One thing Tonya found was some beautiful poinsettias for a real cheap price. They really set off the living room and the other holiday decorations. Today, I will share information from a publication from Cobb County Extension with tips on caring for your poinsettias.
For a little history lesson, there are approximately 70,000 poinsettias, Euphorbia pulcherrima, sold each year which makes it the most popular flowering plant in America. Poinsettias were introduced to the U.S. back in 1828. The plant is a native of Mexico and got it name for the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett. Poinsettias will be easy to find this time of year.
When choosing poinsettias, look for plants with large colorful bracts. The plant also needs foliage that is dark green in color. It is also suggested to choose more compact plant that are not real leggy. Poinsettias are temperature sensitive plants so care from the store to your house is important too. It is suggested to cover the plant with plastic, a bag or even newspaper for the trip. Do not put the plant in the trunk. Keep inside the care where the temperature is more regulated.
Home care is based on site selection and watering. Keep where the plant will get bright, indirect light. The plants like cool conditions with medium to high humidity. Be mindful to not place in an area where the plants will get bursts of cold air so keep away from doors or draft areas. Close to awindows is not great place. Window areas will have temperature changes and cold chills for the plant. Also, you do not want to plant close to fireplaces and heat vents.
Proper watering is important. Check soil daily and water when the soil is dry. Do not add water if the soil is already wet. Try to keep the plant from wilting and water with room temperature water. It is suggested to water till water drains into the bottom try. You need to remove the water in the bottom tray and do not allow the plant to stand in water. You need to make sure the pot has drain holes. If the plants are in the pretty decorative foil, remember to make a hole in the foil to allow for drainage.
Some people may want to try to keep a poinsettia bought this year and try to have it in holiday shape for next year. First, it will probably be easier to discard the plant after it fades and just purchase more plants next year. If you want to see if you can pull off getting the old plant ready, here are some steps.
Keep the plant in the same place and same watering schedule until outdoor frost danger has pasted. Then cut the stem within 4 to 6 inches of the soil. The plant needs to be put in a new pot that is 2-4 Inches larger than the first pot. Then place the plant in area that gets morning sun and afternoon shade. The location should be protected from wind and high-reflected light according to the information. Then it is suggested to sink the pot to the rim in flower bed for example. You need to remember to turn the pot regularly to keep the poinsettia from rooting in the ground from the drain holes. A quarter turn each week should work. You need to water when needed. Avoid extremes in moistures such too dry or wet. You can fertilize with 20-20-20 according to directions. You can prune the plant to desired shape by pruning or even pinching. Pinching encourages more blooms. You can do this till September 1st. When the night temperature start cooling, bring the plant inside.
Temperatures below 60 degrees is a good marker. Starting October 1st, the plant needs 14 hours of complete darkness every day. You can put in a dark closet or even cover with a box or anything that will insure darkness. The plant will need bright light the other 10 hours of the day. Keep this going till the plant is in full bloom and then hopefully ready for the holidays 2012. Good luck. For more information contact Gordon County Extension at 706-629-8685 or email@example.com.