This article appeared in the Winter 2007 issue of Texoma Living!.
Poinsettias are one of the longest-lasting blooming plants available to consumers. Here are the basic Do’s and Don’ts:
DO place your plant in indirect sunlight for at least six hours per day. If direct sun can’t be avoided, diffuse the light with a shade or sheer curtain.
DO provide room temperatures between 68-70-degrees. Generally speaking, if you are comfortable, so is your poinsettia.
DO water your plant when the soil feels dry to the touch. Drain any excess water from the tray.
DO use a large, roomy shopping bag to protect your plant when transporting it.
DON’T fertilize your plant when it is in bloom.
DON’T place plants near cold drafts or excessive heat.
There is no reason to discard your Poinsettia after the holidays. To rebloom for the next season:
Continue to follow holiday upkeep tips throughout the winter.
March 17th (St. Patrick’s Day): When bracts (the colored portions of the plant, the actual fl owers are the yellow centers) fade, cut stems back to eight inches above soil line and continue to water regularly.
Lightly fertilize with a balanced all-purpose fertilizer every three to four weeks.
When temperatures are warm, place plant outdoors; first in indirect, then direct sunlight. Avoid temperatures below 50 degrees.
July 4 (Independence Day): Cut back new growth stems. Repot if needed.
Early September (Labor Day): Move plant inside. Provide six or more hours of direct light.
October 1 through mid-December: Confine plant to complete darkness for 14 hours, giving it 10 hours of natural light daily. This will set the buds and cause bracts to color.
Origin of the Poinsettia at Christmas
Bright, flaming red, star-shaped Poinsettias are known as ‘Flower of the Holy Night’ or ‘Flame Leaf’ in the United States. One of the most popular flowers in Central America, it was brought here by Dr. Joel Poinsett, the first US ambassador to Mexico, over a hundred years ago.
Featured Archive Story
How would you like for the success or failure of one year’s worth of work to hinge on one week? That’s practically the job description for 63-year-old Jerry Duvall, CEO of CIS Conferences Inc. “My friends harass me about working one week a year, and that’s basically true, but it’s a very hard and intense week,” Duvall said.
We pass them on our way to work. Situated on a well-manicured landscaped hill, tucked deep into a stand of old-growth oaks, or sitting stately in the center of a large parcel of acreage, surrounded by pristine white pipe and wire fencing, at the end of a private road. They are Texoma’s Multi-Million Dollar Homes.
In my fantasy, I live on a large ranch. From the back porch I can survey the property. There are dozens of animals-mostly horses-trotting or running to and fro, Llamas patrol the fence line, and turtles wander towards the sparkling pond in the center of the stand of giant oaks. Off to the side there is a lush pasture of green grass – a favorite of my large herd of miniature horses.
Looking for the Printed Version?You can find a complete set of Texoma Living! Magazine in the library at Austin College.
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