Beginning the first of October, protect the plants from light by placing them in a dark closet between 5:00 PM and 8:00 AM daily. How Do You Prune Poinsettias? What Makes Poinsettias Turn Red? Poinsettias may also require some trimming throughout the growing season in order to remain full and healthy. A rather leggy-looking small tree in its natural state, regular pruning will keep it bushy. Many people are more familiar with the flamboyant Hawaiian hibiscus with its huge colourful flowers. Ventilation is important, but keep the plant away from drafts. Therefore, to have the plant in full flower by Christmas, keep it in complete darkness between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. from early October for 8 weeks. Poinsettias do not require high levels of light, one of the reasons they are favored as a potted plant. Potting and Repotting . Poinsettias should be kept in a warm area away from drafts, so make sure that the poinsettia you purchase from the store is on display in suitable conditions. Carefully. ... Poinsettias form flower buds when the days are shorter than 12 hours. The bright bracts are designed to attract insects to the tiny yellow flowers in their centers. They need a minimum temperature of 13-15°C (55-59°F). If you don’t have a dark garden spot, cover your plant with a box or some sort of light-blocking material. Once these have wilted and begun to die off, the poinsettia requires a thorough pruning. As flowering shrubs, poinsettias can reach a height of up to ten feet. Did you know that in 1925 the poinsettia was chosen to be Poinsettias do best in full fall sun and the bracts (colored leaves below the flowers) obtain their deepest color in good light. Enjoy … Poinsettia care is easy throughout the holidays. Be careful when transporting poinsettias from the shop to your home in the winter, as the cold outdoor temperatures can damage the foliage. Choosing Plants: Look for bushy plants with lots of colorful bracts that are fully opened yet not covered with pollen. Stop all pruning in late summer around mid-August because next year's flower buds will be forming. They need a minimum temperature of 13-15°C (55-59°F). Nothing says Christmas more than a beautiful poinsettia plant. However, with proper care, your holiday poinsettia should continue to put out blooms, or in the least remain attractive for weeks after. It is actually the plant’s leaves that provide its color through a process called photoperiodism. Do take precaution that no such part of the plant touches the cold windowpane which may injure it. Poinsettias need bright, but filtered light, away from strong sun and draughts. The Poinsettias are sub-tropical plants well known for their Christmas floral displays with their bright scarlet red leaves and dark green foliage from this the real poinsettia flower is the insignificant flower cluster in the centre of the red bracts. Poinsett was a botanist, physician and the first United States Ambassador to Mexico. The cut stems can be used to propagate new plants. These finicky short-day plants require specific growing needs in order to retain their Christmas blooms. The vibrantly coloured bracts are produced in winter, when many gardens are looking cheerless and bare. To prune a poinsettia, cut the plant back to 6 to 8 inches above the ground in the spring, then during the summer, pinch off new shoots when they’re about 6 inches long to encourage branching. Poinsettias grow well in the warmer zones of Australia. This has not been documented in wild poinsettias though, as cultivars seldom flower and do not produce fruits. Drafts, as well as low temperatures, waterlogged soil, and drought, can cause the lower leaves of the poinsettia to turn yellow and fall from the plant. As of 2012, wild poinsettias are not protected by Mexican law. In the centre of the bracts are the true flowers, an insignificant yellowish cluster. By Staff Writer Last Updated Apr 13, 2020 8:18:00 AM ET. If you want larger poinsettias during the holiday season, you can leave the stems a bit longer so that they end approximately 8 inches (20 cm) from the rim of the container they are in. The ideal plant size is about 2½ times the pot’s diameter. Poinsettias’ flowers are the center of the surrounding red leaves, or bracts. This will encourage larger flowers and more compact growth. 1. Poinsettias received their name in the United States in honor of Joel Roberts Poinsett, who introduced the plant into the country in 1828. It's a good idea to wear gloves when handling them and wash off any sap that gets on your skin right away, but there's no danger of anyone getting poisoned by contact with these plants. 1-800 Flowers is another place you can buy a variety of Poinsettias online including this classic holiday design that comes in a festive, on-brand pot. Poinsettias are becoming more and more well known as the festive or Christmas plant as they look absolutely spectacular when they are blooming with gorgeous red flowers and beautiful deep green foliage. SERIES 16 | Episode 13. The vibrantly coloured bracts are produced in winter, when many gardens are looking cheerless and bare. Poinsettias originate from Mexico and can grow into a large shrub to small tree in the garden. The Christmas tradition of poinsettias is inspired by Mexican folktale about a poor little girl called Pepita who had no present for the baby Jesus at a Christmas Eve service. Do this by dipping the stem in a rooting hormone and then planting this into a pot with soil. So why do we consider them the official Christmas flowers anyway? Temperature: These plants prefer temperatures from 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and from 60 to 65 degrees at night. It is interesting to note though that all that beautiful fiery red seen in December is, in fact, a man-made fabrication; July/August is actually the time when poinsettias are blooming naturally and their bracts become their signature red. In the centre of the bracts are the true flowers, an insignificant yellowish cluster. Holiday Poinsettia Plant Care While red is the most popular color, there are also some varieties that can grow pink, peach, or cream leaves. The flowers of the poinsettia are actually modified leaf structures called bracts. Poinsettias – potted Christmas decoration. Poinsettias bloom when the days get shorter. The true flowers are the small, yellow buds in the center of the bracts.) The colorful “flowers” of poinsettias are actually modified leaves called “bracts.” Poinsettias grow well in moist soil and temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees F. They can be grown outdoors during summer. The hibiscus is a beautiful flower. How to Keep Poinsettias Growing To Next Christmas. Poinsettia sap that can irritate the skin and cause an upset stomach if consumed in large enough quantities. Get your Poinsettias to bloom by dark treatment of Poinsettias! When keeping the plant through the year, begin fertilizing in the spring at half strength when there's no growth—not until then. Make sure the plant gets enough sun, and water and fertilize regularly. . They have erect, succulent stems and large, scarlet floral leaves or bracts, which look like flamboyant flowers. This process, in response to certain amounts of light or lack thereof, turns the leaves from green to red (or pink, white, and other shade variations). Over the grey months of winter look out for the many gardens filled with azaleas, and their vibrantly coloured pink, mauve, orange and golden yellow flowers. The poinsettias grow best in the warmer climates of Australia. In Australia, growers control the growing conditions – especially the light – to induce flowering and red bracts, which are formed when the days shorten. Poinsettias have also been called the lobster flower and the flame-leaf flower, due to the red color. There is a legendary Mexican story from the 17th century about this plant that connects it to Christmas. In fact, they’re one of the most popular houseplants in the world! The Poinsettia is a light sensitive plant. Look at the small yellow flowers in the middle of the plant to ensure they are still in bud form. Quinn Dombrowski/CC-BY-SA 2.0 . Just follow these simple rules: Light: Place your poinsettias in an area where they'll receive a minimum of six hours of bright (but not direct) sunlight each day. ... Do not fertilize poinsettias during the blooming period. They have erect, succulent stems and large, scarlet floral leaves or bracts, which look like flamboyant flowers. The reason we associate poinsettias with the holidays comes from an old Mexican legend. Poinsettias are not poisonous. A study at Ohio State University showed that a 50 pound child who ate 500 bracts might have a slight tummy ache. Just in time for Christmas! Aztec people use the plant to produce red dye and as an antipyretic medication. During the festive season, potted poinsettias are here, there and everywhere. Poinsettias have been called the lobster flower and flame leaf flower. Buying Poinsettias. (Dropping pollen means it’s near the end of blooming). Poinsettias are short-day plants, which means they flower about 10 weeks after the daylight shortens to about 12 hours or less. Many people wonder what makes poinsettias turn red. Trim off any unsightly stem growth or any dead or damaged foliage as it appears until mid- to late summer. In culture. If you want to keep that poinsettia you bought this year over until next year here's what to do. Its flower is white, pink, or red, which is the small one that you can find in the center. Poinsettias are native to Central America and are a plant that flowers in the winter months. Cut back the entire plant to roughly 8 inches to encourage bushier foliage and stem growth later on. However, poinsettias do have a milky, sticky sap that can irritate the skin and eyes, especially for people with latex allergies. Beware that it will ooze a white, sticky sap when injured which can cause an allergic reaction in many people, so use gloves and wash hands after pruning. When you deprive the plant in its full leafing stage of light, the only chlorophyll used to turn the leaves green cannot be produced. Poinsettias … Poinsettias in a church in the Philippines. Give poinsettias a good pruning after they finish flowering. Feed every three to four weeks. Buying poinsettias. Many supermarkets scoop poinsettias in with flowers, placing them by the store's front door in the hope customers will be tempted on the way in or out. How do you take care of poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima)? (Although we refer to the colorful parts of poinsettias as the flowers, those are actually modified leaves, or bracts. The fiery red flowers of the poinsettia have long been popular as a decorative plant for the festive period due to their long lasting qualities as a potted plant. Where does the tradition of Poinsettia as the Christmas flower come from? This will ensure that the poinsettia is nearer the start of it’s colorful display than the end. 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