Poinsettia (or Christmas Star) is the symbol of Christmas in Europe. The flower was brought to Europe from Mexico back in 1834, when it was called the poinsettia most beautiful. Until now, this name is in use in many people. Modern botanists call Poinsettia euphorbia beautiful.
The name of the Christmas star poinsettia received because of its bracts leaves, forming a "star rosette." At the time of flowering bracts become bright shades - from bright red to cream. Poinsettia flowers are almost invisible.
The leaves of the flower are quite large in size (10-15 cm). In nature, the flower can grow up to three meters in height, and indoor poinsettia grow no higher than 50 cm.
To date, there are about 100 types of poinsettia: there are simple red with different leaf shapes, there are yellow, pink, white and variegated colors. The most common color - poinsettia with red leaves.
Poinsettia: how to care?
- It is not easy to care for the Christmas star, but to blame - its specific temperature and light conditions, in which she is accustomed to grow. It should also not be allowed to dry out the land in a pot.
- When purchasing a new plant, buy the best of the healthiest of all the plants provided to you. Look for poinsettia with a large crown of leaves, with short stems and green leaves closer to the soil. Avoid buying poinsettia with flaccid leaves, a bent stem and dry soil.
- After buying a flower, protect the flower from direct sunlight and high temperatures. New plants prefer temperatures from 15 to 20 degrees. If the temperature in the room is less than 10 degrees, the poinsettia will die and stop flowering.
- It is necessary to water the Christmas star only when the soil has dried, but make sure that the soil does not dry out, because The plant does not tolerate drought. In order not to flood the plant, there must be a drainage hole in the pot, otherwise the poinsettia roots will rot. During the flowering period, leaflets are recommended to spray.
- Poinsettia prefer bright lighting: the brighter the light, the better the flower will bloom. Just avoid direct sunlight! After the first flowering, the plant should gradually be taught to direct sunlight - so it will become more enduring. If the poinsettia stays in the shade for a long time, it can lead to leaf fall.
- While the poinsettia is in bloom, it is better not to feed it with fertilizer, otherwise it may not bloom. But the plant will not give up water-based fertilizers with mineral content. Feed this fertilizer is recommended every 12 days.
- Keep poinsettia away from air conditioners and fans - it is very sensitive to all vibrations.
Flower Transplant Christmas Star
Poinsettia needs to be replanted every two years in spring. The soil should be loose, with good moisture permeability, and the acidity of the soil should be about 6.5. It is recommended to mix the soil for poinsettia with peat and sand in a ratio of 1: 3.
Maintaining the appearance of poinsettia
When damaged and diseased leaves appear, they are pruned. Leaf pruning Christmas star tolerates well.
In order for the plant to live up to its name, the Christmas Star, it needs a certain light regime: in a lit place the plant should be 10-12 hours, cover the rest of the time with a poinsettia with an opaque black film.
Diseases and pests of the flower Christmas star
- Sometimes there are pests on the poinsettia that kill the plant. The most common pest of poinsettia is the whitefly. Pests look like moths - just as small, white and winged. Whiteflies usually settle on the inner side of the leaves. The whitefly is rather difficult to destroy, but, to the great joy of color lovers, these parasites do not bring much harm to the plant (if there are not too many of them). As a rule, to get rid of whiteflies they are sprayed with special insecticides.
- With a low humidity of the room, poinsettia seize spider mites. But for poinsettia, they are virtually no threat. With ticks, as with whiteflies, insecticidal soap effectively copes. Spider mites are practically invisible, but small yellow spots near the tips of the leaves indicate them. If the plant has a large number of spider mites, there will be a spider web on the plant.
- One of the most dangerous pests for poinsettia is mealybugs. They are easy to detect, but it is also easy to deal with them. These are the biggest pests for the Christmas star and are sticky white cotton clumps. To get rid of mealybugs, it is necessary to treat the poinsettia with alcohol or insecticidal soap.
- Fungal mosquitoes are the most annoying parasites that poinsettia owners can meet. These parasites can damage the roots of the plant, so you need to fight them. They are mushroom mosquitoes of brown insects the size of a pinhead. They usually live on the surface of the soil. It is easy to cope with mushroom mosquitoes, it is enough to treat with insecticidal soap.
Caring for poinsetteine is very difficult, although it has its own characteristics. With the right approach, poinsettia will live with you for a long time and will retain its attractiveness.