Saturday, January 7, 2012

How do you prune a Poinsettia plant (euphorbia pulcherrima).?

The proper time to cut back the poinsettia is as soon as all the flower bracts have faded or fallen. If the bracts fade or fall quite some time prior to May, cut the plant only part way back (about 1/3 of the total height), keep it on the dry side, and store it in a dimly lit spot with a temperature near 50 to 55 ° F.

When May arrives, cut the plant back even more, leaving only 4 to 6 inch stubs ( if you have been lucky to have the plant bloom until May, it's also time to cut it back leaving only 4 to 6 inch stubs). Remove the rootball from the pot and remove some of the old potting soil from around the roots. Repot the plant in fresh commercially prepared potting soil being sure that soil has good draining properties. Place the pot in a spot that receives at least 4 hours of direct sun per day and resume watering. Let the media dry slightly between thorough waterings. The poinsettia is a bit fussy, so be sure there are no drafts where it is growing. The plant flourishes when night temperatures are near 60° F. and daytime temperatures near 70° F. or higher. If the potting media is a soilless mix, fertilize only in spring and summer with a complete balanced fertilizer. Miracle-Gro 15-30-15 is a good plant food when used according to the manufactures directions.

When the new shoots are at least 4 inches tall, remove all but 4 or 5 of the strongest. These will develop large flower bracts. Use the remaining shoots to propagate new plants by inserting them into either a moist peatmoss and sand mixture or vermiculite. Try to keep the medium near a temperature of 70° F. and place the potted shoots in a clear plastic bag to keep them warm and humid until they have rooted.

Starting around September 21st, the plant must be given 14 hours of total darkness per day for approximately 8 weeks ( or until flower buds have formed), at which time it can again be treated like a normal houseplant. Covering the plant with a lightproof cover is the safest way of insuring this total darkness. Any interruption in the schedule of this dark period can prevent bud formation.

How do you prune a Poinsettia plant (euphorbia pulcherrima).?
I have two poinsettia plants since last November , all i have done was pinch off the dead leaves . nothing else . I transferred them into a bigger planter and they are growing fine,,,

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