I was taking some of the dead leaves off this larger poinsettia. The strange black object in the lower left of the photo is my printer–these two plants are in my office–and if I don’t carefully deadhead, leaves fall into my printer and jam it up. This is the problem of salvaging plants at work.
The larger poinsettia is almost 5 years old and it blooms every year. Not for Christmas, as you can see–this year it bloomed in May. I don’t particularly care. It’s lovely when it does bloom. It’s finishing up now and could really use a trim.
You can see the new shoots here–and the thickness of some of the stems. That’s what got me taking a closer look at this plant.
The other thing that just astonished me is that the stem of every leaf is red. This is so pretty. It’s just a gorgeous contrast, especially with the dark green leaves.
I should really clean this plant up and re-pot it–but it’s growing so well in its plain old nursery pot (scary). Sometimes I just hate to change what’s working, especially in the late summer. Perhaps next spring I will give this plant the TLC it deserves.
In the garden, these get quite scrawny. They are much prettier if they are allowed to grow wild for two years or so, and then cut back aggressively every two years or so, or maybe even annually. Their vigorous new growth is prettier than gnarly old growth. I do not know how well they respond to such pruning if potted though. It could kill them.
I know mine seems to lose its leaves–obviously not a lot of them, but it does does enough of a molt that people in the office remark that it looks like it’s dying–every July! That seems like such a strange thing, timing wise, for a tropical plant to do! Maybe it’s saying “prune me, you fool,” or maybe, because it has just finished blooming, is doing a bit of self-pruning. Either way, it looks a bit shabby for the rest of the summer and then is fine.