Week 36 – Urban Legends – Myth or Fact???

Today we discussed some of the old urban legends and myths about Poinsettias and Christmas Trees.  These myths hang on from year to year so we were there today to debunk some old legends.  I’m sure these will continue to be myths because that’s what a myth is but we tried our hardest to debunk a few.


1)  Will Poinsettias kill my cat?  NO – many studies, including one from Ohio State have been done that show Poinsettias are not poisonous and won’t kill your cat.  Will it make their stomach upset and will they upchuck all over the floor?  Possibly, but it’s no worse than eating something else they’ll throw up.  If you like to deter your cat away from the houseplants, grow some Cat Oats.  Get a shallow bowl and fill it with soil, sprinkle the oat seeds over the soil and press in about 1/4 inch.  Water and cover with plastic wrap.  They grow fast and as soon as they sprout you can uncover them and let your cat have a treat.

2) Do Poinsettias make good houseplants?  NO – Poinsettias are beautiful while they are in bloom and may last awhile; but after the blooms are gone it’s very very hard to get a Poinsettia to bloom again.  During the day the plant will need light and water and after sundown will need complete darkness.  Even a night light or street light is too much, so unless you have a totally dark place with a grow light you’d have to put it up every night until it blooms again which is really a lot of hassle.  Your odds of winning the lottery are more likely.  Enjoy it and pitch it unless you’re a tenacious gardener with a very very green thumb.

3)  Should I put sugar in the Christmas Tree water?  NO – your tree is dead so the sugar serves no purpose.  It doesn’t help keep the tree fresh and since it’s dead it doesn’t need any energy.  I tried this once and all it did was really make the water stink.  If you would like you can spray the tree with some Wilt-Pruf or Wilt-Stop but the best thing to do is buy a fresh tree, make a new cut off the bottom and stick it in plain old water.

4)  Artificial trees save a real tree – NO – Christmas trees are a crop like corn or any other commodity.  They are not depleting the forest or taking anything away from the environment.  Many communities have a program to make the trees into mulch and is used for city gardens and given away as free mulch.  Also, artificial trees will end up in a landfill and never go away; and last but not least, the artificial tree comes in a cardboard box that is made from a tree and just more trash to throw away.

5)  Pine needles have too much acid to be used in compost – NO – pine needles do have acid but Colorado is very alkaline so the acid is good for our soil.

6)  Christmas Trees aggravate allergies – NO – the tree is dead and not producing pollen.  You might have some other problem like touching them makes you turn itchy (me!) or you can’t stand the smell but it won’t be a pollen allergy thingy.

7) Can Reindeers fly? – Well of course they can – silly question!!

9News BackyardIMG_4765

So far, so fun!!

To view today’s segment please visit:  http://www.9news.com/rss/story.aspx?storyid=303545

About pbodwell

Master Gardener; Nat'l Award Winning Photographer; Garden Writer; Artist - art books, print maker, hot glass, wire jewelry designer; sometime quilter; new homesteader; bee keeper; very crafty; Baseball fan, enthusiast, and researcher; all things vintage
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