Poinsettia Tree

How to Take Care of Your Poinsettia Tree

The Poinsettia tree is native to Mexico and Central America. The flowers were brought to the United States in 1825 and today are synonymous with Christmas. Unfortunately, many people do not understand how to take care of these interesting and temperamental plants and most never survive past the Christmas season.

The actual flower part of the plant is the little yellow clusters that are in the middle of the bracts. The bracts, which are the big yellow, white, or red things that look like petals, are really leaves in fact. In addition, a lot of people think that the plant is poisonous. Although you might not want to it eat and the sap might cause some irritation, it's definitely not going to kill you.

Poinsettia trees bloom when the daylight hours are shortened, which is why they do well around Christmastime. If you have one at home, then the best way to get it to bloom is to place it in darkness for about half of the day. During the rest of the day, it should be set somewhere that receives sunlight. Keeping it in an area where the temperature is about 50 degrees is best. After doing this for around 10 weeks, it should start to bloom. The best time to start this is around September or October if you want it to bloom in time for Christmas.

Watering is almost important for the Poinsettia tree. If you have brought one home from the store, then you need to take the foil off. Set the plant itself on a plastic tray or dish. It's important to keep the soil moist and damp without making it soaking wet. Once you have watered the plant, you should notice that its weight is less as the plant roots absorb the water. If it gets too light, then it needs more watering. However, if it feels very heavy or if the soil is almost black, then it's been watered too much.

Try touching the soil, too. If it feels wet, then it has been over-watered. It shouldn't feel bone-dry, either. Get used to checking it every day. With a little bit of practice, you will be able to more accurately get to know your plant and know what its needs are.

If your Poinsettia gets too dry, then the leaves will start to fall off. They can also droop. Of course, they can also droop if they get too wet, too. That's why it's important to get to know your plant and to understand its needs.

When you do water it, then you should water it until you see water coming out of the holes in the bottom. This means that the water has soaked all the way through the soil. If it helps, hold it over the sink if you are using a plant that is in a pot. This way, you won't have to worry about it running out over your carpet.

If you are growing your Poinsettia tree in a greenhouse then you will have more control over the temperature.  It will therefore be easier to keep the temperature around 50 degrees. However, if you are trying to grow it inside your home you might have more difficulty. After all, 50 degrees in the winter can be cold in some places. Instead, you might need to move it to the basement during the fall to help encourage the leaves and flowers to grow.

Although it can be complicated to get a Poinsettia to thrive, it is possible-even if you aren't a commercial dealer. It just takes a little time and practice.


 

 


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