Sunday, December 11, 2011

Poinsettia in a can

I made an exciting discovery today at our local Dollar Tree store where nothing costs more than—you guessed it—one dollar. A poinsettia in a can!

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Just what it says

First I thought it was a type of jack-in-the-box that jumps in your face when you open the can. Typically those are clowns, snakes, ghouls or other ghastly figures, but hey, it’s the holidays, so why not a euphorbia to startle you! But I was wrong, it is a miniature poinsettia growing station.

                                                                                                                                                  
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Instructions and ingredients
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Instructions and ingredients on can
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Seed packet in the bottom lid
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Just like a soda can!

Needless to say I was itching to get going. First I pull the tab on the bottom, which basically just creates a hole for the water to drain from. Then I pull the tab on the top which removes the entire lid. The “soil” inside the can looks to be 100% vermiculite. The instructions say to add 3-4 ounces of water…

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The growing medium seems to be pure vermiculite

…place the seeds on top…

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Exactly one dozen seeds

…and cover them loosely with “soil.”

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Sown and lightly covered with “soil”

The instructions state that sunlight is not required for germination so I put the can in a dark corner of my home office. Germination is supposed to take 14 days, so instead of a “blooming” poinsettia I will have seedlings for Christmas.

What’s next, you might ask? The instructions are vague on this point. “If desired, transplant into another pot,” is all they say (italics are mine). That means that I do not have to transplant my seedlings, that I can use this very stylish aluminum can as the flower pot. Now if that isn’t the best thing about the entire product!

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Just three of the many exciting places you can decorate with your poinsettia in a can!

Apparently I’m not the first to have discovered “poinsettia in a can.” Here is a humorous Tumblr post from a blogger named Garden Science; I’m still laughing from reading it. Be sure to start at the bottom.

CULTURAL NOTE: In North America, no other plant is as closely associated with Christmas as the poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima). In its native Mexico, it is a shrub or even a small tree up to 16 ft. in height. In the U.S., we mostly see poinsettias as potted plants that are disposed of after Christmas. The poinsettia business is a quarter billion dollar industry, and the “recipes” for the most popular colors are protected like state secrets. Check out this interesting article from the Sacramento Bee.

3 comments:

  1. I just wonder how you'd get the plant out of the can if you did want to transplant...

    My favorite poinsettia story: a few years ago I went to Home Depot on Christmas eve to pick up a couple as last-minute table decorations. They were marked down to 1/2 price but rang up as $0.02 -- that's right, only two pennies each! I felt stupid paying with a $20. :)

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  2. Alan, that's a great story. It underscores the fact that the commercial value of poinsettias declines sharply the closer we get to Christmas. I imagine that after Christmas you can probably buy them for next to nothing. Now if only it weren't so challenging to get them to rebloom (and I'm using that term loosely since the "flower petals" are actually bracts).

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  3. Haha, an instant buy for any plant geek! What a funny product, kind of genius tho. It's well laid out and and easy for anybody. Thanks for sharing, keep us updated :)

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