02 October 2007

Preparing your Poinsettias for Christmas!

Come the month of December, we find flaming red plants make a dramatic appearance everywhere even in India. The Poinsettias are typically associated with Christmas and retain their beauty for many weeks. However to ensure beautiful red flowers, its necessary to take some actions now itself.

This is a long night plant, which means it needs prolonged darkness to develop the flamboyant blooms. From now on (end September) ensure the plant gets about 14 hours of darkness everyday. If your plant is in a pot then you can even take it indoors at night as any additional light from street or yard lights will inhibit blooming.Make sure that the poinsettia receives only natural sunlight. Do not pinch or prune the plant after now.

Coloured bracts generally begin appear by early November and fully expand by end November.
The actual flower is yellow and is located at the base of the bracts. Plants with tightly-closed flowers that have not yet shed pollen will last the longest in your home.

Poinsettias belong to the Euphorbiaceae family. They ooze a milky sap which may cause skin irritation. Leaves and plants are not poisonous but not edible either!

Lovely red and white Poinsettias can be cultivated in a tropical country like India also. It only needs some care and nurturing. Begin today itself!


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