The poinsettia is the most popular species of flower grown for the month of December and is cultivated for the sole purpose of seasonal arrangements and décor. The Christmas bloom is both traditionally recognized as one of the top five holiday symbols (trees, wreaths, lights and holly are above) as well as the most frequently purchased item for gifts. Every year, florists seek out premier plants from premier growers expecting that it will once again be an item of high demand. If you aren’t familiarly with the poinsettia, take a good look and you, too might become smitten with its seasonal attractiveness. Formed with large star-like petals and decadent hues of red, white, pink and burgundy, the pleasant visual presentation keeps this product continuously in high demand. Easily transportable and relatively affordable compared to other Yuletide tokens, its no wonder why guests often pick up a poinsettia as a quick gift for friends and family!
Here’s the irony… Compared to other plant varieties generally grown in greenhouses, the poinsettia is incredibly difficult to produce and cultivate on a grand stage of performance. Issues concerning temperature control, lighting and watering have given this bloom the reputation of being a fussy plant that many florists sometimes wish to phase out of their holiday product line. Personally I think that it’s pretty unfair. I mean, what do you expect from a plant that originated in the arid desert of Mexico? Poinsettias come from a natural region consisting of soaring heat waves and well-drained soil conditions. Bean Town’s ever changing climate and weather conditions make growing this species almost impossible to duplicate in the northeast, although there are a few gifted growers who are successful… If you’re curious how your Christmas Poinsettia was cared for before purchase, read these tips on how to productively cultivate these beautiful holiday plants.
- Temperature Control
This flower not only requires a warm Celsius reading, it’s also incredibly susceptible to frost bite even when exposed to the smallest amount of chill. As I said before, this species is a tropical bloomer so you must do the best you can to replicate these conditions even after you’ve brought it home. Keep them away from doors and windows and make sure they stay away from drafty areas in the house.
photo credit via aboutflowers.com
- Let There Be LIGHT
As if growing these babies couldn’t get any more difficult, they also need a minimum of six to eight hours contact with bright light. As you can imagine, the northeast gets pretty dark these days and finding this amount of adequate sunlight can become tricky. Many agriculturalists are forced to provide faux overhead lamps to deceive the plants into thinking that it’s really natural light. When this happens, there’s a mix bag of results. Typically you’ll see the plant’s leaves droop or experience stem decay well before the expected end of its lifeline.
- Water, Water, WATER
Another proven difficulty is watering. Poinsettias adore healthy moisture and misting but they detest sitting on top of it. In order to prevent mold and decay of roots, it’s crucial to have a watering tray underneath that can be emptied periodically. Packing the bottom of pots with pebbles can also do the trick, which will allow the excess water to drain easily from the container.