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In Canada, poinsettia are the most popular of all Christmas houseplants. Millions of poinsettia are purchased each year during the Christmas season by people who enjoy the colour and warmth they provide to the home. Proper selection will help to ensure a long lasting plant that you will enjoy throughout the Christmas and winter months. With proper care, your poinsettia will last through the holiday season and right into late winter.
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: Poinsettia CareContent:
- Tip of the Week: Points About Poinsettias
- Keeping Your Poinsettia Alive
- Poinsettia Plant Care
- Caring for Poinsettias During the Holidays and After
- Poinsettia Care for the Entire Christmas Season!
- Poinsettia Care Tips & Growing Guide | How to Rebloom Poinsettias
Tip of the Week: Points About Poinsettias
Poinsettias make an excellent holiday gift that, if treated properly, will hold their colorful bracts for many months, giving a long period of display. When given special care, poinsettia plants can be enjoyed for years to come. In recent years, poinsettias have been hybridized to produce numerous varieties with different colored bracts and have become extremely popular holiday decorative plants. As outdoor garden plants in frost-free zones, poinsettias can grow up 3 feet tall or more and range in color from bright red to pink or white.
As indoor, seasonal plants most will typically grow from 8 to 12 in. Some new varieties have bicolor or speckled bracts.
Poinsettias are native to Mexico and Central America, where they naturally grow as shrubs or small trees. Poinsettia flowers are small and greenish but are surrounded by brightly colored bracts modified leaves that have a long history of being used in decorating. In the early s, the first US ambassador to Mexico who was an avid botanist and plant lover Joel Roberts Poinsett brought poinsettia cuttings home and grew them in his South Carolina greenhouse.
Here are our recommendations for making your poinsettia perform at its best during the holiday season and beyond.
By choosing a healthy plant, it will be easier to care for and helps to ensure your poinsettia will thrive for several seasons. Select a nicely proportioned plant with dark green leaves free from yellowing or curling. The bracts, which are the colored leaves around the flowers, should be fully colored and well-developed, with small yellow-green true flowers in the centers of the bracts. When taking poinsettias home from the store , it is important not to chill plants.
To prevent this, be sure the plant is in a large closed shopping bag, a box, or a paper or plastic sleeve made to protect the plant from the wind. Remove the protective cover and any decorative sleeves when plants are out of danger from cold. Place your poinsettia near a sunny window where they will get at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight. South, west, or east-facing windows are best. If they do not get enough sun, the leaves lose their dark green color and start to drop. Do not let leaves touch window panes, as the cold temperatures can damage them.
Avoid areas where plants will be exposed to sudden changes in temperature, such as near an outside door or near furnace vents. It is very important to keep the soil evenly moist throughout the bloom period. If the soil is allowed to become overly dry and plants wilt between waterings, they will lose their leaves prematurely.
Poinsettias are one of the few plants where moderate watering on a regular schedule is recommended and keeps plants at their best. If you are not sure when to water, feel the soil. If the media at the top of the pot feels dry, water until it leaches out from the drain hole in the bottom of the pot. Discard all the excess water in the saucer below the pot to prevent oversaturating the soil. Water on colored poinsettia bracts can leave unsightly spots or spotting, so take care to not get water on the bracts.
Wetting poinsettia leaves may also promote fungal disease that causes leaves to drop prematurely. Fertilization with an all-purpose liquid plant food like AlgoPlus will prolong the life of your poinsettia. Use a low rate of fertilizer every two weeks while the plant is blooming.
The last thing to remember is to not remove the greenish-yellow true flowers that grow in the centers of the bracts. If the flowers are removed, the bracts will quickly fade. People are often interested in keeping poinsettias alive and reblooming them for the following Christmas. This can be done with some care, though blooming may not be as full as it was initially.To keep plants in good shape, put them in a sunny location and feed them with soluble plant food once every two to three weeks according to label directions.
When the bracts begin to fade, usually in late February to early March, cut the stems back to about 6 inches tall. This will cause branching near the base which helps to keep plants more stocky.
If you have sensitive skin, wear gloves to avoid contact with the milky sap produced when cutting the stems. After cutting back, give poinsettias a short rest by discontinuing fertilizing and reducing watering for about 4 weeks. You may resume use of a full-strength, all-purpose fertilizer every 2 to 3 weeks after the rest period. In early summer, transplant your poinsettia plant to a new pot that is about 1 to 2 inches larger in diameter than the pot it is currently in. Use new, fresh well-draining potting soil.
Transplanting promotes new root growth and should be done even if new shoots are growing. If the plant is rootbound, gently break up or cut the edges of the root ball to allow new roots to grow. Fertilize the newly transplanted poinsettia and pinch it lightly once growth begins. Just like with young vegetable plants, poinsettias should be hardened off for their transition from inside to outside.
Gradually expose plants to full sunshine, keeping them initially in a lightly shaded spot, introducing them to more sun exposure gradually over a two-week period. Once plants are moved outside permanently, keep them watered and fertilized throughout the summer. Poinsettias will prefer a sunny location but need soil that is kept evenly moist, but well-drained. To reduce their need for frequent watering, pots can be buried in garden beds. Pinch plants again in August to promote branching.
This should be the last time you pinch back the plant before flowering. Bring poinsettias indoors before cool autumn nights begin. If exposed to cool temperatures, plants can be damaged and many not flower. Inspect plants for insects before bringing them indoors. The most common insect problem is the whitefly. They can be spotted by brushing the leaves with your hand. If small white insects fly from the plant, these are whiteflies.
Whitefly can be controlled with insecticidal soap. Several applications may be necessary to completely eliminate the pest. Always read and follow all label directions when using pesticides. Poinsettias need a period of short days and long nights to produce bracts. Start a short-day treatment in mid to late September to produce color around Christmas.
It takes 8 to 10 weeks of nights with at least 14 hours of complete darkness to initiate bracts. To provide short days, move poinsettias into a room that has no artificial light at night, or place a cardboard box or black plastic bag over the plant each night. Each morning, the plant must be placed in a sunny window again. Continue this treatment every day for at least 8 weeks or until small bracts develop.
Once bracts appear, you can discontinue their long night treatments. Maintain fertilizer for every two to three weeks with AlgoPlus all-purpose and keep plants evenly moist throughout the flowering period. There is no other plant that epitomizes our sense of the Christmas season. Give a poinsettia plant to a friend, a neighbor, or bring one with you to your family holiday meal or to share with your congregation. A poinsettia, as a gift, is a symbol of the Christmas spirit.
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Keeping Your Poinsettia Alive
Despite their limited, two-month run on retailers' shelves each year, poinsettias are the best-selling potted plant in the United States. Growers sold more thanCome February or March, many of these cherished decorations are droopy, yellowed or worse — in the trash. Poinsettia plants can last for years if they are treated right, said Paul Thomas, professor of horticulture at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Healthy poinsettias have plenty of tan and white roots.
The poinsettia a beautiful houseplant, particularly popular the holiday season. This article tells you all you need to know about poinsettia plant care.
Poinsettia Plant Care
What's a person to do with poinsettia when Christmas is over? Don't toss them out into the freezing Indianapolis weather with your garbage. Keep them as houseplants! Yes, you can keep your Christmas poinsettias as houseplants, and you can even get them to bloom again next year. Here's what you need to know to keep your poinsettia as part of your houseplant family all year long and how to get it ready to bloom again in time for the holidays. Poinsettias are a tropical plant, so they need similar care to most other tropical houseplants in the winter. They like:.Lots of bright light, at least 6 hours per day, although not too much direct sun. Moist, but not wet, soil with excellent drainage.
Caring for Poinsettias During the Holidays and After
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By Rob Sproule. Care after Christmas Spring Care Reblooming.
Poinsettia Care for the Entire Christmas Season!
One Christmas Eve long ago, a little girl from Mexico named Pepita was sad. More than anything, she wanted to give a fine present to the Christ Child at the church service that evening. But, she was very poor and had no gift. As she walked sorrowfully to church with her cousin Pedro, he tried to console her. So Pepita gathered a bouquet of common weeds from the roadside and entered the church. As she approached the altar, her spirits lifted.
Poinsettia Care Tips & Growing Guide | How to Rebloom Poinsettias
Bold and beautiful, the poinsettia plant Euphorbia pulcherrima has bright petals that contain small flowers of green and yellow at the center. The poinsettia plant is native to the Mexico region where it was used by the Aztecs for decorative and medicinal purposes. Now found in most tropical areas where they can grow as large bushes or small trees, sometimes as big as a house. In our climate poinsettia plants grow best during the winter months, which is why they are the most popular potted plant during the holidays. And, with good care, a poinsettia plant can maintain its beauty for much longer than the Christmas season. Since poinsettia plants are from the tropics, they prefer surroundings that simulate that type of environment. Here are some tips on how to keep your poinsettia beautiful year round. Because poinsettias are from the Central America, they are used to a fair amount of sun.
Learn how to keep your poinsettia plant looking beautiful and vibrant all season long! Just follow these easy poinsettia care tips!
Last Updated on November 17, by Paul Guzman. Poinsettia plant care. Poinsettias are in the Euphorbiaceae family and are used in pots and shown during the holiday seasons, especially during the Christmas season.
Christmas is coming and some are purchasing a traditional poinsettia plant to add a bright pop of colour to the holiday season. The poinsettia is well known for its green and red colours and is widely used in Christmas floral displays but if you want the boldest, biggest leaves on your poinsettia, you will have to treat it just right. Two do. The plant originates from Central America and needs surroundings that simulate a similar environment. Make sure no part of your plant touches the windowpane as this could harm the plant.
Poinsettias have become as entwined with our Christmastime traditions as carols and mistletoe.
Poinsettias Euphorbia pulcherrima , USDA zones 9 through 11, with their brilliant red bracts, grace many homes over the winter holidays, but are often neglected during the rest of the year. After the tinsel and holiday lights are gone, though, you can actually grow these tender perennials for years with basic care and regular pruning to maintain a pleasing shape and size. In fact, if they're allowed to grow freely outdoors in the warmest USDA zones, these plants can reach the size of small shrubs, attaining heights of 10 feet or more in their native Mexico. To help prevent the spread of diseases between plants, always disinfect your pruning tools before and after use by wiping the blades with a clean paper towel soaked with rubbing alcohol. Prune off the old stems in late winter or early spring by cutting them back to 4 to 6 inches in height and leaving one to three leaves on each stem. This forces new growth to appear at the leaf axis and paves the way for a full plant that can support many blooms.
When we think of holiday plants and flowers, Poinsettias are probably the first that comes to mind. And these colorful holiday beauties can be grown as houseplants long after the holiday season ends. They can also be grown in the garden in our mild Southern California climate. Poinsettia plants are named after the famous amateur botanist and statesman, John Poinsett.