15 Dec 2010

Caring for Poinsettias

Beautiful Poinsettia Mix
Holiday Poinsettia Mix

You know it is really the holiday season when you begin to see poinsettias on every counter and tabletop. Few flowers say “Christmas” the way a poinsettia does. In fact, the flowers’ appearance brings so much cheer, many people want to keep them blooming long passed the holiday season.

And maybe you can.

First, if you want to extend the life of your points, it is best to live in Mexico or Southern California. Poinsettias thrive there, year round, growing as small shrubs and trees. If you live anywhere else, be sure to protect your plants from cold, drafts, winds and rain. Night time temperatures below 50 degrees Farenheit are chilly enough to kill a poinsettia.

So, if you are a Northwesterner, keep your plants indoors, well away from drafty hallways or heating vents.

Be sure to remove the plastic or paper sleeves that are used to protect plants during transport. The sleeves can restrict air flow, causing the stems to slump. If you want a nice, bushy plant, keep the air flowing around the pot.

poinsettias on counter
Leaves begin to drop

Never let the soil dry out. For many plants, drying and re-wetting is fine – but not for the poinsettia. Wilting plants rarely recover fully. If you buy your points from Plantscapes, you can have a wetting agent added to the soil, which will help keep the soil evenly moist, extending the life of the plant. But note – “evenly moist” is not water-logged. Never over water poinsettias. And take care with saucers underneath the pots or inside the foil “hat.” Poinsettias hate wet feet. You’ll notice the water damage immediately – but you won’t be able to cure it so easily.

In their native climate, poinsettia are perennial plants that can bloom for many years. Of course, the “blooms,” or bracts, are actually leaves that change color with a change in day length. Getting a poinsettia to bloom for a second year outside of California is quite a difficult feat. Just getting the plant to survive from one season to the next is an accomplishment. Most poinsettia lovers agree, it is better to treat the plants as annuals – looking forward to their appearance in late November and enjoying them until January. As the leaves drop and the once compact plant grows spindly and bare, it is time to harden your heart – and begin looking forward to next year’s crop.

BONUS FUN FACT ABOUT POINSETTIA CULTIVATION FROM WIKIPEDIA

“Until the 1990s, the Ecke family of Encinitas, California, had a virtual monopoly on poinsettias owing to a technological secret that made it difficult for others to compete. The Ecke family’s key to producing more desirable poinsettias was to create a fuller, more compact plant, by grafting two varieties of poinsettia together. A poinsettia left to grow on its own will naturally take an open, somewhat weedy look. The Eckes’ technique made it possible to get every seedling to branch, resulting in a bushier plant.

“Albert Ecke had emigrated from Germany to Los Angeles in 1900, opening a dairy and orchard in the Eagle Rock area. He became intrigued by the plant and sold them from street stands. His son, Paul Ecke, developed the grafting technique, but it was the third generation of Eckes, Paul Ecke, Jr., that really was responsible for advancing the association between the plant and the winter holidays. Besides changing the market from mature plants shipped by rail to cuttings sent by air, he sent free plants to television stations for them to display on air from Thanksgiving to Christmas. He also appeared on television programs like The Tonight Show and Bob Hope’s Christmas specials to promote the plants.

“However, in the 1990s, a university researcher discovered the method and published it, opening the door for competitors to flourish, particularly in Latin America where the cost of labor is far lower. The Ecke family, now led by Paul Ecke III, no longer grows any on farms in the U.S., but as of 2008, they still control about 70% of the domestic market and 50% of the worldwide market.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euphorbia_pulcherrima

Photograph by bobistraveling Photo released under Creative Commons License

Photograph by Bare Dreamer Photo released under Creative Commons License

11 Nov 2009

How to Care for Your Poinsettias

Keep Your Poinsettias Looking Their Best
Keep Your Poinsettias Looking Their Best

Wouldn’t you like to keep your own Poinsettias at home looking as fresh as they did the day you bought them?

If you ordered your poinsettias for your office or lobby from Plantscapes, our expert technicians will keep them looking fresh throughout the season. They will be happy to share plant care tips with you.

Here are a few Poinsettia Do’s and Don’ts to help you get started at home.

Poinsettias are very sensitive to temperature swings and to drafts. You’ll notice that when your Plantscapes’ Poinsettias are delivered, they’ll be “sleeved,” or wrapped in a paper cone, to protect them. When you purchase Poinsettias for your home, be sure to transport them from store to car to home with the same sort of protection. If the store doesn’t offer sleeving, place the plants in a large shopping bag.

Poinsettias are also fussy about drafts. Never place them in the path of a gust of cold air from a doorway. Keep them away from heating vents. Don’t place them directly in front of cold windows.

Poinsettias don’t like “wet feet.” You should only water them when the soil begins to dry out. If your Poinsettia’s pot is wrapped in colored foil, remove the plant from the decorative wrapping before you water, so that the water has a chance to drain away. Never allow a Poinsettia to remain in standing water.

But be careful – never let your Poinsettia wilt!

Poinsettias don’t like strong light. In the Northwest, with our rainy winter days, this isn’t really a problem. If, however, we have several unusually sunny days and your Poinsettias are in a south facing window, protect them from harsh light during the brightest part of the day.

Don’t fertilize Poinsettias.

Follow these simple Do’s and Don’ts and you will enjoy your poinsettias all season long

DO

  • Protect from drafts
  • Protect from cold
  • Water when the soil is dry to the touch

DON’T

  • Let the pot remain in standing water
  • Carry unprotected plants in your car
  • Fertilize

Photo by LollyKnit Released under Creative Commons License

12 Oct 2009

It’s Time To Order Poinsettias

A Tree Made With Poinsettias Will Delight Your Clients
A Tree Made With Poinsettias Will Delight Your Clients

It seems like the summer just got started, yet Fall is already here. The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder – and the Holidays are getting closer and closer.

Plantscapes’ 2009 Holiday Plants and Decorations Program is already in full swing. We can decorate your office, lobby, courtyard – or even your grounds – with beautiful seasonal plants and decorations.

If you love the look and smell of holiday greens, we can hang garlands and wreaths, as well as deliver and decorate your live Christmas tree.

If you prefer the convenience of artificial greens, we have talented artists on staff to design decorations just for you.

And to top it all, no matter how large or small your space is, Plantscapes offers everyone’s favorite holiday plant, the Poinsettia.

Of course, our florist quality poinsettias are available in traditional red or white. We also offer the popular, modern marble poinsettia for a contemporary look.

All points are available in foil covered pots with color co-ordinated bows.

Our sizes range from small 4″ pots, perfect for a desktop, to large  8″ plants that will brighten any location.

If you are a current Plantscapes customer, you can order your Poinsettias online, by phone, or by fax. If you’d like to speak to a sales representative about our full holiday program, please give us a call at (206) 623-7100 and we’ll set up an appointment.

You can also download our Poinsettia Price List and Delivery Schedule as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file by clicking here.

Holiday decorations create a cheerful, warm atmosphere. Your clients are much more likely to linger in an area bright with holiday lights and plants. So let Plantscapes help you make holiday season festive and profitable with our gorgeous plants and decorations.

 

Photo by Southernpixel Released under Creative Commons License

17 Sep 2008

Its Already Time to Think About Poinsettias

Photo by KaCey97007
Pink Poinsettia

It seems like summer has just begun, but it is already time to think about Poinsettias for the Holidays.

As we always do, Planstcapes is offering our customers a variety of sizes and colors, delivered to your door, and carefully maintained throughout the holiday season. You can find a full schedule of prices, delivery dates, pot cover and bow combinations, and Poinsettia colors on the Plantscapes web site.

(Photo by KaCey97007 Licensed under Creative Commons)