The Christmas Poinsettia
This is my site Written by Geoff on December 1, 2001 – 8:14 pm

There are many long standing Christmas traditions in the Martin household such as (selecting Christmas Tree), baking Christmas Cookies, and choosing the Christmas Poinsettias. In the past, the tree selection and cooking making took most of a day with picking out the poinsettias taking less than an hour. 

Well, those days are long gone, poinsettias now come in all sizes and shapes. We now have not only the traditional reds but also yellows, pinks, roses, whites and even spotted poinsettias to choose from. This plant now ranges in size from the dwarf, at 6-12 inches to some over 60 inches tall. Everyone now has their own favorite color or size. 

Where we use to put one or two around the home, we now have been known to fill our entry way with them. Nothing beats walking into a home smelling of fresh baked cookies, a garland tree, and being greeted by a profusion of warm colored poinsettias. Add Christmas Carols being sung by an open fire and you will never want to leave. 

Once selected, poinsettias require little care during the Holidays. Keep them out of drafts, away from heaters, and water occasionally. Let the soil dry to the touch between waterings and make sure they are not standing in water and they will be happy. We like to remove any decorative wrappings and repot ours in terra -cotta pots with gravel in the bottom to improve drainage and perspiration. The repotted plants are then set in trays and placed on display. If you want to soften the look of the clay pots surround them with poly-snow or other seasonable decorations. 

Once the Holidays are over, and the poinsettias are starting to get a little tattered, just take the pots outside, pop the plant out, and throw them swiftly onto the compost pile. As far as I am concerned the best thing you can do with this plant after Christmas is throw it away and go on to better things. 

My wife, on the other hand, believes that this plant deserves a better fate. Marty feels anything this beautiful should not meet its end on the compost pile. Of course, she has had very good luck growing poinsettias year round while I quickly kill them in a few weeks. 

For those of you that feel as she does, I have listed the steps she takes to insure or at least increase the chances of successful year round growing as this month’s tips. Give it a try!

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