The Last Poinsettia

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A Quick Guide to Buying Poinsettias

How do you keep it beautiful through the holidays? To help yours stay pretty, follow this advice from Ron Wolford, creator of the Poinsettia Pages:. Poinsettias need six hours of light daily fluorescent light will work.

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Water the plant when the soil is dry. Allow water to drain into the saucer and discard excess.

How Can I Make My Poinsettia Last During the Holiday Season? | Ask BrightView

Wilted plants will tend to drop bracts sooner. If kept past the holiday season, apply a houseplant fertilizer once a month.

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He raised the plants in his South Carolina greenhouse and gave them to friends. National Poinsettia Day is celebrated Dec. The plant drops its bracts and leaves soon after those flowers shed their pollen.

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Blooms are bigger. The plants now last longer, and at least one new variety blooms as early as mid-November. In California, poinsettias were grown in fields for the cut-flower trade and in backyards.

You can still see vintage poinsettia varieties peeking over the fences of older gardens. The first thing breeders looked for was better staying power. In the s, poinsettia plants were lucky to last the week indoors. The real flowers--what gets pollinated--are the tiny cup-like capsules clustered inside the circle of bright bracts.

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  • Poinsettias are not self-pollinators. Out crossing greatly increases the chances for change in each generation of plants. Every single seed resulting from such a cross is going to be different, sometimes surprisingly so. Most of the time, breeders simply give nature a helping hand. They make hundreds of crosses by hand-pollinating the individual flowers with a small brush, then raise thousands of seedlings and observe them carefully for the desired traits, such as earlier or bigger blooms, or unusual colors.

    The bloom is off the poinsettia

    This can cause the doubling of chromosomes, which makes for thicker cell walls and sturdier plants. Plants with more chromosomes also are easier to cross and are more likely to sport.

    Christmas Poinsettias with Ed Hume

    They remove the embryo from the seed and raise it artificially. In fact, the process of raising new plants from tiny bits of plant tissue can take place entirely in a Petri dish or glass flask--inside a tissue culture laboratory.

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