Decor : Christmas flower care and tips to enjoy it throughout the year –
Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) plants remain one of the most popular Christmas flowers. Even more striking colors have been added to the well-known red flowers. In reality, they are not flowers but modified leaves called bracts. The shiny bracts are designed to attract insects to the tiny yellow flowers at their centers. Hybridizers have expanded the color gamut from the familiar red to pastel yellow and vibrant bi-colors. Because poinsettias have been forced to bloom, they need extra care to keep them in bloom over the holidays. While it may be easier to buy new plants each year, it is possible to get them to bloom again the next season. If you have decided to take care of your Christmas flower, here we show you the necessary information about Christmas flower care and advice.
Poinsettia or Christmas Flower care and how to grow
You can keep your poinsettia or Christmas flower healthy and vigorous throughout the holiday season with proper care. Give them enough sun, warmth and water and your poinsettia will provide a perfect seasonal color. If you want to save your poinsettia and make it bloom again next year, you can go through the transplant and regrowth procedure.
Poinsettia or Christmas Flower cared for and the best place for your plant
Place the poinsettia near a sunny window. Windows facing south, east or west are preferable to a window facing north. Poinsettias are tropical and will appreciate as much direct sunlight as you can provide.
Poinsettia or Christmas Flower Care and Ground
A loose, well-draining peat-based potting soil is best for your poinsettia.
Poinsettia or Christmas Flower Care and Watering
Water the plant whenever the surface feels dry to the touch. Water until it runs off the bottom, but don’t let the plant sit in the water. Wilting is a common cause of leaf drop. A wilted plant can be revived and saved, but it will take another season to improve its appearance.
Poinsettia or Christmas Flower Care and Drainage
Make sure the container has a hole in the bottom. Water in a sink and allow excess water to drain completely. If the pot is covered in your typical aluminum foil wrap, remove it to allow the water to drain. If the plant remains in the water, the roots will rot.
Poinsettia or Christmas Flower cared for temperature and humidity
To keep the poinsettia in bloom as long as possible, maintain a temperature of 65 to 75 F during the day. Lowering the temperature to about 60 F at night will not harm the plant. However, cold drafts, allowing leaves to touch a cold window, or more importantly, a lack of decent light, can damage leaves and lead to premature leaf drop. If you’ve ever seen a leggy poinsettia in bloom, with just a couple of sad-looking leaves dangling out, it was probably exposed to too cold temperatures or extreme changes in temperature.
Lack of moisture during dry seasons, particularly winter, is a constant problem for indoor plants. If your home tends to be dry and your poinsettia is in direct light, you will find yourself watering more often, but never watering every day.
Poinsettia or Christmas Flower Care and Fertilizer
Do not fertilize the poinsettias during the flowering period. When keeping the plant year-round, start fertilizing in the spring at half its strength when there is no growth, not until then. Feed every three to four weeks.
Poinsettia or Christmas Flower cared for pots and transplants
If you want to keep your poinsettia for more than one season and force regrowth, follow these steps. Getting a poinsettia to bloom again is not an easy process, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t succeed on your first try.
Poinsettia or Christmas Flower cared for during the year
January to March– Keep watering the poinsettia as long as the surface is dry.
April: Starting April 1, gradually decrease the water, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Take care that the stem does not start to wilt. This is a sign that the plant is overly stressed and is dying. In a week or two, when the plant has acclimated to this drying process, move it to a cool place, such as a basement or a heated garage. You want to keep it at about 60 F. Spring is a time to prune the stems four to six inches, which should promote new growth.
May: In mid-May, cut the stems to about four inches and replant in a slightly larger container with fresh potting soil. Water it well. Place the newly potted plant back in the brightest window you have and once again keep it at a temperature of 65 to 75 F. Continue watering as long as the soil surface feels dry. Watch for new growth. Once new growth appears, start fertilizing every two weeks with a complete fertilizer. Follow the recommendations on the fertilizer label.
June: Move the poinsettia outside, potted and all. Keep it in a partially shaded place and keep your watering and fertilizing schedule.
July: In early July, pinch off each stem about an inch. This is to promote a robust, well-branched plant. If left unclipped, the poinsettia will grow tall and thin.
August: By mid-August, the stems should have branched and unfolded. Again, pinch or cut the new stems, leaving three to four leaves on each shoot. Bring the plant indoors and to your brightest window. Keep watering and fertilizing.
September: Continue to water and fertilize regularly.
October: Poinsettias are short-day plants, which means that their bud is affected by the duration of daylight. To re-bloom, poinsettias need about 10 weeks with 12 hours or less of sunlight per day. You will have to artificially create these conditions and it is crucial that you are diligent. Starting October 1, keep your plant in complete darkness from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. Any exposure to light will delay flowering. Use an opaque box or material to block the light. Many people place their plants in a closet, but if light enters through the cracks or if you open and use the closet, it will affect the sprout. Move the plant back to the sunny window during the day and continue watering and fertilizing.
November: Around the last week of November, you can stop the dark treatment and allow the plant to stay in the window. You should see flower buds at this point.
December: stop fertilizing around December 15th. Keep watering and treat your plant as you did when you brought it home in bloom. If everything has gone well, it should bloom again and you are ready to start the process again.