Easy and Effective way to grow and bloom Poinsettia in your garden
Are you thinking of some sort of colorful decoration during the harsh winter holidays along with greenery for the whole year? I bet you do; there is not any species better than Poinsettia if you are planning of having such decorative interest.
Let’s learn and explore more on this popular holiday plant including how to grow this species effectively! Practice it and test yourself!
Poinsettia is one of the most famous decorative plants native to Mexico and now very popular and is widely grown in subtropical climates like Australia and in the United states, especially as a Christmas pot plant. The bright colorful flower-like bracts make it one of the most widely used decorative plants, especially during the Christmas season. On account of its wide variety of colors, it adds spectacular brightness and color to the winter environment.
Actually, the bloom of the plant is often wrongly identified as flowers which in fact are leaves. The colored leaves of the plant called “Bracts” change their color in response to shorter days making them bloom in winter.
Botanical name: Euphorbia pulcherrima
Various hybridization techniques developed over long periods have made it possible to have varieties in the color of the bract of poinsettia including cream, yellow, and pink. Though fancy colors like blue can be achieved by the use of dyes, the plant won’t bloom with the same color in the year to come and will return back to its normal color. Some of the most common varieties include:
- Classic Red
- Polly’s pink (green leaves and deep pink leaf bracts)
- Princettia Max white (creamy white bracts that have baby pink veins)
- ‘Tri-Color‘ has bracts in red, white, and pink.
- ‘Plum Pudding‘( purple color).
- ‘Prestige Maroon‘ (deep maroon)
- ‘Lemon Drop‘ (yellow bracts).
- ‘Jingle Bells‘ (red bracts dotted with pink).
QUICK TIPS BEFORE YOU BUY
- Choose the plant which is not wilting or drooping.
- Always buy the plant with fully colored bracts.
- Wrap them properly in plastic to prevent the loss of leaves (due to the cold) while carrying them from the market to your house
- Once you have arrived home, unwrap them immediately to prevent the stems of the leaves and bracts from drooping.
- If you wish to plant it in a pot, the height of the plant should be at least 2.5 times the diameter of the pot.
HOW TO GROW
It is possible to grow the plant in either garden outdoors or as an indoor pot plant. However, the following requirements are always to be met for ideal growth and bloom.
A loose, slightly acidic well-draining peat-based potting soil is best for your poinsettia. The soil must be rich in organic matter with an ample amount of nutrients. Incorporate organic material, like compost, to enrich the garden soil and increase drainage.
The pot should be of such size that the height of the plant is about 2.5 times the diameter of the pot.
While planting the plant indoors keep the plant in a direction with an ample amount of Sunlight in the day preferably in the southeast. For outdoor conditions, place it in the area to get about 5 to 6 hours of sunlight in a day. The light requirement for the plant keeps on varying all year round.
A temperature of about 60 to 70 ºF is ideal for the growth of the plant. The plant actually is a subtropical plant even if popularly used in the winter season and any temperature below 50ºF will kill the plant.
If you get your poinsettia in a pot from the market, keep it indoors in a sunny room where the temperatures range from 65 to 80 F° during the day, and no lower than about 60 Fº at night.
Do not transplant the plant into the soil-bed until the temperature remains consistently above 55 °F.
The soil should be kept moist at all times but not waterlogged at the same time as waterlogging may cause roots to rot. Water plant when the soil surface feels dry to a light touch or pot feels lightweight when lifted. Never allow poinsettias to get so dry that they wilt.
Fertilizing the plant is only required during the growing phase, So it is not required to add fertilizers during the holidays. Start fertilizing your plant when you see new growth (new green leaves, stems, bracts). Fertilize with an all-purpose household plant fertilizer( Mix with water at half the recommended strength and Feed your poinsettia every 3-4 weeks to keep the plant healthy and provide the necessary nutrients for new growth).
STEPS TO FOLLOW
Follow these steps for proper and effective growth of the plant.
- First of all, buy a fresh stock of poinsettia from your nearest store. You can also grow the plant from its seeds but the plant doesn’t bloom till next year since it is a perennial i.e., you do not get the decorative beautiful blooms till next Christmas.
But the famous method for propagation is from cuttings. Check the video for detail information.
If you wish to plant it outdoors prepare a soil bed in a sunny corner that can provide the plant with an ample amount of sunlight. Choose a spot with slightly acidic, well-draining soil. If you plan to plant it in a pot, prepare a well-mixed all-purpose soil in a wide pot.
Then, Dig a hole in the bed or pot several inches deep and wider than the root ball. Fill the hole with loose soil up to the level of the plant’s root ball. Now place the poinsettia in the hole, and fill it with loose soil completely up to the surface.
Water the plant thoroughly. The plant should be kept moderately moist but not waterlogged. Do not let it dry as well as it will cause the plant to wilt and lose its leaves and bracts.
Fertilize it only in the growing season once the green leaves start to appear. It is not required to fertilize the plant in the blooming season.
Take good care of it and you will get beautiful bright colors to your garden in the holidays in no time.
Getting the flower to bloom at Christmas
Poinsettia always blooms in response to the change in light hours making it bloom in shorter day length. There are certain things to take care of if you want the plant to bloom at just the right time of the year i.e. for Christmas.
For this, Begin keeping your poinsettia in complete darkness for about 12-14 hours from the first part of October until Thanksgiving – or an 8- to 10-week period. Place it in a closet or cover with a large box every evening after keeping it in a sunny window during the day period.
By Thanksgiving, you can place the plant in a sunny area for at least six hours daily. Reduce water and fertilizer. And by Christmas, you will get beautiful colorful blooms you always wished for.
A Quick Reference Guide
HAPPY PLANTING !!