roseycheeks
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poinsetta on desk under grow lights. Is this ok?

Here is the poinsetta that my neighbor brought over yesterday. I have it on the computer desk under the grow lights, I had to move the frosty fern because it would not fit on the desk with the poinsetta. I hope I am doing it right.
101_2029poinsetta.jpg

roseycheeks
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Re: poinsetta on desk under grow lights. Is this ok?

Here is the poinsetta and the frosty fern, I was thinking of the humidity angle, if the poinsetta and the fern are beside each other maybe they will help each other. Let me know if this is a good idea.
101_2030poinsetta&friend.jpg

imafan26
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Re: poinsetta on desk under grow lights. Is this ok?

Poinsettias are tropical plants but they are also euphorbias. They do not like cold so a room temperature that is comfortable for you is good for the plant 70 degrees is good. They do like bright light especially when they are colored up. Indirect light from a sunny window or artificial lighting works. They like don't lke to be over watered so you need to pay attention to that. I actually do not know how much humidity they need. It is never a consideration for me. Usually, all of the succulents and euphorbias I have to work at to keep them dry and out of the rain more than I have to worry about them getting enough humidity.

Most people keep poinsettias as throw away plants. You can keep them if you are willing to do the work
The two months with A's April and August feed the plants and prune it a week later. Make cuttings for more plants.
Wear gloves and eye protection the milky sap is an irritant and hard to get off your hands and tools. I use purple power on the tools. It makes it easier to get the sap off.

They are best outside as soon as it warms up consistently it will not tolerate a sudden frost.
Poinsettias normally bloom in Spring. You have to trick it to bloom for Christmas. Around September you have to restrict the light for about 6 weeks (put it in a dark closet in an unused room, but remember to water) After the artificial 'winter' you bring it out to full light and hopefully the leaves will color up in time for Christmas.

Poinsettias are a whitefly magnet so watch out for those. You can treat the plant with soap or oil but once the leaves color up you will be limited to wiping the leaves with water and alcohol otherwise you risk all of the leaves dropping.

I had a poinsettia growing in the yard when we bought the house. It bloomed around March every year and it was about 8 ft tall because I did not prune it regularly.
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roseycheeks
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Re: poinsetta on desk under grow lights. Is this ok?

can I just keep inside all the time? It really does not matter if it does not bloom in time for Christmas next year, I think it would be nice to have it bloom when it wants to. And I also am thinking of not pruning it at all, just to see how big it can get.

imafan26
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Re: poinsetta on desk under grow lights. Is this ok?

You might be able to if you have very bright light. If you don't prune it, it gets leggy. That is why it is pruned twice a year. The one I had in the yard was all stem with leaves just at the very top.
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Allyn
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Re: poinsetta on desk under grow lights. Is this ok?

Some folks assume that the brightly-colored red 'petals' are the flowers, but those are actually red leaves. The flowers are small and yellow and appear in the middle of the leaf clusters. The plant requires a minimum of 12 hours of darkness for at least 5 days to develop the bright red leaves. That's why it has a winter display of color because the nights in winter are long enough for the red leaves to develop.

The poinsettia is also called the "Mexican Flame Tree." "Mexican" because its origins are in Central America and "Flame Tree" because. . .well, this is one that is left unpruned:
Image
Image source: gardensonline.com.au

You have tufts of foliage at the tips of branches.

roseycheeks
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2 new poinsettia plants

These two plants were given to me by the same neighbor who gave me the big one, these were in his house where it warm until the leaves started dropping, then he put them onto the porch which is enclosed but no heat for 3 days, I took them home took off all the dead leaves and watered them and put them under the flourescent lights. Do you think they will survive? The stems are still green. And as you see in the picture there are a few leaves that are still alive. Hopefully with a little loving care, they will last.
101_2039.JPG

imafan26
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Re: poinsetta on desk under grow lights. Is this ok?

make sure they are not over watered. They were probably in the dark for too long so they dropped the leaves.

Here it takes 6 weeks in the dark to get the poinsettias to color up. They need to go in the closet around September to get them to bloom at Christmas. In the yard they colored up and one of them was on the side of the house so got shaded part of the day. I had another one that got East sun and they both blooomed around March.
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roseycheeks
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2 baby poinsettias

I repotted the little poinsettias because the pot they came in was very small, I gave them fresh potting soil and a little water, I also took a picture of them because they have new leaf buds already! And the one that still has red leaves has a VERY difinite leaf growing! So I think they will survive, a testament to my grandmother's green thumb that I inherited and a VERY stubborn streak on my part!
101_2041.JPG

roseycheeks
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Re: poinsetta on desk under grow lights. Is this ok?

If you have sand on top of the soil how ca you tell if the poinsettia has gotten enough water?

The Finisher.66
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Re: poinsetta on desk under grow lights. Is this ok?

Transplant in a larger pot, and it will grow into a tree, I promise you that.

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applestar
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Re: poinsetta on desk under grow lights. Is this ok?

Judge by weight of the container to see if they need water. Heft it after watering to feel the baseline weight, then when it feels light, it's time to water again.

You could trim the little ones to just above a nice cluster of bumps/buds on the stem so they will grow from those. Poinsettia has milky sticky sap and the sap will run for a while so don't be alarmed. Wash hands and tools used immediately, and be careful that you don't have an allergy to the sap. (I think more likely if you have latex allergy). If you have any suspicion, you should wear latex or disposable gloves.

I don't know if it's been mentioned, but even indoors, they are susceptible to whitefly infestation and I was surprised to find scales insects on them last year (those darned ants will even come all the way up to 2nd story window).
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crazypoinsettia
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Do I need to trim or repot my poinsetta? help

I have had this poinsetta for almost 7 years, I got it when she was about 10-12 cm tall, it grew nicely but in a crazy pattern, the branches twisted quite a bit with small clusters of leafs but overall she was a healthy plant. I live in Calgary (Canada), cold and dry winters are the norm and this is the second time that my poinsetta wilts over winter, first time was about 2 years ago, I followed some recommendations I read online and moved it to a sunnier spot in the house and it recovered nicely and continued to grow healthy with more clusters of leafs.
It was doing perfectly fine until couple of weeks ago when I noticed the leaves were wilting and any new growth wilts pretty much right away (same symptoms from 2 years ago). I water it twice a week and/or when the soil is dry. I moved it to the kitchen table (since it is the brightest spot in the house) but it is not getting better :( I am afraid of repotting it since I already lost one poinsetta shortly after I repot it. Is there anything I can do/should do to help my poinsetta? I love this plant :cry:
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applestar
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Re: poinsetta on desk under grow lights. Is this ok?

I can usually keep them alive over the winter, so I'm pretty sure this is correct. There are a few things to consider here.

One is that even as spindly as yours is, it's a big plant and the pot looks too small. The pot itself looks like a typical decorative plastic pot with tiny holes in the bottom to which expanding plastic clips on its saucer hook onto, blocking most of the drainage.

I fear that even though you are trying to be careful, this pot and possibly the soilmix conspired to drown the roots. Poinsettia is SERIOUSLY drought tolerant. You really shouldn't need to water more than once a week especially during the winter when they are semi-dormant.

That brings me to temperature. It's actually better to keep them on the cool side during winter -- I have one plant on the floor of "Cool and Gang" area which is furthest from the thermostat and is least heated. (But when the heat turns on, the floor level vent which is blocked by a storage unit directs the heated air sideways to where the plants are. I have another, smaller one in a SE window very close to the windowsill but not on it. (The smaller one is a cutting that rooted from pruned branches of the bigger one :D )

When I had the big plant upstairs last winter, it lost most of its leaves.

Now this is the tricky part. Are you "attached" to the those curled branches? -- my recommendation is to cut back most of those branches except the new shoot from the bottom. It's a little scary I know, but if you cut back to just above where the bark is grey and last year's new growths where the stem is still green (about an inch above the gray, leaving some greenwood at top), I guarantee those will grow new buds and leaves.

It's a little harder to say if they will grow back when cut back to the old wood with gray bark, but mine did -- just not all of them. Some of them dried up and died.

Picture it bushing out from the cut stems into a nice compact plant. I think this will mean cutting off all of the meandering stems to where they are more sturdy and upright.

Even though it's middle of the winter and the plant is stressed, I would still take the plant out of this container and put it in a pot with good drainage holes about twice as big. Shake off the existing soil mix and add 2 parts potting mix and 1 part sand, and blend them all together to use for uppotting.

I realize this is kind of contrary to most recommendations not to repot when stressed. Alternatively, you could leave it in this pot and cut back to once a week or less watering, and uppot later when it stats to grow again. (But I prefer not to disturb it when new growth starts because the new buds are usually being supplied by new roots.)

For now, I would put it near a bright unobstructed window -- SE, S, or SW facing. It doesn't have to get the brightest light while dormant. Temperature should be around low to mid-60's. Keep it on the dry side, giving about 1 cup when you water. Be sure to thoroughly mist at least twice a week.

Some of my "tropicals" and "sub tropicals" are starting to wake up and grow new shoots. It may take a little while longer for your location further north, but I think the longer daylight hours are triggering them. I have to cut back my poinsettias (by about 1/3 to 1/2) before they start growing. (When they start to grow, there will be LOTS of new buds and shoots.)

Once they start growing and leaf out, they need to be watered more often and more volume at each watering.
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applestar
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Re: poinsetta on desk under grow lights. Is this ok?

...after I wrote that I remembered this post by imafan. Maybe I won't cut some of the top growths and see if they feel like blooming.... 8)

Subject: Did I just kill my poinsettia?
imafan26 wrote:Around here poinsettias are cut back in April and August and put in the dark in September for about 6 weeks to get it to bloom for Christmas. Otherwise, left outside, it will bloom in March.

If the tip is broken and you make a clean cut above a node it may come back, but it may not bloom in time.
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Re: poinsetta on desk under grow lights. Is this ok?

FWIW here are my two. Smaller one on the left is in a 6 inch nursery pot and the larger one is in a 8" diameter red fishing bucket drilled with drainage holes. I didn't have the time/energy to get them to bloom for Christmas, so that may account their vigor, too.
image.jpg
I honestly don't worry much about how they look during the winter. The one in Cool Gang location is losing some leaves, I think because I overwatered it last time and it was sitting in water for at least 1 day, maybe 1.5 days. It's also cooler here and you can see a bit of a Rosemary that also enjoys the similar conditions. I thoroughly mist this area regularly -- at least once every other day -- because the Rosemary needs it and also because the coffee plant is on a sofa table above them.

The one on the left is neglected often. It was dry when I checked after taking the picture. I think it was imafan who said the leaves get darker in less light because the plants try to compensate by producing more chlorophyl.
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Re: poinsetta on desk under grow lights. Is this ok?

You have some dead canes that need to come out, they rot. It needs to be repotted, not just because the pot is small but because the soil is probably spent as well. You should go into a bigger pot that has about 2 inches bigger than the root ball for room to grow. The healthy canes can be cut back with clean pruners just above a healthy node. I usually cut back to about 8-10 inches. You can root the healthy parts of the stem to make more. I usually don't do this at this time of the year. I usually wait until it is pruning time. For me that is April but that is mainly because my plants are outside and they don't like a lot of rain on the fresh cuts.
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crazypoinsettia
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Re: poinsetta on desk under grow lights. Is this ok?

Thank you applestar :D !! Although the thought of changing the pot/soil is scary, I think I have to give it a try, she has been on that pot for 5 years :oops: You mentioned I should shake off the existing soil mix, do you mean completely expose the roots or leave some soil around them? Do you have any recommendations for the potting mix? There are so many options in the stores: for flower beds, for indoor/outdoor plants, etc. and all them seem to have a different ratio of fertilizers, any advice is greatly appreciated!
Regarding the cutting, I might wait until I see how the plant reacts with the new pot; however, in the event I have to trim some of the branches would you recommend I cut them in an angle or straight?

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Re: poinsetta on desk under grow lights. Is this ok?

It MUST be potting soi/mix for containers, not for the garden beds. If containing fertilizer, I suppose I would choose one with balanced NPK, but Let someone else adivise you on this since I always buy organic potting mix -- Espoma, Dr. Earth, Gardener's Gold are the premium mixes available around here but there are other brands -- though Espoma and Dr. earth are coming out with huge selections of targeted mixes, I just buy the all purpose, and for the most part use balanced organic fertilizer, then adjust with other amendments like alfalfa, greensand, rock phosphate....

When pruning, always cut a 45° angle with the lower end of the cut on the other side of the stem/branch just/slightly above a bud (or a leaf node) and higher end with sufficient stem above the bud/leaf node so the slight tearing and bark loosening from the cut won't cause any damage. The by-pass pruners/secateurs should be turned so that the sharp blade and not the bypass blade is closest to where you are going to cut. (I noticed recently that I have a habit of flipping the pruners over and over in my hand while I'm deciding where to cut....)

Oh! If it's been 5 years, the plant might/is likely to be root bound, so it may not be just a matter of shaking loose soil off but plying wrapped roots from the mass. With badly rootbound ones, I try to unwrap roots from the top corner of the rootball and loosen roots from the bottom in the middle -- these are usually the easiest. Bottom corner and up the sides are often so tightly wound that you are more likely to break the roots. Slide the rootball out of the pot (take a picture) and show us so we can give you suggestions on how to proceed. Sometimes, all you can do is make vertical slits in the rootball in 2 opposite to several places (4, 6) around the perimeter.
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crazypoinsettia
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Do I need to trim or repot my poinsettia? help

I finally got a new pot and new soil for my poinsettia :) !! it was a bit heartbreaking but I trimmed some of the branches and I put some of the "healthy" cuttings in another smaller pot.

Here are the pictures I took during the process: first one is when I took my poinsettia out of the old pot :oops: soil was pretty packed and as imafan26 pointed out I would say the soil was spent :shock:
Out of the old pot
Out of the old pot
Second picture is after I've loosen most of the old soil.... not much left of a root system, eh? I didn't want to completely undo the "ball of soil" since it was pretty packed, is that a good thing? or should I try to uncover more of the root system? :?
Roots
Roots
Roots.JPG (50.13 KiB) Viewed 1488 times
And the third one is after I placed it on the new pot (approx. 2.5 in bigger than the old one), after I watered it I could see some of the roots exposed.. is that okay or should I cover them with more soil?
More roots
More roots
New_pot.JPG (83.89 KiB) Viewed 1488 times
Also, I left most of the "curly" branches, only the ones that have some new growth coming out of them. I am wondering if I need to cut more of those branches or just wait and see how it responds to the new pot/soil combo. :?

PS: Applestar your poinsettias look great! :)

roseycheeks
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Re: poinsetta on desk under grow lights. Is this ok?

my small poinsettias that my neighbor look dead, no new leaves or nothing. Should I try to bring them back or wait until spring? I tried watering it and that did not help, I even put Miracle-Gro on them and again nothing seems to be helping. What should I do?

roseycheeks
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Re: poinsetta on desk under grow lights. Is this ok?

Here is the poinsettias that I was talking about in the earlier post.
101_2056.JPG
101_2056.JPG
Please help! I realize that keeping poinsettias alive over the winter is a challenge so if you can help me I would truely appreciate it.

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applestar
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Re: poinsetta on desk under grow lights. Is this ok?

Try bending the branches. If they don't feel hollow and snap, then they are still alive. Even though the bottom of the trunk looks woody, that might just be bark because I still see some green section in the middle.

It's a common mistake to fertilize plants when they are not doing well. It could stress it to death. You don't feed steak dinner to an invalid. Keep it in a cool place -- doesn't need much light until new growth starts -- and let it nearly dry between watering. Someplace on the floor level or even basement is probably cooler than on a table, desk, counter. Once temps outside stays above 55°F, you could put it outside in a shady location or under a tree on the north/east side of the trunk where it will not get any noonday or hot afternoon sun. Sometimes, I've had them start to grow after I've forgotten about them. Make sure it's not sitting in a catch/drip tray of water. I put almost all my container plants directly on the grass/ground. Earthworms move in from below and help to fertilize and condition the potting mix.
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roseycheeks
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Re: poinsetta on desk under grow lights. Is this ok?

The coolest place and safest is the table in front of the picture window, it gets indirect light but not direct light. I will put them both there with the large poinsettia. Thank you for your help.

roseycheeks
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Re: poinsetta on desk under grow lights. Is this ok?

The little ones leaves have curled up and dropped off, they now have not leaves on either one, they look dead to me, the big one however has new growth on it and quite a few leaves. I just don't know what to do with the smaller ones. Do you think repotting them will help? The big one seems to like where it is, it is in front of the picture window where it gets indirect light and far enough away to keep from getting cold. It likes it there, so there I am going to leave it, I just watered it last night, watered it enough that it ran from the drainage holes, now won't bother it until the next time.

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