Poinsettia plants for tropical home gardens, that you can grow and care. Either you can grow it directly in your garden or in pots. Moreover it is one of the best plants for balconies or patios. Especially, if there is bright sunlight for at least five to six hours a day.
Religious and ritual importance of poinsettia plants
Whenever we happen to see even a pic of the plant, it reminds us of Christmas. Because, poinsettia plants have that much speciality in our most celebrated festival. Commonly it is known as the Christmas plant.
In a like manner, it is one of the best Christmas gifts for our loved ones.
Ritual importance for the plant is also very popular. According to this, leaves symbolise the stars of Bethlehem. Similarly, red colour represents the blood of crucified Jesus.
Truly, poinsettia is a native of Mexico. However, it is one of the best plants for tropical gardens in many parts of the world.
Surprisingly, we can find a lot of them in the wild. Mostly in Kerala and other South Indian states, during the time of Christmas.
By providing a little care, we can definitely grow these plants in our garden.
A short description of poinsettia plants for tropical gardens.
Favourable conditions make these shrubs to grow about 10 to 15 ft tall.
Bright parts of the plant are really bracts, that are modified leaves. Likewise, we can see clusters of small yellow flowers in the centre of the bracts.
Dwarf hybrid varieties of Poinsettia plants are available in nurseries. Bracts in different colours of these are really attractive.
Besides, they can make our garden fantastic, preferably like other foliage plants. For example, crotons, copper leaf plant, coleus, eugenium etc.
Importantly poinsettia plants belong to the euphorbiaceae family. Evidently milky sap is one of the most important features, like many other plants from the family.
Propagation of poinsettia plants for tropical gardens
Through stem cuttings, we can propagate the poinsettia plants. Germination of seeds is also fine, but it takes more time for the results.
Using cuttings collected from the tips of stems, we can develop saplings, which is as follows:
First, remove leaves from the bottom end of the cuttings. Then tuck it about two inches deep in a pot filled with river sand.
Never forget to keep the pot in shade, and water on a daily basis.
Commonly it takes about four to six weeks, for the plant to get ready for replanting.
However once we start our poinsettias, we can surely expect blooms for Christmas next year.
Potting medium for poinsettia plants for tropical gardens
Potting medium with good drainage is essential for the poinsettia plants.
Indeed, you can make the medium by mixing ingredients in the ratio as given below:
- Garden soil 35%
- River sand 35%
- Cow dung or compost 20%
- Neem seed powder and bone meal 10%
Always remember to use well dried and powdered cow dung. Definitely you can use any other organic manure instead.
Further, combine all the ingredients together, and fill a plant pot.
Repotting saplings of poinsettia plants for tropical gardens
After that, put a bottom layer of crushed bricks in the pot. Take the sapling carefully out of the pot, without removing the root ball completely. Finally transfer plant to the pot, filled with the medium.
Fix the plant well in the pot by adding required quantity of the potting medium.
Keep the pot in shade for a few days, and move gradually to bright indirect sunlight.
Within a period of about ninety to hundred days, the plants are in full blooms. Prior to that, bracts gradually begin to turn bright.
Watering poinsettia plants for tropical gardens
Poinsettia plants always like a moist atmosphere. Water the plant moderately, on alternate days or when the top soil becomes dry.
Avoid watering directly on the leaves, for the reason that it can lead to rotting. Sprinkle smaller quantities of water at the base of the plant instead.
Light and temperature requirements
Bright indirect sunlight is necessary for the poinsettia plants. However, direct noon sun may make scorching of leaves and bracts.
For this reason, find places that are partially shady for those you plant directly in soil.
Warm atmosphere with temperature between 65* to 75* F is ideal.
Feeding poinsettia plants
Feed your poinsettia plants with a diluted organic fertilizer, preferably once in a month. Also avoid feeding while the plants are in bloom.
Best time to feed your poinsettias, is in between pruning and blooming.
Prune your poinsettias once in a year. Mainly as and when the plant becomes leggy, preferably after blooming. We can use tools like pruning shears or scissors, for removing branches.
Pinching off the new buds helps sprouting of those in plenty.
Extreme care should be taken while pruning, since the milky sap may cause allergic reactions.
Repotting your poinsettia plants
Normally poinsettias are perennials and hence repotting is not necessary. Anyhow, we can repot the plant with fresh medium at intervals of one or two years. Certainly this helps to maintain the health and beauty of our poinsettias.
Above all, it is one of the best plants for making bonsai. Like other tropical bonsai trees, poinsettias also respond well to different stages of training.
Given above, are the basic details regarding one of the most attractive tropical foliage plants. Try to grow your own poinsettias in home garden, make it really amazing and colourful.