Tuesday, November 21st, 2006...5:15 pm

Poinsettias

The Garden Lady has received a request to speak about a different plant each week. Life is filled with such wonderful things happening, I don’t know if I can find the time to write about a different plant every week; but I will certainly try.
 
The first plant I want to speak about is the Poinsettia.

 

Here is a good website to go to for Poinsettia facts. 

You probably know by now that the true flowers on the Poinsettia plant are the tiny greenish-yellow nubs in the center of the colored petal-like bracts. It is the bracts that are so colorful. These bracts keep their color, ( they may be red, white, pink, marbled, greenish or purplish) for at least 3 months.
 
The Poinsettia likes 4 hours of direct sun every day. It tolerates bright indirect light. The plant should be kept in a draft free location in temperatures of 65 degree and up during the day and at night the Poinsettia  likes the room to be cooler, 50-60 degrees.  The Poinsettia does not like to have the mix it is in to dry out but it doesn’t want to be over watered.  Allow just the SURFACE to dry before giving it a thorough watering.  
 
Because people have difficulty keeping the plant blooming the next year, most people discard or compost the Poinsettias after the holidays.  But they can be brought to bloom again the following year.
 
To do so, cut the plant back by about 2/3 in the spring. and fertilize monthly with an all purpose fertilizer. When warm enough, put the plant outdoors. Then starting the following Sept. 20th the Poinsettia plants have to kept in TOTAL darkness for about 14 hours during the nights. In the mornings they need sunlight.  This total darkness at night for 14 hours and sunlight in the day, must be continued for 40 days if you want the bracts to color.  (The new Poinsettia hybrids have been bred to not need such rigid treatment.)  
 
If you live in the New Brunswick, NJ area go to Rutgers Poinsettia Open House to see all the newest varieties and colors.
 
Rutgers Poinsettia Open House for 2006. The program is free and the greenhouses are accessible from 10:00 am -3:00pm Wednesday Nov. 30- Saturday Dec 2nd. Please feel free to stop by and enjoy the display. Please share this with anyone you feel might be interested in the event.

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