Meredith,I don't know how they do in TN, but in TX, poinsettias can be planted outside as a flowering bush. We had one at my childhood home that grew as tall as the house!Tamara
My poinsettia last year lasted into the spring or summer I think. It did not remain red (I think you need to give it a certain amount of darkness before it will turn red again). So I just kept it in my living room as a green plant, watered it when it needed and eventually got tired of it and got rid of it.
Usually mine last until March. I set it in a window with a sheer curtain and go very easy on the water. Once, I had one last until may. It started looking so wild I finally threw it out!Ruth, PA
They'll last a LOT longer than you might want them to! Since Easter is on 3/23 this year, you might be having poinsettias in your Easter baskets! Many, many years ago, the garden writer for the Washington Post wrote a very detailed answer to a reader on what s/he should do to have their plant bloom again the following year. It went into how long to give it light and when to put it in a dark closet, what temperature it needed (and it varied throughout the year), when to water it, when to not water it, etc. The last paragraph then said something like "And on December 1, just throw the plants away and buy new ones because no matter what you do, you can't recreate the conditions that the growers have set up and the plants the stores have for sale will look 10 times as nice and healthy as the one you've been nursing along all year". We tried one year anyway; he was right!
Mine died.My mom's last forever. She keeps them until the red is gone and then just trashes them.
Last year the boss bought one for each of us. I took a few out of the trash when co-workers threw them out. Out of 6, I kept 3 blooming through the spring, 1 was hopeless, and had 2 produce new leaves. I still have 2 of them. It is perfectly possible to get them to bloom again, but you have to be consistent with the 12 hours of darkness each night for 6 weeks straight. Because mine are in the office, I can't do anything for them on the weekends. My grandmother has them in her garden in Mexico. I will be cutting mine back in about a month, or when leaves begin to fall off.
Okay I'm feeling pretty sheepish right now, I was going to write that they don't last very long, they drop their petals/leaves but apparently that hast nothing to do with the plant and everything to do with the caregiver :)Oops. I'll just blame it on our lack of light in the winter okay?
Now I'm bummed. They had them for $1 last week at Aldi and I didn't get one. I didn't realize they would last a couple of months.ArdenLynn
They will last a long time. In Chile they are tall shrubs. Indoors they need to be repotted and fertilized and all as they grow. I just googled for instructions on their care and blooming and got very detailed instructions. It is a pain to get them to turn red again, but it can be done. My mom kept one indoors for years.
Back when he was more active with plants, my father would keep his poinsettas growing indoors all year round, and, as you know, that's here in Tennessee. Of course, he can grow anything anywhere and plants seem to perk up just when he walks into a room -- a trait that I did not inherit. I think that there's some process you can go through to make them turn red again next year. It's something like you do for Christmas cactus, I think -- like depriving them of light for a certain amount of time or something like that.When I was little, we lived in Florida, and they grow outside there all year round.
I kept one for several years once, though it never flowered again. I just got another one this year, which needs water every single day or it starts crying and begging me for water with its droopy leaves. I watered my old one only once a week, like all my plants. So, I'm thinking that a larger pot with room for more soil that can hang on to more water longer would be a good idea.Disclaimer: I suck with plants. Although I don't kill every single one of them, the only ones that live are the ones that can deal with the lighting they get and once-a-week watering. It also helps for me to have a "spokesplant" (like a peace lily) that will droop melodramatically while all my other plants are stoically doing their best to remain dignified. Then I know they are all thirsty and need watering before it's too late.
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