It is popular at Christmas because its bracts and foliage carry the colors of the holiday high: red and green.
But the poinsettia comes in many other shades and holds its place all year round in decorating our homes!
The poinsettia or "Christmas star" is hitting garden centers with a bang as the holiday season approaches. It owes this to its colorful bracts that surround the flowers. Red bracts are the most common, but there are also pink, salmon, yellow, cream, white, sometimes variegated, with bright green leaves.
The poinsettia grows wild in Mexico where it easily exceeds two meters in height. In our latitudes, it is much smaller, sometimes even taking a dwarf size, ideal for decorating tables.
Don't throw away the poinsettia!
Too often, the poinsettia has a bad fate after the holidays… and ends up in the trash! After flowering, place it in a cool room instead and give it water regularly. In late spring, slow down watering. When its leaves begin to fall, the plant comes to rest; at this time, let the soil dry out for a month. At the end of this period, cut it short enough (10 cm) and water to stimulate the start of vegetation. Then place it in a warm place.
The poinsettia appreciates a temperature between 15 ° C and 23 ° C (avoiding hot and dry air and drafts), good humidity (by soaking the pot in water at room temperature in taking care never to leave water in the saucer) and plenty of light. You can take it out between May and September and give it some fertilizer during the summer.
To make the poinsettia red and bloom again
Making the bracts of your poinsettia red on a second Christmas is a challenge! These colorful leaves only appear on short days. To make them blush, you have to reduce your exposure to daylight. So starting in September, place it in a room with only natural light and make sure it stays 14 hours a day in complete darkness. And this for eight weeks!
Another solution is to lock your plant in a cupboard every day from 6 p.m. until the next morning at 8 a.m. Or to cover it for the same period of time with a cardboard box. After the eight weeks have passed, treat your poinsettia as normal. At night, leave it at a temperature of 15 to 18 ° C. And it will bloom again - maybe - around Christmas.
Gardening: all the tips for caring for poinsettia