gallery Winter Flowers to Warm to. Part 5

Poinsettia

Now is the perfect time to buy your Poinsettia. They flower from December to January. They will hold their colour for the season, but you don’t have to throw them away! The will flower again next December if you care for them correctly.

The “flower” is commonly misinterpreted by the coloured leaves at the top of the plant. These colourful leaves are actually known as the “bract”. If you look a little closer to the centre, you will see the actual flower.

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How to care for your Poinsettia

When you select your Poinsettia, be sure to check that it’s not too cold. Anything below 13C and it will not survive, no matter what you do. The sellers should keep it inside but not all of them do.

When watering your Poinsettia, make sure it has appropriate drainage and a saucer. Too much water and it will get root rot.

How to get them to come back next year

Once the flowers had died off, prune the plant back to about 4 inches (10cm).

Repot them for the first year, then place them in a light position (not too much direct sunlight)

They flower starts appearing in December so you will want to introduce it to shorter daylight hours from November.

Keep it at around 15-18C to keep it in the best condition.

Dwarfing Infection

Poinsettia naturally grows much larger than what you typically see in garden centres for example.1-1197052336ycrm

The small sized plants are actually infected with Phytoplasma. This is not a bad thing, the non-infected plants would grow much larger and the flowers and branches would spread out a lot more as seen in this photo.

The Phytoplasma infected plants grow much more compact, which makes them such a good Christmas plant for in the house.poinsettia-hedge

 

Colourful Poinsettia

Poinsettia is most commonly sold in the luscious red colour. You may also see them in plum, lemon, pink, marble and even bi-coloured.

If you see them in something like blue, they have clearly been dyed that colour. Now, I’m not saying that these are hideous but many florists dislike them strongly. Artificially coloured flowers aren’t as appealing in general. It’s not that we don’t like blue flowers, Cornflower and Delphinium are a beautiful and natural blue colour but for some, dyed blue flowers just don’t do it.

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