How to save poinsettia?
It has become a good tradition to bring poinsettia bush with bright scarlet large bracts, which are often mistaken for flowers, before Christmas. Real flowers are small, gathered in complex umbrellas, and spectacular bracts surround them, resembling radiant stars of various colors: scarlet, orange, cream, white. In this article I will tell you how to care for poinsettia so that every Christmas a new “Christmas Star” blossoms in your house.
Beautiful euphorbia, or poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) - a plant of the genus Euphorbia family Euphorbiaceae. The birthplace of the plant is tropical Mexico and Central America.
Poinsettia blooms from December to February. During flowering, the plant is placed in a bright and warm place (not lower than +16 ° C), moderate soil and air humidity are maintained.
You can not both fill in and dry the earthen lump. Lack of light causes poinsettia troubles - her painted bracts begin to fall off.
Poinsettia at rest
After flowering, the plant begins a dormant period, which lasts until the end of March. Part of the leaves falls off, but it should be so, this is normal. After flowering, the poinsettia stems are cut off, leaving only 10 cm. Watering is greatly reduced, practically poinsettia is kept on a dry soldering, in a dark place at a temperature of +12 .. + 14 ° С.
At the end of March, sleeping kidneys start to grow. Before this, the plant is transshipped into a larger pot, with fresh neutral soil and with good drainage, placed on a light warm (+22 .. + 25 ° C) window sill, they begin to water and spray more often. 4-5 strong shoots are left on the plant, and the rest are removed.
Poinsettia is fed every 2 weeks with complex mineral fertilizer for growth, since August - fertilizer for flowering.
When 6-7 leaves appear on the growing shoots of poinsettia, they are cut into cuttings 10-12 cm long, placed for several minutes in warm water so that the milky juice stops flowing, which clogs the vessels and makes rooting difficult. Poinsettia cuttings are planted in small pots with a mixture of peat and sand.
It is best to place them in an aquarium replacing a mini-greenhouse, where it is easy to maintain an air temperature of about +24 ° C, as well as sufficient humidity by spraying the cuttings and regularly watering them.
Roots form in 20-25 days. In summer, young specimens of poinsettia are transferred into pots with a diameter of 9 cm, in August, pinch the tops of the shoots to form 2-3 stems.
The mother plant has the same conditions (it should be warm and humid). Its growing strong shoots once again cut off and thereby complete the formation of a beautiful poinsettia bush, which will certainly bloom by December.
Preparing poinsettia for flowering
Poinsettia needs plenty of bloom for 12 hours of light until mid-September. From the beginning of October, flower buds are laid for 8 weeks with a short 12-hour day, but the rest of the day (from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.), the plant must be completely dark.
To do this, they cover it with a plastic bucket or a cap of black paper. At this time, the air temperature is maintained within +20 .. + 22 ° C, poinsettia is regularly watered and sprayed.
Immediately before the poinsettia blooms, the temperature is reduced to +16 ° C to enhance the color intensity of the bracts and harden the plant.
Cut poinsettia can stand in a vase for up to 2 weeks, if fresh slices are dipped in hot water (+60 ° C) and immediately put the stems in a vase with cold water.
This magnificent perennial plant gives extraordinary beauty in the middle of winter and creates a wonderful mood!