Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Sunday, 15 December 2013

GBBD: How Not to Look After Your Princettia®


My offering for this month's Blooms Day is a sorry tale of how not to look after your Christmas Poinsettia. Mine is a called 'Princettia'®, a more unusual pink version of the traditional red seen at this time of year, which is available from Thompson & Morgan.

I acquired mine in a much happier condition at the Garden Media Guild Awards at the end of November, where they formed the centre piece of each table. I hope the blurry photo I took at the time is sufficient proof that I did at least start with a nice, healthy looking plant.

I now offer you a handy guide, which I think you won't find elsewhere...

How not to look after your 'Princettia'®... or any other Poinsettia for that matter

You should NOT...

  • attempt to squash it into the watering can goody bag provided so you can leave one arm free to deal with your overnight bag
  • take it to a very crowded pub for a few hours
  • rest it for a while in a dark corner at the Turkish restaurant across the road from the pub
  • give it regular walks in the frosty open air for 24 hours after your acquisition
  • bring it home on the train the next day
  • leave it to recuperate on the kitchen windowsill

So I'm very sorry Thompson & Morgan for my woeful mistreatment of your gift. Despite this cultivar's noted resistance to draughts and the ravages of central heating, I suspect it's too late to save my plant, even though I've been following the RHS's guidance since I brought it home. 

Despite the falling bracts and leaves, the actual flowers on my plant (you can just see a couple of them in the photo) seem to be relatively OK. Time will tell whether that happier state of affairs continues...

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

27 comments:

  1. At least it has lived a little - not every poinsettia gets to go on a train and to the pub!

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    1. Oh yes, this poinsettia has certainly lived it up! I forgot to mention the trip to a Turkish restaurant (now corrected) and that one of the walks was in Regent's Park ;)

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  2. I can manage to keep them alive, but they never look very good after the first few days in my care.
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!
    Lea

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    1. Lea - this one is now two and a half weeks after the blurry smaller photo was taken. It's losing about 4 leaves/bracts per day.

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  3. You gave your plant a very happy time, you never know, it might decide that it likes the quiet life it now has!

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    1. Oh yes, Pauline it's had a brief but happy life ;)

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  4. Ha, ha, perhaps it's still recuperating from all that excitement:) Mine never last long either, even though they lead a much quieter life:)

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    1. They're notoriously tricky Rose and a saw a neat opportunity to present some information on how to do it in a quite different way to usual :)

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  5. What a great story...my poinsettia has not bloomed yet from last year...& it did not have quite the fun...happy gbbd!

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    1. Hi Janie - I think they're quite tricky to bring back as they're forced into flowering for Christmas. You need to ensure they get lots of days with 12 hours of darkness for them to bloom at this time of year...

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  6. I enjoyed this and appreciate the link. Have had mixed success with poinsettas usually purchased at bargain price from Morrison's. Last year's virtually leafless by Christmas day; but this year's purchased last weekend is doing OK. The secret is neglect I reckon.

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    1. You're welcome Doris :) Sparse watering seems to be key, so you sound like you're on the route to success.

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  7. I don't actually like poincettias though. And they are everywhere at this time of the year along with those malignant looking winter cherries; Solanum pseudocapiscum. Yuck! Why don't you get a nice Phaleanopsis orchid instead? Cheap as chips and impossible to kill. Mind you it might not enjoy frosty walks. But why take your house plants for walks anyway? It is a tad eccentric you know.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi Chloris - I'm surprised you're not recommending seasonal paperwhite narcissus seeing the metamorphosis of Narcissus is more associated with you in mythology ;)

      I do have that orchid as well - I see your profile is a new one, so you wouldn't know about my earlier blog posts on the subject :)

      As for eccentricity, it is purely in my style of presentation. Look for the clues in the rest of the post and you'll see it's a much more interesting way of saying it was very cold in London a couple of weeks ago when I had to take my plant from the Awards venue to the pub, from the pub to the restaurant, back to the pub and then on to my friend's house for an overnight stay, plus 2 trips to meetings the next day and a final train journey home. It's much shorter too!

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    2. PS Quirky, eccentric posts - welcome to the world of Veg Plotting :D

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  8. *laughs* Great advice! Though I'm sure it enjoyed the pub. And I hope it hangs on a bit longer!

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    1. Hello and welcome :) Leaf and bract loss is slowing down, so it looks like we'll still have something left for Christmas!

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  9. Oh no that is too bad..I hope it does recover...they never seem to like the conditions where I put them.

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    1. They're notoriously tricky to look after. I think part of the problem is they are forced into their display under cover which makes them more sensitive to the change in conditions they find when they reach our homes

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  10. Priceless! I personally loath poinsettias, so would probably put one through all those trials and tribulations on purpose, but a great way to tell us a little about your GMA night too - I'm sure it rather enjoyed the trip to the pub ;-)

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    1. I'm not that keen on them either, though I think this newer cultivar is better.

      Every plant deserves a trip to the pub at least once in its lifetime ;)

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  11. The color is quite fuchsia. It seems to be doing OK to still be alive after all the travels. I have it on good authority that it is easier to throw them on the compost heap if you don't give them a name first.;-)

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    1. Hi Hannah and welcome :) *whispers* this one doesn't have a name ;)

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  12. Sad... and very funny. It looks like it may have half a chance after the ill treatment, unlike the indoor plants for my office which my partner delivered after having walked with them in a cardboard box with no lid for 45 minutes in a wind chill of -11 degrees C. Still can't understand what he was thinking of.

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    1. Good grief! Have any of them survived?

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  13. The RSPCP will be knocking on your door, We once reflowered a poinsetttia - what a faff!

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    Replies
    1. ;)
      I'm impressed with your reflowering skills, even if it was a faff!

      Have a great Christmas :)

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