If we have achieved that Christmas plant survive, now we will observe your needs so that the Euphorbia pulcerrima stay healthy for the rest of the year and bloom again next Christmas. For this reason, we must know that once the flowering is finished, we will see its bracts disappear, which we remember are the false red, yellow, pink or variegated petals that we like so much. This is part of the natural process of the Christmas plant, as the bracts protect the flowers.
Disappeared these, the Poisentia you no longer need them. There are those who throw them away then thinking that they are dying. Don't do it, the Poinsettia it is a living being that can survive and grow until the following December, when it will bloom again. But for this it needs some care, like all plants. What are they? What are we to do from the red leaf fall?
They are 29 megabytes so it still takes a little while. Patience worth it 🙂
Table of Contents
General care of the Poinsettia
Throughout its life span, you will need the same requirements regarding temperature, humidity and irrigation that we explained in Poinsettia: how to survive Christmas. But let's make a summary:
- Temperature: the Euphorbia pulcherrima It is a tropical plant that grows wild in Mexico. Its ideal temperature range is between a minimum of 15ºC and a maximum of 35ºC. Now, if we place it in a very sheltered area, for example, in a corner of the plot where it is not very exposed to the wind, it can withstand mild frosts of up to -1ºC or -2ºC provided they are of very short duration, and then the temperature rises fast.
- Humidity: it is important that it is high so that it does not dry out. If you live on an island or near the sea you do not have to worry about this issue, but if on the contrary you are further inland, then it is best to check on a meteorology website what degree of humidity is in your area, or ask yourself with a home weather station to be able to monitor the weather, something that will certainly help you to take better care of your plants.
- Irrigation: it does not resist drought, nor excess water. The poinsettia needs moderate watering throughout the year, being more frequent in summer than in winter. In general, it has to be watered 2-3 times during the warmer months, and once a week or every 15 days the rest. If in doubt, use a moisture meter such as this So that, thus, you know if the earth is dry or on the contrary humid.
- Sun / shade: It must be in a place where there is a lot of light, but it is preferable that it is a little protected from direct sun than that we put it in an area where it is exposed, although it can also grow in sunny areas. For this reason, if you are indoors, you must be in a room where there is much, much clarity; and if it is outside, in semi-shade.
After flowering, the Poisentia will need us to add a little fertilizer liquid to your irrigation water. It can be a universal fertilizer (such as this) or a slow release fertilizer, following the manufacturer's instructions regarding quantities. Once every 10 days is sufficient. With this we will ensure that it grows healthy, and that its green leaves (not the bracts) will sprout again soon.
Once its red leaves have fallen, if you have land available and the climate is warm, the ideal would be to transplant it to the garden. But if you live in an area where frosts occur, or you do not have land, you can also keep it in a pot, providing the care it needs and waiting for spring to arrive.
Let's see how to transplant it:
- To a bigger pot: when spring arrives, we will transplant it to a larger pot, putting the universal as substrate as this. At this time and in this new situation, providing it with good natural lighting and an average temperature of the order of 20 ° C, the Poinsettia will emit new branches. The growth of these will be continuous, producing a good foliar development during the summer and autumn. This development will be favored if, in addition to watering, we try to periodically provide adequate fertilization.
- To the garden: if there are no frosts or if they are very weak (-1 or -2ºC), it can be planted in the garden. To do this, a planting hole of about 40 x 40 centimeters will be made, and it will be planted carefully, having previously removed it from the pot. Then, the hole is filled in, it is used to make a tree grate to make better use of the water and it is watered.
At the end of January, it is normal that in temperate climates the Christmas plant has run out of leaves and bracts. This is when it can be pruned. In some lucky homes, observing general care, the green leaves are kept and there are even those who claim to have kept the bracts for months. In these areas, where winter temperatures are mild, you can also prune around these dates.
To do this, we will cut the stems, leaving them at about 10-15 centimeters tall if the specimen is 40-50 centimeters tall; if it is smaller, we will not prune it. Gloves must be worn because the sap is irritating to skin and mucous membranes. Once cut, seal the end with scar paste like this.
In this state we will leave the Christmas plant to rest during the winter. If it is at home, we will leave it in a place free from heat and drafts; and if it is outside, it is highly recommended to protect it from the cold with an anti-frost fabric, except if we live in an area where temperatures are always above 0 degrees.
Let's not forget that, even if you are at rest, you still need the irrigation. But then limit it to once a week or every 15 days. During spring and, even more so in summer, we will water more often.
The Christmas plant blooms again in winter, and that is when it begins to fill again with bracts (red, yellow, or pink leaves) but for that needs a daily period of about 12 hours of total darkness from the end of September Or, at most, early October.
If at home we cannot have it in a room that has those hours without light, and we want to have our plant ready with its Christmas appearance, We can artificially create that darkness that you need, although it really is not necessary. I mean, in our latitudes (I'm talking about Spain) the night lasts just that, about 12 hours on average in autumn and winter, and poinsettia flowers naturally in winter. So we just have to be patient and provide the necessary care.
Now, if we are interested in it blooming for Christmas, then yes we can force it to do so by covering it with a dark plastic, with thick cardboard or with a protective bell covered with aluminum foil, during the evening to achieve those 12 hours without light from September.
In December we will have the Christmas plant ready again, bigger and surely more appreciated after all the care we have provided.