Saturday, January 9, 2010

Poinsettia Care 101 – Watering, Temperature, and Sunlight

Poinsettias like their soil to dry out a little between watering. This means don’t water your poinsettia every day. Maybe once a week, depending on how dry your climate is.

DSCN1691 Most poinsettias come with their pots wrapped in decorative foil. Leaving your poinsettia in the foil will not allow the pot to drain completely, so remove your poinsettia from the foil as soon as possible. Your poinsettia shouldn’t sit in standing water. Make sure the pot is able to drain, and that the drip pan dries out, or empty it.

Poinsettias are very sensitive to cold air and direct sunlight.

I put my old poinsettia outside a few times. The evenings in Monterey get pretty cold sometimes, so my poor poinsettia got a little stressed by being outside.

I left my poinsettia out on the front porch on a rather sunny day (thinking it would do it some good) and ended up burning most of the leaves on my beautiful poinsettia! So, keep your poinsettia safe and guard it from direct sunlight!

Keep your poinsettia warm. It thrives in temperatures between 68-70 degrees F.

Hopefully this will get you started.

Source: Paul Ecke Ranch website

The Great Poinsettia Myth

DSCN1680 Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias are not poisonous. This source states that “certain individuals may experience an allergic reaction to poinsettias.” But that “in 1992, the poinsettia was included on the list of houseplants most helpful in removing pollutants from indoor air.” So I think that I will have more poinsettias.

As we were walking from home depot with this poinsettia, a lady saw us and our kids and informed us that we better be careful with our kids around that poinsettia, because poinsettia’s are poisonous, you know! Yes, thank you very much. About two years ago I discovered the they are not, in fact, poisonous. Not to mention that you would think that if a plant was actually poisonous, either stores would not sell them or they would carry warning labels. Or your pediatrician would warn you about it around Christmastime.

Back  to the post – the picture above is actually my poinsettia. It looks full and bushy, and it is my goal to keep it looking that way this year. As you can see, it’s still in the foil wrapping. I’ve been meaning to get rid of that, but I have to find something for it to drain onto first.

If you are interested in keeping a poinsettia year round (which I highly recommend! They are beautiful, even when not in bloom!) this website by the Paul Ecke Ranch is a really helpful resource. They even go through reblooming a poinsettia for you!

Make sure to follow this blog for posts about keeping a poinsettia. I will be attempting to bloom my poinsettia again this fall for Christmas, and I will walk you through all the steps as I perform them with my poinsettia.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Journey of a Poinsettia

poinsettia-plantThis is not a picture of my poinsettia, but I will post one soon.

I will be documenting the journey of my new Christmas poinsettia. Keep checking back for updates. I will post my first Poinsettia post sometime today or tomorrow.

If you have a poinsettia from Christmas, don’t throw it away! Just water it like a normal houseplant for now, then follow me in my journey with my poinsettia, and we’ll rebloom them for next fall!!

(tip – let the soil dry out between watering)

Friday, January 1, 2010

More and More


My flower garden in the front yard is growing more and more beautiful every day. DH says that I leave a trail of flowers wherever I go. Isn’t he sweet?

My torch lilies are blooming (no flowers yet in this picture – this was taken a few weeks ago). I will take updated pictures this weekend. My peace lilies have been blooming since early December, and I’m pretty sure each plant has bloomed at least once (two are on their second flowers). They are just downright gorgeous. There are only three irises that are actually producing flowers. The others aren’t yet, and probably won’t because I’m going to dig them up in April and transplant them in UT. I’m enjoying their foliage right now, though. The flower garden looks so full and green.

Out in the back is my embarrassing vegetable garden dying from neglect. I still have a few heads of lettuce that we’ll be able to harvest in a few weeks, some spinach is still growing (what doesn’t get eaten by the deer) and my sugar snap peas are producing the biggest, juiciest, sweetest, snapping-est pods I have ever eaten. They make my taste-buds sing! Oh, and I have loads of cilantro. I probably didn’t need to plant as much as I did, but now I have a better idea of what our family will eat, how much, and how much I can get to grow.

I also harvested some carrots that were delicious, if somewhat small (I forgot to thin them when they were seedlings).

So the first vegetable garden has turned out to be somewhat of a success, even if the tomatoes and peppers were a failure.

There’s always next year!

Fairy Rocks – or Beach Stones with holes


I found these rocks at the beach a few days ago. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what made such perfectly round holes in the rocks. I looked all over the internet, not really knowing what to search for, since I had no clue what made these. I found a bunch of Etsy shops selling these rocks that people had found, but then I found this post on someone’s blog, and the commenters had some good theories, but no one there knew exactly what happened either, and why the holes were so smooth and perfectly round.

Then my cousin and her husband came to visit, and I showed them my rocks. This particular cousin and her husband have a vast wealth of knowledge about all things nature/earth/plants/animals. They are very “earthy” type people. Anyway, my cousin said her friend calls them “fairy rocks” – supposedly they are good luck. Her husband said they are made when little pebbles get stuck in the rocks. Then the waves beat down on the pebbles, drilling holes through the rocks. He mentioned that most of the rocks this happens to are hardened clay/mud rocks, which will crack and fall apart if they dry out. That happened to a few of my stones, but some of them I believe are rocks.

You can see a pebble stuck in one of the holes on the rock at the very bottom of the picture. It was just amazing how smooth and round the holes were! I guess the pebbles act like a drill bit. Amazing!