Indoor flowers are a great addition to any interior, as they allow you to effectively transform the atmosphere in the room. Today, there is a huge selection of indoor plants, but red poinsettia deserves special attention. It has a magnificent view and during flowering becomes the main decoration in a house or apartment.
Red poinsettia is considered one of the most beautiful flowers, which during flowering becomes fiery red. Since the flowering period of a plant most often occurs in the winter on the eve of the New Year holidays and Christmas, it is often called the “Christmas Star”.
Poinsettia belongs to the family of euphorbiaceae, so it, like all other representatives of this genus, is poisonous (causes an allergic reaction and irritation).
This plant is represented by several species: large-horned, spherical, beautiful, brilliant, poinsettia Mile. All the flowers of this family at home are grown as annuals and biennials, they are characterized by upright stems that branch well, bright green leaves and small flowers collected in lush inflorescences.
Ornamental shrubs reach a height of 3 meters, the leaves grow in length from 10 to 15 cm. Poinsettia bracts are densely located at the very top of the shoots, they can have either oblong or notched form. Poinsettia, which grows on open ground, gives seeds under natural conditions, but with home care it is almost impossible to get them. Indoor plant species are usually bred by breeding, as they lose their varietal qualities from seeds.
The flowering time of red poinsettia falls, as a rule, at the end of December and the beginning of February. During this period, the main effect of beauty is created not due to the nondescript flowers themselves, but due to the bract, which begins to turn red and pleases with an unusual look for 2 to 6 months. Poinsettia is often purchased as an original gift, in this case it is recommended to buy a plant with closed buds - this will allow the flower to retain its “red stars” for a long time.
After flowering, it is common for a plant to discard foliage and go into a “sleep” period, so you should not be afraid that the flower has died. If he is provided with proper care, he will be able to give flowers for next year.
The color of the bract may be different, depending on the varietal characteristics. The most popular varieties of red poinsettia are presented below.
- Premium Red. This is a classic version of flowers with a bright red luminous core and wide-lanceolate slightly pointed bracts.
- Cortez . In such plants, stipules are painted in a crimson hue, which gives them a solemn appearance. Dark green veins often form on the foliage as the stem grows.
- Winter Rose Early Red. This variety will appeal to those gardeners who are very fond of roses, because the plant looks much like these flowers. In addition, during flowering, stipules are covered with an unusual combination of shades, including red, white and pale pink.
- Carousel Dark Red. Plants are distinguished by dark red “petals”, which have green inflorescences at the base. This variety is suitable for lovers of bright and contrasting colors. Flowers originally decorate the windowsill with a red blush and are a real symbol of the Christmas holidays.
- Premium Ice Crysta. This is one of the most delicate and charming varieties, the plants of which are covered with pointed red inflorescences. Against the backdrop of snow-white curtains, they look like "mugs of fragrant punch."
- Da Vinci. A sophisticated red background with a slight white “bloom” gives an amazing look to these plants.
- Jester Pink. This beautiful variety is characterized by a light green edging that favorably sets off a red background.
- Strawberry and Cream. They are characterized by a red-violet hue that creates an imitation of natural marble.
- Goldfinder In these plants, bracts during flowering are covered with a muted red color.
- Olympia A juicy red flower demonstrates its beauty in the first stage of flowering, when the bracts begin to delight with a riot of fiery red.
- Sonora. This variety is characterized by an expressive scarlet tone, which makes the plant refined and sophisticated.
In addition, Sonora Fire, Prestige Maroon and Polly Pink are also classified as red poinsettia. They look great in the interior of any room and uplift their mood.
Poinsettia is very popular among adherents of the Feng Shui teachings. In their opinion, this plant is able to develop the sociability of the owner and attract people with positive energy to the house. In addition, the flower has a positive effect on well-being, “quenches” quarrels and conflicts in the family, and relieves stress. Like all other types of indoor flowers, poinsettia is demanding in care, so in order to grow it yourself at home, you need certain knowledge and experience.
Is it poisonous or not?
Poinsettia flower contains juice, which contains both beneficial and harmful substances to human and animal health. The plant is rich in gum, various resins, malic acid, taraxerol, selenium vitamins of group H, B. C, iron and iodine. Therefore, its juice is used in folk medicine to relieve itching with insect bites and for the treatment of warts. Decoctions of poinsettia are used as painkillers for headaches and joint pain. In addition, flower juice helps to improve lactation and reduces the risk of developing mastopathy in its early manifestations.
As for toxicity, this opinion is exaggerated, because despite the active and irritating effects of the juice, it is impossible to poison the plant. In people with an increased allergic reaction, skin rash may occur when in contact with flower juice.
In the event that there are pets in the house, then the plant must be placed on a hill, since if its juice enters their mucous membrane, severe burning may occur, provoking profuse salivation. With a large hit of juice in the esophagus of the animal, an upset stomach is observed. For the same reason, the flower should be kept away from young children, especially at the beginning of its flowering period.
Since this plant has a negative effect on the skin and mucous membranes, all manipulations with it are recommended to be carried out with gloves. If it was not possible to protect oneself from getting juice, then you need to rinse your hands and eyes immediately with plenty of running water. After transplanting poinsettia, one should not forget about hand washing.
Red poinsettia is considered a moody plant, so it should be constantly looked after at home. Care should begin immediately after buying a flower, providing it with transportation in the most warm conditions. It is equally important to think in advance about the correct location of the ornamental plant. It is best to put a flower pot at a distance from heating appliances and drafts. After the installation of poinsettia, she begins a month-long period of adaptation, during which you must strictly adhere to the following care scheme: maintain the temperature regime within +24, provide a large amount of light and spray twice a day with warm water.
Despite the fact that caring for a flower is quite complicated, at home it is still possible to achieve its repeated flowering. To do this, it is important to follow all the rules of cultivation and the recommendations of specialists. Since this plant is considered southern, it constantly needs heat. Therefore, the flower garden should be placed in rooms where the air temperature is not lower than +20. You can not put pots with a plant in rooms where drafts are possible - this can cause its hypothermia, after which all leaves will fall off. Poinsettia grows well on sunlit window sills, but it is recommended to cover them in the summer at noon.
The flower propagates by cuttings. The flowery “beauty” grown at home usually has many shoots, but only 4-5 of them are the most developed and strong ones, and the rest should be removed. At the same time, each cut stalk can be easily rooted and transplanted into a new pot, so another new flower will appear in the house. For this, cuttings are taken, which have from 4 to 5 internodes, cut the shoot under the lowest nodule and remove the leaves. After this, rooting in loose moistened soil or water is performed; for planting, you can also use sand with peat mixed in equal proportions.
To cuttings rooted faster, it is recommended to treat them with growth stimulants before planting. Planting material must be placed in rooms where the temperature regime is from +24 to +28. Cuttings should be periodically sprayed with warm water and ventilate the room. When the roots appear on them, after about a month, you can start transplanting into small pots. After strengthening, the plant is pruned, this contributes to better branching.
In order for the “Christmas star” to please with chic color for the New Year holidays, it is best to purchase it in November, as the plant will need about two months to adapt to a new place. After that, he will begin active growth and development. The flower will need to be transplanted into a more spacious pot filled with fresh soil. After two months, the shoots need to be cut by 1/3, because in the summer and autumn they grow rapidly. If this is not done, then poinsettia will lose its decorative appearance.
A plant of this family requires watering as the soil dries, while in summer it needs to be watered more. So that poinsettia does not rot from frequent watering, the humidity level of the mail should be checked daily. If the flower has undergone excessive watering, then it can die quickly. To prevent this, it should be urgently transplanted into another pot with fresh soil, after treating the rhizomes with a solution of potassium permanganate.
All watering is recommended to be done only with warm water, in the summer days, when it is too hot, the flower can be sprayed with a spray gun.
Poinsettia is a photophilous plant and loves diffused bright light, while it must be placed in places where direct sunlight is excluded. In summer, it is recommended that the flower be exposed to light, slightly shaded. Southeast and south windows, as well as a balcony, if it is protected from wind and drafts, are best suited for this. In the event that it is not possible to take the plant in the summer to open air, then you need to do regular ventilation in the room.
The “Christmas Star” is afraid of drafts and cold, therefore it is strictly forbidden to put it under open windows. If the flower is bought in winter, it should be transported home in tight packaging. The optimum temperature in the house during the flowering of poinsettia should not be lower than +16. It is also worth noting that dry warm air also affects the plant badly.
A flower can hurt due to sharp jumps in temperature (it starts to fade and lose casting), so for its growth and development in the room it is necessary to establish a constant temperature regime.
Like all indoor plants, poinsettia is demanding on top dressing, which must be performed during its growth and before flowering. Once every two weeks it is necessary to introduce a set of complex fertilizers, strictly observing the dosage, which should not exceed 0.8% of the total norm. If desired, the plant can be fed every ten days with calcium nitrate. In addition, it is also recommended to use foliar fertilizers, this will help to avoid various diseases caused by a lack of useful trace elements. During flowering, the flower needs to be fed only with potash fertilizers, which are intended for ornamental plants, they are applied directly to the soil.
Immediately after buying a poinsettia, you should not transplant it; it is best to do this in May. Prior to this, you first need to buy a larger pot and put good drainage on its bottom. The soil for planting should consist of sand, humus, turf and leafy soil. You can also add some peat. The pot is filled 1/3 of the soil, planted, add the rest of the planting mixture. At the same time, several hours before the procedure, the plant should be abundantly watered and removed from the old container, while maintaining an earthen lump.
Damaged and dry roots must be trimmed. The flower planted in a new pot should be watered and top dressing should begin. The soil in the pot must not be compacted, it must remain loose.
Despite the fact that poinsettia is considered a rather capricious flower, if it is provided with favorable conditions for growth and flowering, a beautiful and healthy plant will be obtained. Therefore, you should constantly monitor the level of humidity and temperature, as well as carry out moderate watering and protect the plant from bright light and drafts. If the above rules are not observed, the leaves of the flower turn yellow, then fall off and the plant may die. The plant does not tolerate too dry air in the room, if this is not taken into account, then the edges of the leaves of the flower will turn brown and the inflorescences will fall off.
Excessive dryness of the air adversely affects the development of poinsettia, various pests can appear on it, the most dangerous of which is the spider mite. This is a red small spider, most often living on the underside of foliage. He drinks their juice and envelops with cobwebs, as a result of which the leaves begin to dry, then blacken and crumble.
When the first signs of damage to the flower by insects appear, it is necessary to spray the foliage using chemicals or a decoction of tobacco. This should be done outdoors, so as not to harm the health of others.
In addition to the spider mite, the insects and the mealybug are considered pests of red poinsettia. To combat them, it is recommended to periodically wipe the leaves of the flower with a sponge saturated with preventive agents, after which washing with warm water is done. Such procedures are preferably carried out at least several times a month. This will help to detect pests in advance and conduct timely control of them. If these rules are neglected, the plant will turn into a good source for the reproduction of insects, which will destroy it over time.
If wavy stains, spots appeared on the leaves and twisting of the leaves is observed, then this indicates a defeat of the flower with thrips. The plant must be immediately treated with special preparations, and the affected leaves should be removed. It happens that poinsettia is provided with all favorable conditions, but does not bloom. As a rule, this is due to its adaptation period, the period of which may depend on many factors. To speed up the flowering process, the plant must be stimulated by covering it with an opaque cap or bedspread for 15 hours a day.
On how to properly grow poinsettia, see the next video.