As the Poinsettia Blooms — sounds kind of like a soap opera name, doesn’t it? I like it. I am outside admiring the 13 pots of flowers we planted, but it’s my inside garden that is impressive. Here’s how the funny fauna family fares at Chez Parker:
My November poinsettia is still blooming — even has new red bracts – it is sure to croak after I write this. Here’s a link to care and feeding of a poinsettia. I have done none of the things on that website. I think I just got a hardy plant. It’s looking scraggly compared to its former holiday splendor, but it still lights up the living room with color that no other indoor plant delivers.
Over the years of countless poinsettia purchases, I tried only once to do the total darkness thing. My plant bloomed the following Easter … and then croaked. Advice from the Dept. of Horticulture in Michigan (I chose that site because it had great month-by-month pictures) on the year-round care and feeding of a poinsettia) is this: “You must keep the plant in complete darkness between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. daily from the end of September until color shows in the bracts (early to mid-December).” I have seen variations on this theme, but it sounds like we would need a poinsettia sitter to handle that.
My indoor February shamrock is also flourishing, but that’s nothing new. I had one last year that I re-potted several times because it got so big. I set that one outside where it looked like a small shrub with a perfect shaped mound of green leaves and bundles of delicate white flowers … and then it died.
This one is very different — huge, dark green, leaves and delicate white flowers. We’ll see if it makes it to the outdoors where I am a geranium kind of girl. Geraniums are hardy and never let me down in color and impact. The ground at this house is unforgiving to most plants — hence the 13 pots. I’ve kept geraniums alive year-round many times. When I was pregnant with my youngest, I had indoor blooms on five plants straight through the winter and into the spring when I moved the plants back outside. They liked the window seat better, but they were a beautiful addition to my old dining room.
Geraniums also keep bees away, I hear. I veered away from them for a few years in favor of some showy pots of colorful pansies and petunias, but I did not fare well with those beauties. They looked great in the spring and again in October. I couldn’t keep up with their needs, and neither could the waterboys — my two sons who were here last year and handled lawn and garden maintenance.
This year, I hope the geraniums are as hardy as the plants I had 21 years ago that moved indoors and kept my family smiling while we awaited the arrival of Ryan, my youngest. If they don’t, maybe the poinsettia and shamrock will continue to bloom.