Poinsettia (Christmas star).
Poinsettia, known to many as a Christmas star - one of the most popular Christmas plants. The famous chic look give the poinsettia bracts - large contrasting leaves at the top of the shoots of the current year. These leaves are bright red, pink, yellow, cream and even a two-color, mottled; they are kept on the plant only a few weeks. Poinsettia flowers themselves quite tatty - yellow-green, small size.
Poinsettia fairest, most beautiful or spurge (Poinsettia pulcherrima, or Euphorbia pulcherrima) - shrub of the family Euphorbiaceae, which naturally grows in Mexico. If you pull down list poinsettia, highlight a white sap that can cause skin irritation and allergies. To save in the most charming form of pre-purchased before Christmas poinsettia, put it on a sunny window, provide a constant temperature (about 20 degrees during the day and no lower than 16 degrees at night).
Watering as the soil dries - so that the water has passed through the substrate, and came out of the drain hole, but do not let the poinsettia "stand in the water." Also exclude drafts and any exposure to cold (eg, touching the leaves to the cold glass of the window), as the poinsettia is highly vulnerable and easily shed its leaves at the first sign of the slightest discomfort.
Charming Christmas poinsettia plant has a long history. First connoisseurs poinsettia - the Aztecs, who called this plant cuetlaxochitl. Of its red bracts Aztecs prepared natural dye for cosmetics and tissues; white poinsettia juice they used to treat fever.
Residents of the United States learned spurge most beautiful thanks to the efforts of the doctor and botanist Dzh.R.Poynsetta (JR Poinsett), (1779 - 1851 years). He was the first American ambassador to Mexico, appointed by President Madison. Poinsettia real passion was botany and plants.
First saw the poinsettia in Mexico in 1828, Poinsettia immediately sent a few samples in their greenhouses in Greenville (SC), where he later became reproduce it and send samples to the botanical gardens. In the 1830s, this plant has got into commercial production and soon became popular under the name of poinsettia (in Russian language name entered as the poinsettia). Tradition buy poinsettia for Christmas from America went to Europe.
Naturally grow in the gardens of poinsettia are only in the extreme south, in hot and dry places. Poinsettia does not stand temperatures below 10-15 degrees. It requires a certain amount of water in the spring and summer, but in autumn and winter watering should be minimal. Nor shall poinsettia drafts and temperature changes.
To poinsettia bracts bloom and could have purchased a bright color, it should be kept in conditions similar to the natural flowering period (long dark nights and short days). Create a poinsettia for such conditions close to the places of its climate natural habitat, is not easy. So far from the flower-people prefer to buy poinsettia every year in December (at the stage of budding), and then throw it in January - after flowering ends and Fly lovely bright bracts.
But many gardeners "does not allow the soul and does not raise his hand to" throw off the faded living plant that has brought them so much joy - because it may well continue to grow and bloom for many years. If you decide to try to keep your poinsettia until next year, out of the goodness of the soul, for fun and to save money - then here are some recommendations on how this can be done.
After flowering poinsettia should be shortened by half its branches and place the plant in a dry room where the temperature is not lower than + 10-15 degrees for a few weeks; watering is very rare. In May poinsettia branches should be cut again (leaving about 15 cm of their length from the ground level), to transplant the plant into a larger size pot, transfer to a warm sunny room and watered regularly.
Soon the bush will be new shoots; should be left to only a few (5-6 strongest) shoots, and delete the rest. Clipped shoots can be used as cuttings for plant propagation. After the beginning of active growth poinsettia should be regularly fertilize during the summer.
Keep in bush neat and compact form make sure that the stems had not grow too long and bare. If this happens, then we can again slightly shorten the shoots to make a poinsettia bush lush.
To create the conditions of the plant close to the natural ones, with early autumn for 2.5 months poinsettia should be covered at night with dark polyethylene to plant every day spent about 14 hours in total darkness. Short daylight hours - an essential factor for the appearance of beautiful vibrant bracts and flowering of poinsettia.
In early December, the poinsettia flower buds should appear; then you can put the plant in a sunny window. If everything was done correctly, the Christmas poinsettia will be more rewarding more magnificent than before, stain their bracts and will flower.
For the vegetative propagation of poinsettia cuttings cut from it (a minimum length of 10 cm) at the beginning of the summer should be planted in individual pots for rooting and growing. The temperature of the contents of cuttings should not be below + 18-20 degrees. Ideally, the soil for the poinsettia should include humus, sand and dry manure.
After rooting, keep the temperature of the contents of at least 16 degrees. By the autumn the plants can transship into larger containers (diameter 18-20 cm). Young poinsettia bushes grown from cuttings will be able to purchase a magnificent "Christmas" look just for the next year.
Regardless of whether you have grown your poinsettia themselves or purchased it in the store - it is sure to become the center of attention at Christmas. Do not forget to put the container into a beautiful poinsettia plant pots and place the plant in a prominent place. You might want to put your poinsettia in the center of the festive Christmas table and surrounded by candles or other holiday decorations. Traditionally, Christmas is in our home with poinsettia.