Poinsettias are especially popular around Christmas time; their elegant and exotic appearance makes them one of the best-selling plants at this time. In addition, it is a flower that we can find in the culture and tradition of various countries where it is considered a symbol of prosperity and purity.
The Euphorbia Pulcherrima, better known as poinsettia, Christmas star or poinsettia is a plant that is characterized by its striking leaves. In fact, they are called bracts, they give the plant a characteristic color and are present surrounding small flowers that are in the central part. The bracts are usually red, although we can also find the occasional white poinsettia flower or in shades of pink.
It is a species native to Mexico and Central America. As historical background, it is known that the Aztecs cultivated it long before colonization. In our days, culturally we can relate it as one of the icons of Christmas , standing out in different flower arrangements.
It often happens that after a month or two after buying a poinsettia plant, it begins to wilt. Therefore, if we want to enjoy its beauty for longer, we must give it the appropriate care. Between them we have:
enough natural lighting
Because it is a plant that we usually keep indoors, so that it adds beauty and adorns our living room, among the poinsettia care that we must keep in mind to prolong its life is providing an adequate amount of natural light.
Therefore, the best option might be to put it near a window where it receives sunlight. However, we must prevent the sun’s rays from hitting the plant directly, as these could cause burns on its leaves.
Attention to environmental conditions
The ideal temperature for this plant to survive without any problem is 16ºC at night and 22ºC during the day. Therefore, if you want to know how to keep the poinsettia for longer, you should make sure to avoid placing it near intense heat sources, such as radiators.
In this sense, during the winter when we usually turn on the heating, we must put the plant in one of the most ventilated and coolest places in the house.
On the other hand, we must take care of it from air currents, since these can easily remove its leaves. For this reason, it is not convenient to put your pot in a place where there is a lot of wind.
How to water the poinsettia?
It is important to dose the amount of water that we are going to supply in each irrigation, since its needs are moderate. For this reason, we must water it once or twice a week without flooding its roots. Likewise, it is not convenient to water its foliage directly.
In addition, a recommendation from experts for poinsettia irrigation is to use water that has been standing for 24 hours, so that the chlorine used for purification has completely evaporated. Although the best option is to water it with rainwater.
The importance of compost
When learning how to take care of the poinsettia and with the intention of making it bloom again, we must not neglect the importance of having a good substrate and its respective fertilizer. An organic fertilizer or liquid manure can be used; which must be placed with a separation period of 30 days. This treatment should be applied only during its growth and discontinued once the bracts begin to take on their characteristic color.
What you should know about pruning
It is essential so that you can keep your plant in optimal living conditions, after the winter is over, that you know how to prune the poinsettia. To do this, pruning should be done once spring arrives.
By doing this pruning, we are giving the plant the chance to grow stronger. It is best to cut the branches in half, if we want to keep it small. If, on the other hand, what we are looking for is for the plant to grow and end up being a bush, then we omit the cut.
However, it is always advisable to remove all leaves that are wilted or show signs of deterioration. We do this by gently pulling on them.
The most important thing about your reproduction
Although the reproduction by sowing of this species is intended for professionals, with a little dedication and care we can make our plant prosper.
The best way to carry out this task is to obtain cuttings of the plant during the spring season. To do this we must cut with gardening shears the leafy branches that are between 10 and 5 cm in size.
With the cutting already separated, we immerse the lower part in rooting hormone powder. Then, we can use a shovel (in this link you can find several products to analyze) to plant it in a mixture of moist substrate that contains sand and soil. Next, we cover the cuttings with a mini greenhouse or some type of plastic.
Finally, we wait for the roots to grow and in this way we finally proceed to replant. Likewise, we must take into account that the poinsettia in summer will have a slower growth.
Make your poinsettia red again
If we look at the care of the red-leaved poinsettia, we find that this color is not its natural condition. They turn red in the absence of light, so if we want to get this attractive color for next Christmas, we just have to hide it in a dark place.
We can start in the month of September, locking her in a closet for 4 hours a day. Then, 3 hours a day during the month of October. When November arrives, we can remove it from the light for just one hour and once December begins we can once again enjoy its spectacular red leaves.
Prepare flower arrangements with it
The poinsettia is the ideal plant to make a natural and very attractive Christmas arrangement. We could use some glitter candles or add Christmas lights to make it look better.