The Euphorbia pulcherrima, commonly called poinsettia, Christmas plant, Poinsettia and federal star, is a plant widely used in gardening that is usually marketed and popularized at Christmas time. It is a plant that is usually treated as if it were an annual, but it is possible to keep it throughout the year so that it survives more than one season.
However, many of those who buy one of these plants acquire them because of the striking red color that their leaves can take on, with an intense and very beautiful tone. In this EcologíaVerde article we are going to see how to make poinsettia red.
Why doesn’t my poinsettia grow red leaves?
“My poinsettia has green leaves”, is a very common phrase to hear when someone who is beginning to learn about the world of gardening and has bought one of these plants discovers that its leaves are not always red.
The red leaves of the poinsettia are actually bracts, which serve to prepare the plant for flowering. That’s why, outside of its flowering season, which occurs in December, it is very common for the leaves to take on a green hue. Also, if the plant does not receive adequate conditionsespecially during the rest of the year, when the following winter arrives, it may not prepare an adequate flowering and, therefore, its leaves do not adopt that attractive red tone that so many look for at Christmas time and that it stays in a pale tone. or pink.
How to make the Poinsettia turn red
There are several things that need to be taken into account in order for the poinsettia to achieve a beautiful bloom and its striking red leaves in winter. take note of these Tips for the poinsettia to have red leaves at Christmas:
- The first thing is that, if you have had it since a previous year, the plant needs to come into vegetative rest after its flowering season, as is the case with many others. After the Christmas season, reduce watering to one per week, and place the plant in a cool place away from heat sources. In this way, the poinsettia will enter those months of rest that it needs. It is especially important to keep it away from radiators, air conditioners or any other heat source, which can spoil both its vegetative rest and its health: plants need to go through the different seasons.
- Also, you must prune the poinsettia towards the end of January if you want its leaves to be red next Christmas. Cut the branches to about 10 cm, with disinfected and very sharp pruning shears, in diagonal cuts. Carry out this pruning only if the plant has dropped its leaves.
- In spring, with the arrival of the heat, it will be necessary transplant the poinsettia. Use universal substrate mixed with earthworm humus and sand, thus ensuring that the mixture will offer very good drainage and a high supply of nutrients. In these other posts we explain how to transplant a poinsettia and when and how to transplant a plant.
- Finally, between September and October it is advisable to start subjecting the plant to dark sessions. Leave it for half a day in a place where it is totally deprived of light of any kind, either by putting it in a container with holes or in a dark room. Also, avoid bringing it near sources of heat.
If you follow all these steps, it is very likely that when Christmas comes your poinsettia will show bright red and very striking bracts. If it still resists, you can use special fertilizers for the Poinsettia plantwhich favor coloration.
Why Poinsettia Leaves Wrinkle and How to Get Them Back
It may happen that the leaves of the poinsettia plant become wrinkled and dry, even falling down. This usually occurs because the plant is in an area where there is harmful fumes of some kind in the air. It could be tobacco smoke or any other type of smoke, but if you see that the leaves of your Poinsettia are wrinkled and dry, it is undoubtedly that they are harming it. Remove it from that environment to place it in one with the cleanest air, and with this change the plant should recover in no time.
It can also happen that the leaves turn yellow and fall, which can be caused by a temperature too high and due to excessive dryness in the environment or lack of light. To get your poinsettia back when this starts to happen to it, water the plant a bit more and spray room temperature water on the leaves. This and some compost and natural light should help her recover.
For you to learn more about the Care of the Poinsettia or Christmas plant, here we offer you a practical guide and below we leave you a video that delves into the care, such as irrigation, and talks about the flowering of this plant.
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