shelf life can be extended well into the New Year provided they get some attention.
If you’ve decked the halls with potted poinsettias, place them in a warm and brightly lit spot free of drafts. Avoid direct sun. Water when the soil feels dry but don’t overdo it. Poinsettias won’t live long with waterlogged roots.
Let the plants dry once the holidays are over and wait with the all purpose fertilizer until spring. Prune after the bracts (color modified leaves) have faded, leaving about 8 inches of stem on each plant. Move them outdoors once the threat of frost has passed and nighttime temperatures have climbed to 55 degrees or above. Place the plants where they’ll get only partial sun.
Timing is everything with poinsettias, particularly when they’re setting buds. That starts around Oct. 1,
or when the autumn nights are becoming noticeably longer.
“A florist quality poinsettia is pretty difficult to impossible without a controlled environment. You’re trying to make it look as fresh as those just coming into the marketplace.”
There is no reason why you can’t grow poinsettias outdoors as landscape plants in warm climates like Florida. But that may not be an option in the Snow Belt, he said.
“Home gardeners generally keep their poinsettias one or two years. If they’re really dedicated, maybe a little longer. But the life span for interior plants when you live in the North is measured in months, not years.”
Holly, mistletoe, Christmas cactus, amaryllis all deserve their niche as traditional holiday plants. Yet poinsettias are the world’s most popular potted flowering plant, period, despite being sold just six to eight weeks out of the year, said Paul Ecke, owner of the Paul Ecke Ranch in Encinitas, Calif.
“Poinsettias are the one thing that tells you Christmas is coming,” said Ecke, whose business collects royalties on about 70 percent of all poinsettias grown in the United States. “It’s hard for stores, homes or malls to get poinsettias until their natural blooming season, which is now.”
Poinsettia growers must be very patient, Schoellhorn said.
“The beauty with a poinsettia comes when they’re in season, when they’re in full,
vibrant color. The rest of the year you have to be satisfied with their potential.”