40+ Poinsettia Plant Decor Front Porches
Keeping a poinsettia plant after the Christmas holiday season is hard to achieve, but with careful monitoring of light and water, this goal can be achieved. Let me begin by stating that a poinsettia plant that is kept at normal room temperature in bright filtered light, out of drafts, enables the bracts or blooms to remain attractive for 2 months or longer.
Once the bracts or blooms have faded and fallen off, cut the top growth down to 1 or 2 inches from the base and allow the potting soil to become almost dry. Make sure the soil is not completely dry though. When the growth stops, keep the dormant plant at normal room temperature in bright filtered light until April, then flood it with water. The plant will soon begin to show some growth.
At this point, you can either take a 3-inch long tip cutting from the new side shoots or root the new side shoots to make new plants or you can allow the stump of the old plant to develop an entirely new season’s growth.
Both ways are effective, so whichever way you choose, if this is done correctly, you will see results.
If you decide to go with the above-mentioned first method of taking side shoots, the cut ends should be treated with water to seal in the latex and they should then be inserted in small pots containing a mixture of equal parts of peat moss and coarse sand or perlite. Keep the pots at normal room temperature in filtered sunlight and water only enough to make the mixture barely moist. Allow the top 2/3 to dry out between watering. When rooting has occurred (usually in 3 or 4 weeks) and the cuttings are growing, move them into pots of the fresh soil-based potting mixture.
If you have chosen to retain the old plant, shake off all the old potting mixture when the plant starts to grow again and replant in a fresh soil-based mixture.
However, keep this word of caution in mind when you are re-potting this poinsettia: Never use a larger pot than the original one for either a rooted cutting or a newly growing old plant. The reason for this is that bigger pots merely encourage the rapid growth of lush foliage at the expense of the flowers and bracts; the result is thus likely to be a huge plant unrecognizable as a poinsettia.
Once this poinsettia has been re-potted, treat the young plant or restarted old one as a purchased plant, with the exception of giving monthly applications of a standard liquid fertilizer.
Once the fertilization has been accomplished, so that the commercial growers do: give the plant no less than 14 hours of darkness per day (this must be total darkness – no night-light, no light whatsoever). Those 14 hours of total darkness is where your efforts tend to fail – this is pretty hard to achieve in most homes. This regime of darkness must be followed for a full 8 weeks.
The resulting plant may still be much taller than the commercially produced poinsettia plants.
Commercially grown poinsettia plants are treated with chemicals in order to dwarf the plant. Unfortunately, the dwarfing chemical used by professional growers is rarely available for use by amateurs.
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