We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Countdown to Christmas - Italian style! December 7

photo courtesy www.instructables.com

I can't believe it's Day 7 (sette) already!  Ok, here we go, let's see what we've got behind door number 7.   It's the Stelle di Natale !  Translated into English that is literally the Star of Christmas, or also called the Christmas Star, or Pointsettia.


We purchased ours yesterday on Via Garibaldi from a local group Associazione Italiana Contro Le Leucemie-Linfomi e Mieloma Onlus which raises money to support patients suffering from leukemia, lymphomas and other similar diseases. They sell Stelle di Natale every year in several locations around the city. 


I love Pointsettia.  I always have a few of them at Christmas time, but have never been able to keep them alive through the rest of the year. I've tried, believe me. I can never get them to re-bloom again. So, I just buy new ones every December. Anybody have any luck keeping them growing after the holidays?  I'd love some tips!

Now that I have my Stelle di Natale, the house is beginning to get some holiday spirit.

Buon Natale!


Kaye said...

And a very Merry Christmas to you, too! I've been able to keep them(Poinsettias)alive til summer,but no red leaves(bracts)only green. Sorry, I don't have the answer.
I enjoy your blog so much! I was in Venice in 2008 and in many ways, I'm still there! She gets into your blood. Keep posting, we're reading! (I live outside of Winchester, VA) Hugs!

Debra Kolkka said...

Pointsettias are the official flower of Brisbane, my hometown. They grow like mad here as they are a sub tropical plant. In Italy they would be grown out of season in hot houses. I have no idea how you would get them to keep growing. If you could keep it alive until summer you could put it outside. They need a lot of sun, which they won't be getting in a Venetian winter.

Andrew H. said...

This is what the Royal Horticultural Society say: Getting plants to colour up again next year

Poinsettias are often disappointing in their second year, but this is the best way to try and get a good display from them in their second year.
1.Prune back the plants hard in April, to about 10cm (4in).
2.Repot them, growing them in a light, cool place over summer. A temperature of 15-18°C (60-65°F) is ideal.
3.Flowering and bract colouring is initiated by short winter day-length, occurring naturally in December and January. So from November onwards, plants should be put in a dark room after twelve hours of daylight and protected from artificial light sources.
4.Plants need a constant temperature of around 18°C (55°F) to colour up well, so make sure they do not get too cold.
I guess like me you've tried all this. It's easier just to buy anew each year.

karen said...

Ciao, Kaye!

I know Winchester, Va! My ex-mother-in-law lives in Culpeper, I used to go through Winchester all the time when visiting her. What a small world.

Buon Natale!

karen said...

Hi Debra! How cool to learn that the pointsettia is the official flower of Brisbane! I'm going to make an attempt to keep these two alive. I have a little greenhouse that we purchase at the beginning of spring to grow plants from seeds for the garden. I'm thinking that might be a possible solution for the pointsettias.

Hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

karen said...

Ciao, Andrew! Thanks for this great advise. I have tried many of these over the ages, but always give up. I think I might try with more concerted effort to keep them alive. We have a new little greenhouse, those plants might be perfect new residents for it this year after the holidays. If that doesn't work, I will go back to supporting the local charity every year and continue buying from them. Can't possibly not have at least one.

Buon Natale!