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3.12.12

Poinsettia in a Can

If you're looking for holiday houseplants there are better options than poinsettias. As much as I dislike poinsettias, I couldn't resist buying this poinsettia in a can when I came across it at the dollar store the other day. Technically, it isn't a gag gift, and there is no poinsettia crammed inside of this can. At least not yet.

Poinsettia in a can


What this "poinsettia in a can" actually is is a grow your own poinsettia kit. Why anyone wants to grow a poinsettia from seeds is beyond me, but I guess I shouldn't be too judgmental. I shop at dollar stores, and I bought a poinsettia in a can. So who am I too look down on the poinsettia buying habits of anyone.

Poinsettia seeds in a can

You get a can's full of vermiculite and about ten seed of Euphorbia pulcherrima to grow. E. pulcherrima is native to Mexico and is the common red poinsettia you see everywhere around the holidays.

Growing Poinsettia from Seed

I shouldn't be surprised by the fact that the instructions and artwork on the can make it seem like you'll have a "flowering" poinsettia growing in a short time in this can. Poinsettias can grow between 2-6 feet tall, making them too big of a plant to grow in this little can. Poinsettia seeds are dark germinators, they should be covered with a thin layer of growing medium and kept moist until they germinate. Which should take between one and two weeks. If you're sowing poinsettia seeds in December to have a "flowering" plant by Christmas, it isn't going to happen. You can get your seed grown poinsettia to "bloom" by next Christmas though.

Getting a Poinsettia to Flower

How do you get a poinsettia to bloom? Most people who buy poinsettias, and probably those trying to grow them from seeds, don't realize that the "flower" we associate with poinsettias are actually bracts. In botany, bracts are modified leaves that are associated with the reproductive parts of a plant's flower. Actual poinsettia flowers are small and pretty insignificant. The colored, most often red, parts of poinsettias that are thought of as flowers are leaves. These leaves turn the familiar red with changes in the day and night cycle. If you want a poinsettia to flower by Christmas, you'll need to start giving it 12 hours of total darkness every day in October. Keep the poinsettia at 68 to 72 degrees and either cover it with a box or set it in another room where no lights will be turned on for those 12 hours. When December rolls around you'll see the bracts start to turn the red you're looking for.

Wonder how they get poinsettias to be all compact and bushy? See the guest post The Pathogen in Your Poinsettias.

I've always thought that poinsettias where the SPAM of the gardening world. Seeing a poinsettia in a can just solidifies my belief.

24 comments:

  1. Aw, don't be too hard on the poor poinsies. I like to have a few around the house at holiday time to add some color. Not overly fond of the plain red ones, though.

    I can't wait until someone comes up with growing your own fruit cake in a can.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, of all the poinsettias the plain red ones are the ones I like the least. The colorful ones (especially when they've been spray painted and glittered) are my least favorite. I just can't take the fake holiday cheer they're suppose to create.

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  2. I think it would be a great stocking stuffer but I can't imagine anyone seriously trying to grow a poinsettia this way. I think fruit cake in a can would be wonderful!

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    Replies
    1. Karen, they're the perfect size for a stocking stuffer. By the way, I bought this at the Dollar Tree chain stores, if anyone is looking to get one.

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  3. Too funny and a bit strange. I had a poinsettia in Florida that I think I got from a Christmas party...anyway, put it in the ground and it lived really well, 'bloomed' every winter. I *think* we even had a variegated one. I could see them being utilized nicely in a subtropical/tropical garden.

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  4. Misti, Maybe if I got to see them in their natural habitat instead of covered in gold, red, and silver foil I would appreciate them more.

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  5. Im with you on the glittery ones - too odd. I think this is a fun stocking stuffer for the gardener, just not worth the time and wffort to actually plant it. Happy holidays!

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    Replies
    1. The glittery and spray-painted poinsettias too odd for me too! I just don't get how they appeal to people.

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  6. I just feel like seeds don't belong in cans?!?! I like buying them around the holidays but would never imagine using garden space to plant it.

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    Replies
    1. It certainly is weird to find seeds in cans. I'm so accustomed to seeds coming in paper envelopes.

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  7. At first, I thought 'Neat idea.' Then I read the label and saw 'Product of China.' Whoa! Nothing against China per se, but is this not a dangerous importation of an agricultural product ... and in the case of poinsettia, back to its centre of origin? Think of the invasive fish/zebra mussels species in the Great Lakes, rabbits in Australia, European starlings, etc. Poinsettia seems to be unkillable, popular, and often discarded after its seasonal popularity wanes. I hope we do not open a can of habitat-choking ills with this poinsettia product. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Introduced_species

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    Replies
    1. I found it funny that it was made in China, and that the seeds in them are native to Mexico. I don't know if you can see it in the picture, but it says there are no 'noxious weeds' in the product. That gave me a laugh because I think poinsettias are indeed 'noxious weeds.' At the very least, they're 'obnoxious weeds.' :0)

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  8. With you on this one! More fitting to have a jack-in-the-box type of deal where it bursts out when you open it, with a China-made fake poinsettia! Now I want to go to the dollar store and create a prototype...enjoyed this post.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, a gag gift with a fake poinsettia busting out and hitting someone in the face would indeed be fun. Let me know when you're product is ready and I'll do a review. :0)

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  9. Replies
    1. I hadn't either, so I had to own it for it's kitsch value. Although, shortly after publishing this, I saw another blogger had a 'Christmas Tree in a Can.' Same premise, but the seeds inside were for a pine tree.

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  10. This totally new concept is absolutely unbelievable. However it is quite a novelty though I would think that it is too much trouble to grow from seeds. Since it is a seasonal plant, I think I just buy one off the shelf for the festive season. Merry Christmas!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I think poinsettias from seed would be too much trouble. If you like them that much, you could grow poinsettias from cuttings really easily. Merry Christmas to you too.

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  11. If I were living in the tropics, maybe... I do remember the first time I saw poinsettia blooming in January on the Island of St. Maarten and falling in love with this plant. Prior to this time I had no use for them, since that time however many more colors have become available and I must admit I truly love the cream.
    Merry Christmas to one and ALL.

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    Replies
    1. You know, my niece was gifted a creamy-colored one and I have to admit the colors are kinda nice. I don't hate it 100%. Merry Christmas to you too.

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  12. I like the idea of a fake poinsettia popping out of the can, seems more fitting of the comic nature of this product. So tell me MBT-are you going to try and grow this?

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    Replies
    1. Garden Broad, NO. The poinsettia seeds will stay in the can where they belong. Maybe one day I'll open a museum of weird-seed related stuff. ;0)

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  13. This is new, indeed! Happy festival and hols :)

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