'Crappy half-dead' poinsettia from grocery store just won't stop growing

In one of the best cases of return on investment, Mike Doehl turned a $5 poinsettia bought at a Montreal store three years ago into a looming giant.

The holiday plant has so far survived three Christmas seasons and is now huge

This giant festive shrub was once a grocery store poinsettia

2 years ago
Duration 0:56
Talk about a great return on an investment. When Joanne Hill bought a modest poinsettia at Maxi for $5 three years ago, she had no idea her husband's green thumb would turn it into a festive shrub. A giant one.

It's been a huge return on a small investment: Mike Doehl turned a $5 poinsettia bought at a Montreal grocery store three years ago into a looming giant. 

His wife, Joanne Hill, describes the festive red and green plant she brought home as "a little, crappy half-dead plant from Maxi."

But Doehl used the magic of his green thumb to help it grow into a behemoth that now takes up a good part of a room in the basement of their home in Mont Saint-Hilaire, a Montreal suburb.

"When things are really beautiful, I want to keep them and cherish them," Doehl said about the poinsettia.

"I just love this thing. The colours make me happy, especially during this COVID time."

Joanne Hill and Mike Doehl are pretty proud of their $5 poinsettia and say it may even stand in as a Christmas tree. (Sarah Leavitt/CBC)

Besides constant watering and a bit of liquid fertilizer, Doehl said he doesn't do much else to coax the growth. With the help of his nephew, he's transferred the plant outside during the warm months and then back in over winter.

"Put some lights on it and we won't need a Christmas tree," Hill laughs.

"I'm just worried, will it get bigger?!"


Sarah Leavitt


Sarah Leavitt is a multimedia journalist with CBC who loves hearing people's stories. Tell her yours: or on Twitter @SarahLeavittCBC.