Wednesday, December 2, 2009
'Tis the season for poinsettias and a little understanding can keep yours looking great well into the New Year.
Brrr...it's cold outside. And nothing feels the cold quite like a poinsettia. A good shock of cold air can defoliate your poinsettia in record time. Therefore when purchasing poinsettias, do not buy any that are sitting next to an outside door or in a draft. Purchase your poinsettia and get it right home. If you're running errands, get the poinsettia last. It will not appreciate sitting in a cold car. When you get it home. make sure it is placed out of the path of drafts.
Lighting is important. Your poinsettia will do best in bright, but not direct light.
Just like you and me, poinsettias like dry feet. Water only when the top inch of soil is dry and then make sure there is no water left standing in the saucer or pot wrapper. If you want to leave it in the pot wrapper, punch some holes in the bottom of it and place on a saucer. Leaving your plant sitting in water will spell certain death.
The red "flowers" are not flowers at all, but bracts (or modified leaves). The actual flowers are the little yellow things in the center. When choosing a poinsettia, choose one whose flowers (yellow thingys, remember) are not open fully. This is a less mature plant and it will last longer.
And not all poinsettias are red anymore. They now come in many shades of red, pink, white, yellow and orange and you can even find plants that have been dyed purple or blue or whatever. The bracts also come in several styles. There are rosette forms and marbled varieties.
The garden centers are bursting this time of year with all types and you should have no trouble finding your favorite and keeping happy for the Holidays.
Thabks to Gray's Garden Center, Eugene, Oregon, for allowing me to photgraph their poinsettias.