We know that we are late to talk about this plant but as they say: it is never too late if happiness is good. Surely many of you have in your possession the famous Poinsettia , which will have arrived through a friend or family member a little before Christmas, as is usual.
From Gardenprue we challenge you to keep it until the following Christmas.
POINSETTIA, CHRISTMAS PLANT PAR EXCELLENCE
Its scientific name is Euphorbia Pulcherrima and it is also known as Pascuero or Poinsetia. Surely you have given this plant at Christmas to more than one loved one at some time, but do you really know the reason for its fame at this time? it’s all due to a botany-loving 19th century American politician named Joel Robert Poinsett .
He actually studied medicine and law, but it was during his time as a US government minister in South America that he met and became enthusiastic about the Poinsettia . Originally from Mexico, where pre-Columbian civilizations already used it as an offering to the gods and a medicinal plant, it was not until the introduction of it by Mr. Poinsett that it became popular.
Writings are known in which it already appears as a Christmas symbol of the Spanish monks in Mexico in the seventeenth century, who associated the red of their bracts with the wounds of Christ. But the big “Boom” came to Hollywood in the early twentieth century, when a producer of this flower took care (very astute him) that the world associated this plant with the Christmas season.
Today it is one of the 10 best-selling plants in the world. That is why we have believed it necessary for you to know how to take care of it.
VARIETIES OF POINSETTIAS
We are usually used to traditional red, although there are several varieties that offer different and very attractive colors. In general, we are talking about pink, yellow or cream colored blooms. Although you may have seen some of them blue, in general they are tints and it is not the natural aspect of the poinsettia.
- ‘Tri-Color’ Poinsettia – Has bracts in red, white and pink.
- Poinsettia ‘Plum Pudding’ – It is a beautiful purple color.
- Poinsettia ‘Prestige Maroon’: it is an intense garnet.
- Poinsettia ‘Lemon Drop’: has yellow bracts.
- Poinsettia ‘Jingle Bells’ – Has red bracts dotted with pink.
CARES AND NEEDS OF THE POINSETTIA
LOCATION AND TEMPERATURE
It is more of average temperatures. Hence, it develops very well indoors. It can also be developed in the garden but we depend more on the climate. Specifically, it develops well in an approximate range of 16 to 25 ºC, with its tolerance limit to cold being 10 ºC, as occurs in other species already mentioned such as Aloe vera or Kentia .
Below that temperature we will lose the leaf. It is also not very friendly to drafts and we must be careful with excessive heating at home during the winter.
If it is indoors, it supports exposure well as long as it is indirect. When it is in flower it may need a little more light but in general with a medium luminosity the plant will develop correctly. The ideal in any case is indirect medium-high luminosity.
Irrigation is recommended by immersion . We immerse the pot 2/3 of its height in a pile of water. This type of irrigation is the most suitable when it comes to plants that do not need constant humidity in the green parts or in velvety species (as is the case).
The frequency will be moderate . Beware of excess water. A good way to establish the frequency of watering is to let the substrate dry between watering and watering.
It needs a good substrate, with content of organic matter. 1/3 peat and 2/3 mulch is a suitable mix . Another option is also to add sand and volcanic stone to the bottom to avoid waterlogging. It is recommended to use a liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks from April to October.
LATEST POINSETTIA TIPS
The most frequent symptoms of poor care can be:
- The leaves turn yellow: it may be lack of water and / or fertilizer.
- The leaves are wilting: We will be watering too much or it may be suffering from drafts.
Normally, when the poinsettia loses its bright red bracts, people tend to abandon it due to the loss of majesty that this entails. That is why it is very common to let it wither. If you want to keep it and especially that the beautiful red bracts reappear, it is necessary to subject the plant to a strict dark plan during the autumn months .
We will leave it in total darkness for approximately 14 hours a day until December, when we will once again have the plant in all its splendor announcing the arrival of Christmas. It is not good to cover it with plastic since we can make it difficult to breathe.
TOXICITY OF ITS LEAVES
Finally, comment that although it is not toxic for humans , it can be for some animals if they ingest them. Be careful with cats and their purges.
It is possible that sensitive people may suffer contact dermatitis when handling the plant, for example, during transplantation. This is because, in general, the Euphorbia family, to which the Euphorbia trigona cactus belongs , emit a milky-colored sap that can be irritating.
To avoid this, we can simply put on latex gloves before handling, and avoid any contact with the skin at all times, much less the eyes.