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Those Christmas Poinsettias Aren't Just For Xmas
A burst of color....
Years ago I drove from Rangoon, Burma to Mandalay and back.
Rangoon still carried that name then, and that country was stil known worldwide as Burma. More recently the current unelected military junta used its dictatorial power to change what Burmese were supposed to call their own country, and their former capitol city!
On that drive I turned a corner way out in the countryside during the dry season, far from much of anything. As I did so, my eyes beheld what seemed to be a natural miracle, It was something I would never have expected to see! The whole bend of that curve, for perhaps 20 yeards was edged by head high poinsettias in full blossom!
I had black and white film in my camera at the time, but the visual color image is burned into my memory. Those bushes were so, so beautiful.
My wife has seen not only poinsettias as tall as that, but as tall as trees! And she has seen one third of a mountainside in her native Laos adorned by blossoming poinsettias. That site is burned into her visual memory, just as the sighting in Burma is burned into mine.
We partially duplicated that on a small scale one summer here in the Rocky Mountains. We transplanted a Christmas poinsettia to the outdoors adjacent to about 20 rabbits we had at the time. It grew and grew to shoulder height and had those same red leaves which are the poinsettia's "false flowers" surrounding the real yellow flower centers.
That summer splendor understandably did not survive the winter cold, so we have contented ourselves with having poinsettias growing indoors where they grace and decorate our home and discount health business with blossomings each year, as you can see from these several photos.
If you would like to grow them indoors this coming year, my suggestion is that you salvage a local office's after-Christmas-throw-aways. Take them home and replace the nursery soil with fresh, clean potting soil. Keep them adequately watered to the point where water runs out the bottom of each pot into a shallow tray you put underneath, and add water every few days as the water in the tray dries up, reglarly repeating that watering process.
Choose a south-facing window, if you are fortunate enough to have one, and you can enjoy this Christmas reminder all year long..
For more details on poinsettias, click on the Wikipedia link which follows this article.
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