Patricia M. Arledge, Sharpe, Kenneth W. | 12/19/2011 11:46:14 PM
News Article for December 5, 2011:
It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere I go! People are out decorating their homes and yards for the Christmas season.
Besides the Christmas tree, the second most used plant in Christmas decorations is the poinsettia. Our church sanctuary was beautifully adorned in red poinsettias this past Sunday and many of you will use them also. There are lots of color choices including pink, white, marble and combinations of these but red is by far the most popular color.
If properly cared for poinsettias can last six to eight weeks. The first step to proper care is selection. The longevity of the poinsettia will be determined largely by the maturity of the plant you purchase.
Choose plants with large bracts. Bracts are the modified leaves that have the color that we sometimes call flowers. These bracts should extend well over the lower green leaves.
Then look at the real flower part which is located in the center of the plant. Select plants with small, tight, green button-like flower parts. Those with large and open buttons that show syrup-like sap will be more mature and not last as long.
Poinsettias will perform best in a sunny location indoors away from drafts and heating vents. Be sure not to overwater. Use your finger to determine the moisture of the soil. Like most potted plants poinsettias will do better on the dry side than on the wet side. Also do not mist poinsettias or wet the foliage when watering.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture