Long lasting poinsettias

Have you noticed poinsettia plants in stores already? Modern day poinsettias will last 2 months or longer if given proper care. There have been a lot of improvements is poinsettias in recent years to make them longer lasting.

The poinsettia has been the favorite Christmas flower for many years. Where it grows native in the tropics it blooms naturally shortly before Christmas. Poinsettias are grown in greenhouses where they can be forced into bloom much earlier than normal. Growers can shorten the normal day length by shortening the days with black cloth. Stores are requesting Christmas merchandise much earlier, including poinsettias.

Not only are poinsettias lasting longer, but they are available in an increasing variety of types and colors. To see the full range of what is available I would recommend that you visit a nursery or greenhouse which actually grows their own plants
The main reason poinsettias drop their leaves and flower bracts prematurely is over watering. Poinsettias are grown in pots with holes for drainage. Then they are usually wrapped with colored foil around the pot. If watered too heavily, water accumulates between the pot and foil. This extra water is reabsorbed by the soil. If there is a constant supply of water due to over watering, the soil does not retain enough air for root growth. Roots need oxygen from soil air to function. If roots do not get enough air, they die and within a few days leaves and flower bracts begin to fall.

Either remove the foil or punch a hole in the foil before watering. Place the plant in a sink or use a plastic saucer to catch the drainage. Check the soil and make sure it is starting to dry on top before watering.

Strong light will also increase the life of a poinsettia plant. Plants placed near a window or under a table lamp will last longer.

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