When it comes to floral displays this time of year, poinsettias are the go-to with millions purchased during the Christmas season. But one north Edmonton family hasn’t needed to buy one for the last 18 years.
The quintessential holiday plant has been firmly rooted in Joe Mauro’s family house since 1999 when his daughter bought it for him as a Christmas gift.
After nearly two decades, the pink poinsettia now stands at nearly seven feet tall — and that’s with it being trimmed each year.
“It’s a beautiful thing,” he said, adding he doesn’t do anything special to care for the plant. “This year, I’ll put fertilizer twice — tomato fertilizer,” he laughed.
As the plant grew, he brought the stems together to form a trunk. He said some people didn’t believe the plant was real.
“One person, she came over here and she said, ‘This is not real.’ And I said, ‘This is real. Go touch it!’ So she came over and touched it and she said, ‘Yeah, it is real!” Because I keep it trimmed — nice and round, so it doesn’t go too high. So there we are.”
The plant lives and grows in Mauro’s sunroom during the winter. After the leaves fall, he takes it outside for the summer.
Mauro said he brings it back inside in September, and at the end of October or beginning of November, it starts to flower again.
He said he’ll keep the plant alive as long as he can.
WATCH: Horticulturist Kath Smyth discusses how to care for poinsettias and flowering holiday plants.