There are always plenty of leftover poinsettias at my church after Christmas. The unclaimed soon start to drop their leaves, perhaps longing for a more suitable climate. They are destined for the trash if someone doesn’t take pity on them. Maybe some of the claimed ones end up in the trash, too, though I can hope for better.
When I see a living, potted plant in the trash, I feel sad. Does anyone else feel this way? It’s because of this sadness that I no longer contribute to the annual poinsettia purchase. I used to buy one to be listed in the bulletin in honor or memory of a loved one, but have decided there are other ways to honor and remember.
I’ve taken a few leftover poinsettias to shut ins and try to take the worst plants home before they end up in the trash. Some are too far gone and end up as compost. But if they can make it through the winter as house plants, they thrive outside in warmer months.
The poinsettia above is one I rescued in the winter of 2017. It was not a happy camper in my little house which runneth over with spider plants, philodendron, peace lilies, and the seven foot tall avocado tree I drag inside every winter. So, in the spring, I decided to give this poinsettia a chance in the natural world. It took root and thrived in a semi-sheltered spot. In November, it started to turn red (without the prescribed 12 hours of darkness.) Now, I’ve got an old shower curtain draped around it. If it makes it through the winter, I will be pleasantly surprised since we have three inches of snow on the ground today and temps in the teens later this week- a rarity in these parts. But hydrangeas and lilies die off and come back in the spring, and I had a poinsettia come back several years ago after a mild winter with no cover, so maybe….. Either way, it had a good spring, summer, and fall.
Below is a potted poinsettia, which loved being outside for most of the year. You can barely see the speck of red on a bottom leaf.
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January 4, 2018 at 12:01 pm
I know exactly how you feel about neglected plants. Me too!
January 4, 2018 at 5:16 pm
Thank you for understanding, Claire. I’m no plant expert, but when I go to a restaurant where a plant is obviously thirsty, I’ll ask if I can give it some water.
January 5, 2018 at 3:54 am
Now I only have a small appartment and balcony, but where I lived before my neighbour and I were both always rescuing plants. He is still at it, is whole appartment is stuffed with plants likewise the small paved area outside. His was the first Christmas jungle decor I’ve ever seen- very effective though! lol!
January 4, 2018 at 1:35 pm
So do I and I love the fact you rescued them. Haven’t had one in years. Where is your church again 😉….
January 4, 2018 at 5:17 pm
Thanks, Bee. I bet there’s one in your neck of he woods. 🙂 I wonder what stores do with their leftover poinsettias.
January 5, 2018 at 4:55 am
Reduce them, sell them through and if they don’t go would have to bin them. That’s how it works in the supermarket I work for.
January 5, 2018 at 5:08 am
Jackie specialises in rescuing neglected plants from supermarkets
January 5, 2018 at 10:35 pm
Wonderful post! Totally endearing, JoAnna. I, too, am a plant rescuer. I get them on the cheap and resurrect them, gift them, mostly. I take in the strays, too. If I ever see the light blue poinssettias, Imma buy two. But I have to place them just so with all these cats. I have a lot of plants, too. The spider plants are by far my favorite.
January 5, 2018 at 10:54 pm
A beautiful plant that seems to be treated without respect here in Australia as well as where you are. I pray a great 2018 for you.
January 8, 2018 at 12:14 pm
I bought a big poinsettia this year, and have it outside on my steps. I’m hoping to plant it somewhere. I stopped buying them up north because they never did well inside for me. I’m of the same mind as you when it comes to pottery plants.
January 15, 2018 at 3:27 pm
The only problem is it reminds me of poison Ivey and makes me want to run and itch! Lol 😄