Well, my very first blog for Interflora, and what a great time of year to start, with Christmas just around the corner and the shops positively bursting with all things festive…..
So, let me introduce myself, I’m a full time, hands-on florist – one of Interflora’s expert florists no less – and I’ve been working at a busy florist shop in Birmingham for the last sixteen years.
I hope to share with you some of the things that happen in the day to day life of a florist, and believe me, no day is the same, as well as passing on flower advice, plant care tips and just about anything else that occurs.
So, back to Christmas, and if there is one plant which symbolises this time of year more than any other it must surely be the Poinsettia (or Points as they call them in market). They can be temperamental at times, but with a little care information, you can get them to happily ‘bloom’ all through Christmas.
One way to understand your plants better is to find out where they come from, and when you know that Poinsettia’s are from Mexico and grow wild in tropical forests, then you start to get an idea about what sort of conditions they prefer.
They like it nice and warm, and they don’t appreciate chilly winds or cold draughts – it’s this which makes them collapse – and after all, wouldn’t you complain if you were nice and cosy and then suddenly someone took you outside into minus temperatures?
So, don’t buy your Poinsettia’s from market stalls and draughty supermarket doorways, just head to you local Interflora florists, and when you get your plant home, stand it somewhere bright, warm and away from draughts.
Water when the soil feels dry, but don’t let it sit in water, if you have a Poinsettia in a crock pot, check every now and then to make sure there’s no water standing in the bottom. And don’t worry about the white sap; it’s not poisonous, although some people can have an allergic reaction to it.
By the way, did you know that the actual flowers of the Poinsettia are the little insignificant yellow beads in the centre, and those wonderful red ‘flowers’ are in fact bracts, not flowers at all? And that they were ‘discovered’, although the Aztecs knew they were there all the time of course, in 1828 by a man called Joel Poinsett who was the first US minister to Mexico. And, this is rather lovely, in Guatemala; Poinsettia’s are called Noche Buena, which means ‘Christmas Eve’.
If you fancy the challenge of making your Poinsettia ‘flower’ for next year – well, it’s complicated – it involves precision pruning, keeping them in darkness and then light for set hours at a time, and you have to keep on top of it all year. So unless you have far too much time on your hands, or you’re Alan Titchmarsh, when your Poinsettia has finally given all it can, bid it a fond farewell, consign it to the compost heap and look forward to buying a fresh one next Christmas from your expert florist – where else?
Until next time, Happy Christmas!
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