Poinsettias in the Bloom Closet!

Poinsettias are a sign that the holidays are just around the corner. I started collecting them a few years ago when I was a starving sixty-something doctoral student. I bought a pretty orange one and babied it because it was a luxury to buy a plant back then.

That plant bloomed all winter and flourished all summer. However, my first experiment in making a bloom closet that fall didn’t work out so well. The poinsettia bloomed, sort of, but was horribly leggy and didn’t survive winter #2.

I’ve gotten better with them. Trial and error. I have two that I’ve had going on four winters. I got a couple more the next year and, again, last year. Well, actually I got more than that, but lost a few along the way. I lost both of my orange ones from last winter to the cold spring.

I have 4 in bloom and one that’s still in the bloom closet. I have two still recovering from the cold spring that I’ll bloom in a couple of months.

How do I rebloom mine? Well, forget all the advice about putting it in a closet by night and a sunny window by day. I’m way too forgetful. But, I have a plant closet in my basement family room that has plant LED lights on a timer and a blackout curtain closed all the time, except when I water.

It’s year #3 for the closet and my poinsettias thrive down there. Once they bloom, they come upstairs for several weeks u til they start dropping leaves. Generally, they go back into the closet until May, when they sit in my front yard and get sprinkler system rain every day.

It’s hot and dry, but the poinsettias do fine. This is the first year that they have struggled a little. They are euphorbia, after all- just like my 6 ft pencil cactus.

I bring them in and put them in the bloom closet just before freeze. I have blooms by late October or early November. Have you ever rebloomed a poinsettia? Meanwhile the drought has returned and I need to winter water the daylilies during Thanksgiving break.

Stay of Execution

So, my day job is busy, although the buzz of the term is settling down some.  My evening job this week is tweaking the new drip system.  Last night, it was staples and stakes.  Tonight, I tried sprayer heads on a couple of the larger pots that were hogging water.  I think the little sprayers will work better without a much water waste.

I can’t believe I still have 7 in bloom today.  But, the buds become rare and every day I say goodbye to at least one cultivator for another year.

Purple Corn Dancer is in 2 locations and so she has most of her buds left in location #2.

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Purple Corn Dancer 8.27

Frans Hals has maybe 10 buds left – +/-

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Frans Hals 8.27

Purple Grasshopper and Ruby Stella have a handful of buds left.

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Purple Grasshopper 8.27

I think both Navajo Curls and Cripple Creek have a bud or two left.

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Navajo Curls 8.27

Purple Thunderbird maybe has one bud left (max).

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And, then it ends.  Except that I found one of my Lowe’s Stella hybrid rebloomers with a new scape.  It only has a few buds, but it is still 90 degrees.  So, my hope is that the new drip system might give me a few more reblooms.  My stay of execution.

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Ruby Stella 8.27

My poinsettias seem to be perking up – but it is not a good year for them.  I need to start forcing the big ones so they can all cycle through the bloom closet.

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El Desperado 8.27

I’m camping this weekend and maybe looking for succulents down in SW Colorado.  Oh, and I mail ordered my first air plants.  They should be here tomorrow.  I was reading that too many varieties of plant detracts from all of them.  I honestly am OK with having less and getting more air plants and succulents.  All my super market specials make the place look cluttered  . . . we will see.  The long and boring winter is less than 4 months away.  My stay of execution is only temporary.