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Poinsettias died prematurely


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Poinsettias died prematurely

The two Poinsettias we had this Christmas have died prematurely. I was especially annoyed that the one our son gave me for Christmas should have died so soon! I think though I can only lay the blame on my own shoulders as I probably overwatered it

The other one was given to my wife by a couple that had been visiting her occasionally. This one had a lot of gold sparkly dust on its leaves & the flower.

I normally don’t like plants that have been treated in this way as I feel it’s unnatural & shortens their life. But when we put both plants together on a small card table, so as to free the living room table one day that my brother came to have dinner with us, I found that actually I quite liked it after all!

After a week or two on the small table they were transferred once again to the living room table. A few days later I noticed the one my son had given me was looking as if it were wilting. Without thinking to check the compost first I gave it some water. During the following days it grew more & more limp. By this time the other one with sparkly leaves was loosing it leaves & the red petals were looking decidedly “burnt” & turning black.

My wife started to comment on how bad they were looking so I took them into the kitchen which is usually quite cooler than the living room &, due to cooking, rather more humid. But the plants just got worse till there were practically no leaves on the one with sparkles & the other one had all its leaves & petals drooping & drying out more & more with each passing day. With great reluctance I decided they would have to go into the bin as there was obviously nothing I could do to help them recover.

I’m especially annoyed at what happened to them in part because they were gifts & in part because I’m supposed to know how to look after plants & have looked after them for 50 years or more. My son, who is a total novice gardener & who has never grown more than a single plant in all his 30 odd years, depends a lot on his father to tell him what to do. He has a house with a garden for the first time in his life & asks me for advice. Then I go & kill the plant he gave me for Christmas! He bought it for me because a few weeks earlier he had bought one very much reduced in a supermarket. It was so dry the poor thing was flagging! Yet as far as I know, 2 months later, he still has it!

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Following my earlier blog on this subject, my M.P. sent my suggestion that Voluntary Plant Zones should be established in Europe, to Lord John Gardiner head of DEFRA and on the Board of Trustees of Kew Gardens.

This gentleman sent a reply (obviously written by one of his assistants) detailing the information that lots of people have Conservatories and Greenhouses bla bla bla.

I replied that this time of year most people cannot afford to heat them, DEFRA should know this. Lord Gardiner is no good at his job.

M.P. has now sent a follow up letter (so they have done some thinking about it) enclosing a copy article written by Nigel Colborn and published in the Daily Mail 18th Dec.2016 advising their readers - If you want an easy house plant for Christmas, Poinsettia is the worst choice etc etc. One hour in the cold, does all the damage. Mine
going out to the compost today. Hate to admit defeat,
but cannot afford the heating and light levels required.

27 Jan, 2017


p.s. for all to copy. If you want to give a gift at Christmas that wont die next week from being brought from Spain across France, in an unheated lorry.
think about a £10 selection of Crocus bulbs that can be purchased in September and will bloom from November to March. Plant them in bulb compost in shallow pots. Select the best on Dec.24th, and you will earn the eternal gratitude of parents and friends.
Winter Flowering Crocus available from Broms Bulbs,
Primrose Nurseries, Melchborne, Beds
Laevigatus Fontenayi. Nov./Dec
Iris Stylosa.
Chrysanthus Moonlight.
" E.P.Bowles.
Acyrensis Gold Bunch.
Tomasinianus. (Feb)
Etruscus. (March)
There is also Tulip Kaufmaniana.

27 Jan, 2017


I still have a few leaves on mine but as soon as it loses the rest or wilts in the slightest, it's in the bin. They are sold so cheap before Christmas that for me it's not worth the hassle of tring to keep them alive for another year. Sorry if that sounds heartless but I did it for years. Saved them, tried keeping them with so many daylight hours a day to get leaves to change colour, etc. I've decided that for £1-99 or thereabouts it isn't worth it.
I saw them at their best growing as trees when I lived in Tenerife, seven or eight feet high and across. Although it's a Christmas thing to have one they are only sold as a short term thing really.
The slightest draught will kill them. I know when I bought mine in Morrisons in December, I put it in one of their plastic flower sleeves, (the long ones you put your bunches of flowers in when you buy them) specifically to keep the draught out.

27 Jan, 2017


I do wonder what environment various plants are reared in, before they reach the shops and garden centres. Sometimes the change of temperatures and atmosphere in store and at home are too dramatic for the plant to cope with. Such a pity, Balcony, that your plants didn't do well. Especially disappointing when they are a present from someone special.

27 Jan, 2017


Our two Poinsettia plants are on the sitting-room window. They seem fine at the moment though the cat does have a go at them occasionally , accidentally! We move them when we draw the curtains.

27 Jan, 2017


When we lived in Spain I kept one plant alive & flowering every Christmas for 5 or 6 years & we lived in the centre of the country which was very much colder than anywhere in the UK in winter (but also much hotter in summer - for 2 months at most!)

It didn't look very good but it did flower every year for Christmas.

I expect to see our son on Sunday & I will try to remember to ask him if his plant is still alive.

I haven't bought a Poinsettia for many years. What irks me most is that he bought one for himself & only bought a plant in good condition for me when I commented on the one he bought for himself. If I'd kept my mouth shut he probably wouldn't have thought of getting me one!

The one with the gold sparkly dust on leaves & flowers was a gift to my wife from a couple who pass by to visit her occasionally.

I wouldn't normally even consider buying one for myself!

27 Jan, 2017


Please take note of my comments on Winter flowering
Crocus bulbs. I have no connection with Bloms Bulbs,
but Bedfordshire is central for many gardeners.
Children would love to get these bulbs for grand parents,
grow them, then take the ones in flower at Christmas as
a gift. They can be planted in the gardens in spring, to enjoy for years to come. An ideal and lasting gift.
Better than Poinsettias.

28 Jan, 2017


They are such a pain in the neck. They look wonderful over Christmas and we all buy them for a bit of cheer and then we watch them die.

28 Jan, 2017


Overwatering is the big culprit for the Poinsettia. That's what "she told me": It does not mind being dry and will recover from being too dry but will not recover from too much water, Amen.They are so typically Christmas,
we all succumb to their redness!

19 Feb, 2017


Thanks for that, Wells, I already knew that & that's what I told my son! He followed my instructions & his plant is still alive - after 3 months!

When will we take heed of our own advice???

28 Feb, 2017

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