Poinsettia how to care?

Poinsettia (Poinsettia Euphorbia pulcherrima) hails from Mexico and Central America. Poinsettia is popularly called the Christmas star or the Star of Bethlehem. This unusual name of the flower was due to its bracts, which resemble the stars, and the time of flowering of poinsettia coincides with the Christmas holidays. The Bethlehem star blooms with small inconspicuous yellow-green flowers, but the flower is appreciated for the beauty of its bracts with leaves of bright red, yellow or white. The colorful leaves create a striking contrast with the dark green leaves of poinsettia.

Evergreen shrub poinsettia can reach a height of 1.5 meters. Stems stand straight and practically do not branch. The leaves covering the stems are large and sharpened at the top. Bright bracts are also large in size. Bright color is designed to attract pollinators in the form of insects and birds.

After flowering, the bracts become pale and fall off. This process takes about two months.

As well as other plants of the euphorbia family, poinsettia is poisonous. Therefore, any actions associated with cutting or transplanting a flower must be carried out with gloves.Make sure that the juice of the flower does not get into the eyes or mucous membranes. It is for this reason that poinsettia should be isolated from children. In addition to general information, you need to know how to care for a poinsettia flower.

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Lighting

Poinsettia does not like the direct rays of the sun. If you are going to keep the plant on your balcony, place it in a place protected from the wind. With the onset of autumn, it is necessary to reduce the light day of poinsettia. From the end of September it is worthwhile to cover the plant every day with a box so that the light day of a flower is 10 hours. If you ignore this rule, poinsettia will not bloom on Christmas Eve, but later.

In winter, poinsettia feels good on a warm, bright windowsill. After flowering, the flower should be placed in a dark and cool place for six weeks.

Watering

In summer, watering should be abundant in combination with regular spraying with warm water. With the onset of cold weather watering is reduced. In winter, the plant needs moderate watering, and after flowering in rare in order to avoid overdrying earthen coma.

Ground mixture

The soil mixture for poinsettia should consist of humus, leaf earth, peat and sand.

Top dressing

It is necessary to feed the plant with the help of mineral and organic fertilizers twice a month in the summer. Top dressing stops after flowering, and then resumes a couple of weeks after the spring transplant.

Pruning

Pruned shoots laid in the spring after a period of rest. Shoots must be cut in half. Water with warm water.

Transfer

The flower is transplanted in the spring after the pruned shoots begin to grow.

Breeding

Poinsettia is propagated by grafting. For grafting from fresh spring shoots, it is necessary to cut cuttings of a length of 8 cm. It is necessary that the cutting has at least four leaves. Then cut cuttings are placed in warm water for 10 minutes, after which they are stuck in the composition of sand and peat. The soil in which the cuttings are placed is sprayed, and the plants are covered with a film, regularly ventilated.

Remember that the cuttings should not be watered, and spray. Keep better in a shaded and warm place. A month later, rooted seedlings are planted in a pot.Provide good drainage to the cuttings in order to avoid excess water at the roots. After a couple of weeks, the cuttings are pinched.

How to properly care for poinsettia: problems of care

Pests

Spider mites, scale insects and mealybugs are among the most common pests. In order to get rid of them, it is necessary to wash the pests with a sponge and soapy water, and wash the plant under the shower by tightening the pot with an air-tight film. This procedure is repeated every week until the complete disappearance of pests.