lunes, 31 de diciembre de 2012

Christmas Flower, Poinsettia

Name: Christmas Flower, Poinsettia

Latin name: Euphorbia pulcherrima

Foliage:  Deciduous

Mature height: Shrub or small tree which can reach until 1ft 115⁄8inch with big leafs of smooth edge of dark green color (23⁄4-619⁄64inch) and little yellow inflorescences.

Description: Commonly known as pastora, pascuero, christmas flower or ponsetia, is a plant of the Euphorbiaceae family, native of Central America. Is frequently used on gardening as shrub, but mainly on flower-growing as interior plant in Christmas.
Flowers in winter.

The showy bracts that form the upper part of the plant, of red colour, pink, white greenish or white yellowish are often confused with flowers.

Soil and Location: It prefers a rich in humus soil, a garden soil mixed with peat would be a good substrate.
Both inside and outside, it can be cultivate in the garden in warm climates without frosts or with weak frosts (32 ºF for short time) and arrives to form a shrub up to 3 meters height.
It needs lot of light during flowering. The ideal temperature is 68-72 ºF. During flowering, 64.4 ºF. It does not tolerate drafts, sudden changes of temperature, not even dry environments.

Irrigation: Put the pot 15 minutes 1-2 times per week in a bowl or dish with tepid water and remove the excess of water that the plant has not absorbed. With indoor plants, you must be careful with watering because the excess of water can rot the root. Add fertilizer every 10 days.

Pruning: once the Christmas is finished it is complicated to keep ourselves our plant as we acquired it from the nursery. To induce flowering, you should lengthen its nights covering it with a cardboard or black plastic, leaving it in the dark for several weeks. To keep the compact form it would be necessary to use growth regulators. I only recommend this process to expert gardeners.

If you choose to prune, prune once the leaves fall.
- Cut stems leaving 529⁄32inch from the base. You can make cuttings with the pruning rests.
- Cover the cut with wax or paste healing; be careful with the sap, it is irritating.
- Transplant to a larger pot, put it in a cool and dry place, and you will get new shoots.

Interesting notes: Nowadays the plant is for sale throughout the year in many countries. The nurseries do not stop offering new varieties. There are more than 10 varieties in different colors what makes the Christmas flower a good choice for the Christmas decoration.
Some useful tips for lengthen the life of the plants are:
- Avoid excessive watering and excessive humidity.
- Buy it wrapped in a plastic, so in the route of the nursery to the house the plant do not take cold.
- Little heating, light and no drafts.
- Spray the leaves lightly when watering the plant.

PERSONAL OPINION: The purchased plants normally have been subjected to stimulant treatments and come to us exhausted, making their survival more difficult.
I think the best option, if we want to use this plant only for Christmas decoration, is to buy an artificial plant (some of them really look like the natural plants). With it you will be more sustainable and in the long run the purchase will be recovered.

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario