Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 11 of the Twelve Days of Christmas in the Florida Garden

Meems at Hoe & Shovel came up with the idea for the 12 Days of Christmas in the Florida Garden.

Companion Plants of a Different Sort!

Lurking behind this lush looking plant with variegated leaves is a couple of poinsettia bushes from past Christmas'. If you look close, you can see the dark green leaves of the poinsettia bushes to the bottom left. In the past, the poinsettia's always missed blooming by Christmas, peaking in January instead. Since they require a certain number of "dark hours" to set their bloom, I figured the motion-sensor light on the back porch was disturbing their sleep.
But since I planted this pretty foliage plant two years ago...without any intention...the poinsettia bushes have bloomed by Christmas. My "unscientific mind" has reasoned that the new plant is shading the poinsettia bushes just enough to keep their bloom schedule on time. They have...in turn...become "companion plants" of a different sort.

Here's a close-up view of the rain-drenched red flowers brightening my Florida garden. Next week, I will cut back the variegated plant (don't fret...it will freeze back in January, anyway) just enough, so that I can see the poinsettia bushes from inside my home.

How lucky I am that I planted the variegated plant...totally unbeknownst to me... in just the right spot. Sometimes we are blessed to be guided by unseen forces!

4 comments:

My Mother's Garden said...

It's so nice and unusual to see the poinsettia in a natural setting.
Happy Holidays!

Susan said...

Karita...Thanks for dropping by. It is neat to be able to grow them outdoors. Last year we had a freeze down into the upper 20's and for some reason the poinsettias did not freeze. I enjoyed their blooms through April when I finally had to trim them back. Happy Holidays to you, too!

Meems said...

Susan,
After mine all froze to the ground, it has been many years since I planted a poinsettia. Not enough sun anymore either. I can't remember the name of your foliage plant either at the moment but I have some and love it... only wish it was more frost tolerant. My neighbor's (which is where I got my cutting) blooms beautifully every year because hers is protected by her house and trees.

So glad your poinsettias are blooming just in time for you to enjoy them from inside the house. they are really pretty.
Meems

Susan said...

Meems...I have a hard time buying a poinsettia and composting it after Christmas. There's just something about tossing out a "live plant" that goes against my grain...you know what I mean?

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