Yard & Garden Report


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A Christmas Carol

Ebenezer Scrooge tells you how to kill your poinsettia. Bah humbug!

Bah humbug!
Yes, I’m Ebenezer Scrooge. Good day to you. Are you surprised it’s me? Bah humbug!

I know it’s the holidays—a total waste of time and money. The only thing I hate more than Christmas itself is the poinsettia I receive every year from my nephew Fred.

Let me tell you how I kill my poinsettia every year. It’s a wonderful feeling, and maybe you can do the same thing this Christmas.

The dimmer, the better. Poinsettias thrive in full sun. Since I want my poinsettia to suffer, I look for the dimmest place possible. Before you know it, the plant will lose its colorful luster and begin dropping leaves. Good riddance, I say!

Overwater it. My favorite way to kill a poinsettia is to drown it. The pots of poinsettias are usually wrapped with foil. When you water your poinsettia, allow the water to remain inside the wrapping, making sure the plant is always sitting in a pool of water.

A poinsettia that sits in water will suffer from root rot. The dying roots will stop sucking up water for the plant, and the plant will start drooping.

When a plant droops, most gardeners think it needs MORE water. This is the last thing a drowning poinsettia needs. Soon, the plant will die! Hee, hee! That foolishness brings joy to my cold, tiny heart.

Set your plant near a drafty door or window. The cold air will cause severe stress. Exposing poinsettias to CHILLY temperatures below 60 degrees is a COOL idea. By George, that pun was my first bit of humor in years!

Watch your plant die—on TV. You can literally watch your plant die while it sits near the television. The warm drafts from the TV will cause the leaves to dry out. Imagine, you can watch your favorite TV shows and during the commercials admire your suffering poinsettia! Setting your plant near a radiator or heating vent will cause similar pain. It’s delightful!

Bah humbug!

Written by , Extension Horticulturist, North Dakota State University. Drawing composed by Tom Kalb using non-copyrighted clip art.

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