Poinsettia Plant- Brilliant Red Brachts Brighten Your Home in Winter
The Poinsettia Plant, under the right conditions, produces a brilliant display of red brachts in December. The plants are sensitive to temperature changes and drafts, but to add beautiful color to your winter plant display, choose a Poinsettia Plant.
The most popular color for the brachts (colored leaves) is a deep red, but a wide variety of colors is available, including pink, white, yellow and speckled. The flower of the Poinsettia plant is very small and green or yellow in color. The impact is created by the colorful modified leaves or brachts.
J. R. Poinsett, the first US Ambassador to Mexico saw the plant known as Euphorbia Pulcherrima in the wild in Southern Mexico. Poinsettia plant image He was so taken by the beauty of the plant he brought it back with him to his home in the United States and sent plants to botanical gardens around the world. Since then the plant has been called the Poinsettia after J. R. Poinsett.
The Poinsettia plant requires bright light to sunlight to maintain healthy growth. Interestingly, the Poinsettia plant needs to have 13 to 14 hours a day of complete darkness in the fall to develop the colorful brachts. This is covered more extensively in the section about getting a Poinsettia to rebloom.
The Poinsettia does not like changes in temperature. It is best to try to keep the temperature as nearly as possible to the temperature at which it was raised in the greenhouse. The Poinsettia will do well at normal house temperatures of 65 to 70 degrees F but likes it a bit cooler at night (60 degrees F).
Keep your plant away from drafts and heat sources such as heat registers and fireplaces. Changes in temperature will cause your Poinsettia to drop leaves and soon the beauty of your plant will be gone.
The Poinsettia Plant needs a soil that is loose and porous. Add peat and perlite or coarse sand to potting soil to create a suitable medium for the plant.
The Poinsettia Plant grows well in normal home humidity. Higher humidity is required when propagating new plants.
When the surface of the soil is dry to the touch, your Poinsettia Plant should be watered thoroughly until the water runs out of the bottom of the pot. The plant should be allowed to drain and the excess water discarded. Never leave your plant standing in water. Both over watering and under watering will cause your plant to drop leaves. Watering can be cut back when the plant is in it’s dormant period after blooming.
You should fertilize your Poinsettia plant every two weeks from the time it leaves it’s dormant period in May until early to mid December, when the plant is in full bloom, with a good quality liquid plant fertilizer.
Poinsettias can be grown from seed, but the most common means of propagation is rooting stem cuttings from an older plant.
Decoration and Placement Tips
Poinsettias require high levels of light so may not live comfortably where you would like to display them to your guests. You may solve this problem by finding a bright location for the plant to live and then moving it to a more prominent location, the display location, just before your guests arrive.
Poinsettias must also be kept out of drafts and away from sources of heat. Changes in temperature will cause leaves to drop from the plant.
A healthy Poinsettia plant, sometimes misspelled Pointsetta, makes a beautiful center piece on a dining room table (remove the plant when dining) or on a sideboard.
Remember, for winter color, choose a Poinsettia Plant.