Indoor plants

Poinsettia flower

Poinsettia flower origins

The poinsettia in botany is called euphorbia pulcherrima, because it is part of the euphorbiaceae family. Initially, however, it was called poinsettia, in honor of the first American general who ruled in Mexico, the country of origin of this plant. Today in many areas of the world it is still called that. In our latitudes, this plant is grown mainly in pots and remains small in size, but in reality in Central America it grows as an imposing shrub or even a tree over three meters in height. This species usually has many branches and many thin and semi-woody stems of a very intense green; the leaves are darker green, pointed; on the top of the stems in winter the beautiful flower of the poinsettia is born. In reality, what we call a flower is a collection of bracts,

Poinsettia flower uses

The flower of the euphorbia pulcherrima over time has been associated with the Christmas holidays, probably because the flowers bloom in winter, or because the inflorescences are formed by bracts of intense red color and have the shape of a star, the fact is that today it is known as Christmas Star. It is precisely in December that this plant is sold the most: people often buy several specimens to give them as gifts or to adorn their apartment in view of dinners and parties, then after the epiphany it is often forgotten and here it slowly perishes and dies. Most people, inexperienced in gardening, think that the poinsettia is an annual and that it can only produce flowers for one season, but this is not the case: it is actually a hardy and very hardy, albeit delicate plant. so if kept in the right way it can last for years, so it will flourish again and we will not have to buy a new one every Christmas. Thanks to hybridizations, today the poinsettia flower can also have pink, purple, yellow, white or two-colored bracts.

Poinsettia flower cultivation

In their countries of origin, poinsettias live in the mountains or hills, where the climate is still mostly mild. In our latitudes, these plants do not tolerate temperatures below twelve degrees maximum, just as they do not tolerate sudden changes in temperature, which could cause the loss of leaves or the aerial part. For these reasons, especially in our country, poinsettias are grown as houseplants: to favor the development of the poinsettia flower, it must be kept in a room that is not too hot, in a position that is far from stoves, heaters and fireplaces, but also from doors and windows that could let in cold air and upset the delicate balance that this plant needs. When we find the optimal place for our specimen,

Poinsettia flower care

Like any flowering plant, the poinsettia also needs care. Let’s start from the ground: the substrate must be composed of common soil, combined with a little sand, useful for averting the danger of water stagnation, the main culprits of root diseases. The euphorbia must then be irrigated throughout the year, but only and exclusively when the soil is completely dry. In summer, for example, it is possible that the substrate dries up every day due to the strong heat, therefore it will be necessary to provide the plant with a moderate amount of water daily. On the contrary, in winter the soil could stay moist for a long time, so in this case one watering per week could be enough. Then, every two weeks and throughout the year, we must give our star some specific fertilizer, except during the flowering period. Finally, every three years, it is necessary to repot because the roots will have become too long and will need more space and therefore a slightly larger container.

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