The poinsettia is a symbol of the holiday season. These tips will help keep your plants up and blooming again next year.
Many of us buy or receive as gifts beautiful poinsettias, a symbol of the holiday season. Here are some tips from Penn State Extension Master Gardeners to help you maintain your plants.
The first thing to do is remove the foil decorating the pot of the plant. While attractive, this cover will keep the soil too wet and may cause the leaves to fall off. Please give me some water. Do not overwater or leave the plant in water. If the plant develops gray mold in the soil, water it less often and move it to a drier, sunny location.
Make your poinsettia comfortable. Do not place in a cold, well-ventilated place or away from cold glass plates. Also, avoid very hot areas, such as near appliances, fireplaces, or heaters.
Do not fertilize your poinsettia while it is flowering. Contrary to popular belief, the brightly colored “flower” petals that fascinate us in seasonal plants are actually modified leaves called “bracts.” Poinsettia true flowers are very small, with yellow pollen in the center of the plant.
Poinsettias can be plagued by pests such as whiteflies (which look like tiny flies covered in white powder) and fungal gnats (small, dark flies). You can get rid of these pests by spraying with soapy water (be sure to wash off the soap) or commercial insecticidal soap. Gently clean the poinsettia leaves with an alcohol swab if the plant is infested with spider mites, aphids, or mealybugs (which look like small pieces of cotton).
They are lovely holiday plants, but poinsettias need attention to detail in order to bloom again the following year. don’t feel
It can be a fun and rewarding challenge if you choose to save poinsettias for next year. The trick is to keep the light out of the plant for a period of time.
In late March or early April, cut the poinsettia back to 6 to 8 inches above the soil. Do not plant poinsettias directly into the ground. Water regularly and fertilize once every two weeks with a balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer. Prune the plants in June and July to keep them bushy and compact, but Do not trim after September 1st. Bring the plants inside when the temperature starts to drop.
From October 1st, the plants must be kept in complete darkness for 14 hours uninterrupted each night. This could be a closet, a dark room, or a large box that covers them. Reduced light prevents the plant from producing chlorophyll, the pigment that makes plant parts green.
In November, discontinue the short-day/long-night treatment. Place the plant in a sunny spot with 6 hours of direct sunlight per day, and reduce watering and fertilizing. ” The plant is complete.