Poinsettias adorn many living rooms in winter. With good care, the plant will last for years and the leaves will turn red again and again. What is most important when watering and fertilizing?
Poinsettia – also known as poinsettia, spurge, and poinsettia – is one of the most popular houseplants. The sales season only lasts about eight weeks. Plants with striking bracts are originally from Mexico. Poinsettia grows into tall bushes. For decades, breeders have worked to develop them into small potted specimens.
Poinsettia Red Leaves are Not Flowers
It doesn’t always have to be red. Poinsettia comes in many different colors.
Poinsettia has been in Germany for over 100 years. It is grown in greenhouses and will go on sale in early November. The range of colors is huge and ever-increasing: from red to salmon pink to yellow and cream. By the way, the colored part of the plant is not the flower, but the discolored bracts. The flowers themselves are rather unremarkable. They are small, yellow, and located in the middle of the bracts.
Also Check: How Often Do You Water Poinsettias
Buying Poinsettia: You Should Pay Attention to This
Reefer boxes are suitable for transporting smaller plants.
When purchased, yellow-green flowers should sprout between the colored bracts. If most of them have opened or even fallen off, the plants are past the flowering stage. It is best not to buy plants with yellow leaves. Poinsettia must be well packaged during shipping because it is sensitive to cold. The best way is to wrap the plant on paper. Smaller samples can be transported well in insulated coolers. Plants provided outdoors or in the supermarket, vent areas are not recommended.
Despite its filigree appearance, the poinsettia is easy to care for and robust. As a tropical plant, it likes warm and bright places. It tolerates direct sunlight only in moderate conditions and is sensitive to cold drafts. Then it can happen that the poinsettia loses its leaves or even dies. Room temperature between 18 and 20 degrees is optimal.
Caring for Poinsettia: Proper Watering and Fertilization
Poinsettia does not tolerate waterlogging at all. When in doubt, keep the soil too dry rather than too wet. Watering in a dipping bath is especially recommended. To do this, remove the nearly dry root ball from the buffer pot and submerge it in warm water for a few minutes.
Then pick up the plant, drain the excess water, and put it back in the planter. During the spring and summer bloom and growth stages, give poinsettia a full fertilizer about every one to two weeks.
Turn Pot Poinsettia
You don’t have to buy poinsettias every year, they can be kept for years and grow into beautiful shrubs with good care. Varieties with dark leaves are more durable than those with lighter leaves. For well-developed plants, repotting should be done in April after purchase or at the beginning of the growing season.
Because they are usually sold commercially in poor soil, or treated with growth inhibitors to ensure the plants stay small. Cactus soil works well as a substrate because it doesn’t store water very well, so it can counteract waterlogging.
The leaves are turning red
Poinsettias are beautiful all year round.
If the poinsettia loses all its colored bracts in the spring, dark green leaves will grow back in the summer. In order for these plants to naturally change color again and form new flowers, plants can receive up to twelve hours of light per day in the fall.
So, starting in October, it should either be kept in a room that is dark from early evening, or covered with a cardboard box or bucket, for at least 12 to 14 hours a day for about two months. By the way, plants can also stand outside during warmer seasons – preferably in partial shade.
Poinsettia’s milky sap is slightly toxic
Since poinsettia belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family, a white liquid oozes from the stem when cut. This milky sap is mildly toxic and can cause skin irritation or poisoning-like symptoms such as nausea or abdominal pain.
Exposure to breast milk is not harmful in adults, the critical dose is unknown. However, children, especially small animals, are sensitive to plant toxins. In an emergency, drink plenty of water as first aid. When ingested in large quantities, charcoal tablets should be taken. Consult a doctor if necessary.
Propagation of Poinsettia by Cuttings
With good care, cuttings quickly turn into beautiful houseplants with lush green leaves.
If you want to propagate a poinsettia, you can do this with the help of cuttings.
These should have four to five leaves and should be placed in a glass of warm water immediately after cutting to stop the milky juices from flowing. Then place the cuttings in potting soil mixed with coarse sand. Rooting agents speed up the taking of cuttings.
Suitable for vases and table decoration
Poinsettia also looks great in an advent garland.
Before houseplants triumphed in living rooms in the 1950s, the poinsettia was primarily used as a cut flower. It still looks good in a vase today. For the longest lifespan can be as long as two weeks, place the stems in hot water around 60 degrees for about two minutes after cutting. This prevents milk from flowing out. They are then placed in freshwater previously enriched with floral preservatives.
Poinsettias are great for souvenirs or holiday table decorations such as wreaths. For example, so-called minis can be used as location cards that guests can take with them later as souvenirs.