Poinsettia (poinsettia) or spurge beautiful blooms in anticipation of the New Year or Christmas. Its small flowers are little decorative and almost invisible behind brightly colored red bracts, their location and shape resembling a star. For this plant and received its popular names: Christmas or Bethlehem star. Poinsettia care is simple, but has a number of features associated with the unusual life cycle of the flower.
Red Poinsettia flower - growing nuances
Vegetation of a plant consists of 3 phases: active growth, flowering and rest period.
- Vegetation starts in April. During spring and summer, the plant actively grows shoots and leaves.
- In September, poinsettia prepares for flowering, which begins at the end of December, January, and lasts about 2 months.
- After flowering, the plant rests, for 1.5-2 months, completely dropping the foliage.
In each of the phases the plant needs some care.
As members of the Euphorbia family, the Christmas Star poinsettia contains poisonous milky sap that can cause mucosal burns, poisoning and allergic reactions. For this reason, the work on the care of the flower is carried out in gloves, and the plant itself is placed in places inaccessible to children and pets.
How to care for poinsettia at home?
Poinsettia Red is quite demanding and needs a certain light and temperature conditions, sensitive to the composition of the air. Flower care will greatly simplify the creation of conditions conducive to its growth and development.
During the period of active vegetation, the flower needs bright, but diffused light, therefore it is placed in the most bright place of the room. In winter, during flowering, organize additional lighting.
In case of insufficient lighting, flowering may not occur or its quality will suffer.
At rest, the plant is moved to a dark place.
Poinsettia loves not only humid, but also fresh air, therefore:
- in the summer, the plant is carried out to the open air, placing it in a place protected from direct sunlight,
- in winter, the room is often ventilated, avoiding the formation of drafts.
During the growth of shoots and flowering the plant is watered often and abundantly, as the topsoil dries.
During the rest period, they are rarely moisturized, only when the earthen coma is completely dry, which occurs about once a month.
Christmas star does not tolerate a lack of moisture, and overflow.
Good development and regular flowering is impossible without fertilizer support of the plant. Top dressing start in September. 1 time in 2 weeks bring complex mineral fertilizers for houseplants. During flowering, preference is given to additives with a high content of phosphorus and potassium.
To give the plant a decorative bushy form, shoots are regularly pruned and pinch.
Pruning is carried out annually, after dropping the leaves. The bare shoots are shortened by 1/3, weakened and deformed are removed.
Young growing branches pinch over 5 - 6 leaf. This contributes to increased tillering.
For uniform crown formation, the pot with poinsettia is periodically turned around its axis.
Every spring, after the growth of new shoots, the Christmas star is transplanted, changing the pot and the ground.
Poinsettia does not need too spacious containers. When choosing a pot are guided by the size of the ground part of the flower. Capacity should be 2 - 2.5 times less.
The ratio of width and height, as well as the material from which the pot is made, does not matter.
Poinsettia grows well in light drained soils. A soil mixture made up of 3 parts of sod, 2 parts of leafy ground, connected to equal parts by volume of peat and sand, is suitable as a substrate for its cultivation.
After adapting to new conditions, which will be indicated by the appearance of young shoots and leaves, the flower is looked after as an adult plant. An exception is feeding: it is carried out after 1 - 1.5 months.
Poinsettia is propagated by seeds and vegetatively.
It is very difficult to get seeds at artificial cultivation, especially in varietal forms, therefore at home the flower is propagated only vegetatively, using cuttings.
Procurement of cuttings
Cuttings harvested in spring or early summer. It is convenient to combine this process with regular pruning.
From the plant, young apical shoots are cut from 7 to 15 cm long so that each has at least 5 to 6 internodes. The cut is carried out under the knot.
To stop the discharge of juice, the cuttings are placed for 10–15 minutes in warm water, and then dried for 1–2 hours.
The sap that is released on the cut of the mother plant is soaked with hygroscopic material and powdered with crushed activated carbon.
Before rooting, the lower cut of the stem is treated with any available root stimulator.
Christmas Star Lighting
Flowering is an important period, poinsettia at this time requires an abundance of light. In winter, the light is not enough, the day is too short, you will need light. The south window is the best place for poinsettia. Do not be afraid that the sun will burn the Christmas star, in winter the rays are too weak for this. On the contrary, the plant sheds leaves with a lack of lighting. Shine a poinsettia with additional light sources, if you notice that it looks painful.
Temperature conditions in the care of poinsettia
Many are pleased with the long flowering of poinsettia. Christmas star blooms in December and gives bright colors until the end of March. It is worth remembering that the cold is detrimental to a flower, you need to protect it from drafts and low temperatures. When buying you need to take care of the safety of the plant: it is carefully packaged and transported in the car.
Provide the house with the usual room temperature - + 18-24 degrees. Poinsettia can withstand a temperature of 14 degrees above zero, but cannot live in it for a long time. In spring and summer, after flowering, poinsettia needs coolness: + 16- + 18 degrees. This will be a kind of rest period, thanks to which the flower will gain strength for the new flowering.
Watering and humidity
The Christmas star needs a lot of water, the lack of moisture is perceived very painfully. It is necessary to water the abundantly of paunsetia throughout the growing season. However, daily watering is not always required. It should be checked that the earth in the pot has not dried up. It is best to irrigate the separated water at room temperature.
It is important to create optimal conditions, the plant loves moisture, does not tolerate too dry air. Our apartments are heated in winter, so there may not be enough moisture. Poinsettia will be capricious - throw off the leaves, flowers. To avoid trouble, it is enough to buy an ordinary humidifier, which is useful by the way, not only for the Christmas star, but also for human health.
How to feed poinsettia
Get fertilizer for flowering and please beauty with additional nutrition. This will positively affect the condition of the flower, allow lush leaves and bracts to develop.
- Every two to three weeks during the period of active growth, in the fall, the plant is fed with solutions of complex mineral fertilizers.
- When the Christmas star forms the buds, potash phosphate fertilizers are used.
Poinsettia feels most comfortable when this plant grown at home on the windowsill. There should be sufficient lighting, at the same time, it should avoid direct sunlight. Failure to comply with this rule can lead to negative changes: very soon the poinset leaves will turn brown and fall off.
In winter, the plant water as needed: you can find out this moment by how the soil begins to dry completely. In a completely different way, it is necessary to care for the flower of paunseti in the summer, when irrigation is performed daily in a small amount.
At the stage of flowering, poinsettia watering is recommended to be supplemented by spraying, it is performed at intervals of once every 3-4 days. To do this, use a little warm water, which must infuse for at least a day.
If you follow these simple watering rules, you will no longer need to observe the falling off of the attractive poinsettia leaves.
Top dressing in the ground under the poinsettia is added 2 times a month. The first bait is produced in the spring, and the last with the onset of autumn. For this purpose, it is recommended to use mineral fertilizers. When the plant begins to bloom, apply fertilizers enriched with potassium.
However, in this regard, it is believed that the poinsettia can do without the baits. Some flower growers claim that the highest quality flowers appear only when, at this stage of the plant life cycle, they do not perform any special activities regarding them.
When plant leaves dormantthat, as a rule, happens in the middle of spring, it is possible to perform his transplant. You can learn this at the beginning of the appearance on the branches of green leaves. Preparing for a beautiful poinsettia transplant, the bottom of the pot must be filled with a layer of drainage. Attention must be paid to the soil, which must have no acid reaction.
To prepare planting ground use clay-turf, peat, leaf ground, as well as sand. All the above components must be taken in a ratio of 3: 1: 2: 1.
It is possible to increase the plant's chances of survival in a new place and to make poinsettia more resistant to diseases if you take maximum care when transferring to a new pot. Here it is quite important to do everything in such a way that the roots contain the maximum amount of old earth. The rest of the care is carried out in the usual way.
Is poinsettia pruning necessary?
Caring for poinsettia at home provides pruning, it is performed during the yellowing of the leaves, the branches are shortened from soil level to 15 cm. It is necessary to perform this procedure anew at the end of the transplant when new shoots begin to develop. This procedure provides the plant the correct form and maximum attractiveness. The positive thing about trimming poinsettia is that it will be blossom more than once.
Useful application can be found and pruned weak shoots, they can be used as planting raw materials during reproduction.
Identify this plant life cycle can be on the formation of leaves. As a rule, this occurs at the end of March.
In this case, the plant must be moved to a cool and dark place, in which it will stay until the end of April.
Even considering that poinsettia is a tropical flower, it can be successfully grown at home and in our latitudes. This flower is quite decorative, that demonstrate its flowers and leaves. But you can enjoy such beauty only with the condition that you follow all the rules of care.
Much attention should be paid to the temperature regime, not forgetting that the natural habitats of the poinsettia are the tropics. Therefore, at each stage of plant development it is necessary to maintain a certain temperature regime. Also during the care of poinsettia is very important and watering. However, only watering may not be enough. Therefore, in addition to this, spraying is recommended, it will help to maintain optimum air humidity.
Trimming poinsettia at home
The first post-purchase poinsettia pruning at home is waiting for a flower after wilting bright leafy rosettes. Before the plant goes to rest, it is cut, leaving 3-5 healthy buds on each of the shoots. They will provide new growth and will be the basis for future flowering. On rest, poinsettia is transferred to a cool, dry room. At a temperature of + 14–16 ° C, under the scattered rays of the sun, the pot remains for 2 months.
While on the stems there are no signs of awakening, poinsettia practically does not need watering. If the soil is moistened, then very carefully, to cause rotting of the roots and the aerial parts.
In May, the rest period of Punsettia ends. Left buds awaken. As soon as this happens, the pot is transferred to a warm bright room and the active watering is resumed, making sure that the top layer of the soil dries out a little between the procedures and no water accumulates in the pan under the pot.
To bloom was the most lush and strong, the flower should be left no more than 5-6 strong shoots. In the future, the green parts of the flower can be pinned until August, when the buds of future inflorescences are laid at the ends of the shoots.
Parts of the stems that have become unnecessary after pruning, at reproduction of poinsettia at home turn into excellent cuttings.
Buying a plant
For people who want to have a bright and beautiful flower at home in the winter, experienced growers recommend buying poinsettia. Even a beginner can take care of her at home. But in order for the plant to stick well in the house, you need to buy it correctly.
To purchase a healthy bush, experts recommend following these tips:
- Before carrying a flower pot to the cashier, you need to carefully examine all the leaves and especially the bracts. They should not be pollen. The color of the leaf plates should be green-yellow or red. The presence of pollen and yellow leaves indicates that the plant will soon get rid of the bracts.
- Need to evaluate the shape of the bush. It should be symmetrical. On all sides, poinsettia should have the same number of leaves. On the stems they are green, and bright in the bracts. If the leaves are greenish shade, then buy a flower is not worth it.
- You must ensure the health of the plant. A healthy flower does not have decaying, twisted, or wilted leaves. It is necessary to touch the soil in the pot with your fingers. If it is raw, then there is a chance of hitting the roots with rot. Naturally, there should be no pests on the plant.
- Poinsettia does not tolerate tightness. So, it is better not to buy flowers in pre-sale packaging. Choose should be free-standing plants.
You should also pay attention to the size of the bush. If the plant is 3 times the size of its pot, this means that it is already an adult. This flower should not be bought.
After purchasing the plant, it should create suitable temperature conditions during transportation. It must be wrapped in paper and transported in a cardboard box. The temperature of the air around the flower should not fall below + 15 ° C.