Thursday, September 27, 2012
I follow the Iowa-based Earl May Garden Center on Facebook, and a recent post encouraged customers to check out the Pumpkins-On-A-Stick now in stores. I had never heard of pumpkins-on-a-stick, so I did a quick Google search and discovered that the plants are very popular for fall flower arrangements.
The plant is actually an eggplant, not a pumpkin. The thorny branches start to bud into white blossoms, which grow into tiny green fruit that turns orange in the fall. The eggplant looks like a tiny pumpkin. Earl May offered the plants in decorative pots, with artificial fall leaves to add a little more holiday color.
The average first freeze date in central Iowa is just a few weeks away, so I decided to just place the pot inside the concrete planter by our front step. (Plus, the plant has some sharp thorns, which I didn't want to touch!) I planted a few pansies around the pot to help hide the plastic container.
Here's a couple close-up shots of the pumpkin-on-a-stick. The orange leaves are artificial, but the orange pumpkin-shaped fruit is real. If you look closely, you can see the white blooms and the green fruit that hasn't turned orange yet.
It was a bit of a splurge -- the plant cost $20 -- but I really like the festive fall color it adds to my front porch. Have you ever grown pumpkin-on-a-stick? I had never heard of it before until I read about it on Facebook.