In April, I began to place the plant outdoors during days along with the spring seedlings that were hardening off. I remembered seeing a hedge of blooming poinsettias years ago while in Hawaii, and wondered if it would grow outdoors here in Virginia, even through I never heard of treating the plant as an outdoor annual.
In May, I decided to try getting another season's enjoyment (and of course more than my money's worth) out of a throw-away plant, and planted it in the south facing side yard garden. I was up for a challenge.
It liked its new location, and thrived through the first half of summer. Then, the castor plants took off and overshadowed the poor poinsettia, stopping its growth. But, it continued to enjoy the hot humid summer, although in shade. Now with the castor bean plants taken out by a strong wind weeks ago, the poinsettia is again prominent.
I was expecting the plant to be gone by now, done in by shade or frost, but with abnormally warm temperatures this fall, the plant is still going. In fact, the new leaves are small and light green (with slight red tinge) in color, and red veining is appearing in the older leaves. Could the plant be getting ready to bloom because of the shorter days? Could I set it in a pot and bring it indoors if it blooms again? If the fall frost stays at bay, Virginia may soon see red poinsettias like Hawaii.
|For The Record:|
Heavy clay soil amended with peat and humus
No major pests or disease
Small amount of fertilizer
Blooming: cosmos, canna, nasturtium, mexican zinnia, salvia, zinnia, rudbeckia, calendula