Page 6 - Super Floral Retailng > November 2013 Issue
P. 6
blooming plant of the month Super Floral Retailing has created this page
for the education of store-level employees.
To download a reprintable PDF, please go
to and select
poinsettia “Current Issue.”

Euphorbia pulcherrima Natural hues include red, pink, bur-
(you-FOR-bee-uh pul-CARE-i-muh gundy, red-orange, salmon, apricot,
COMMON NAMES peach, white, ivory, pale yellow, lime
Poinsettia, Christmas star, Christmas green and plum, as well as a variety of
flower, Mexican flameleaf, Mexican flame marbled, spotted and striped bicolors.
tree, Painted leaf, Lobster plant Tints and dyes expand poinsettias’
DESCRIPTION already-broad color spectrum even more.
Poinsettias are leafy plants, with dark DECORATIVE LIFE
green leaves topped with colored, modi- Poinsettias will last several weeks to sev-
fied leaf bracts, which many people incor- eral months, depending on variety, care
rectly think are the flowers or flower and maturity at the time of purchase.
petals. The real flowers are the tiny, most- AVAILABILITY
Euphorbia pulcherrima ‘Ice Punch’
ly yellow berrylike cyathia in the center of These holiday plants are generally avail-
Poinsettia, Christmas star, Christmas flower,
each colored leaf bract. Some novelty vari- able only in November and December;
Mexican flameleaf, Mexican flame tree,
eties have crinkled, curved and/or twisted however, some hybridizers are experi-
Painted leaf, Lobster plant
leaf bracts. menting with year-round varieties.
Photo: Ecke Ranch
in-store and PESTS These plants are susceptible to spider more quickly their quality will deteriorate).
consumer care mites, mealybugs, whiteflies, greenflies and YELLOW OR BROWN LEAF EDGES The usual
LIGHT Poinsettias need at least six hours of scale if the air is too dry. reason for this problem is too-dry air
bright indirect (diffused) sunlight daily. DISEASES Botrytis (gray mold) and root rot and/or too-high temperatures.
WATER These plants require moderately can occur with overwatering, too much mist- BRACT EDGE BURN Too much fertilizer at the
moist soil at all times. Water them thor- ing, poor air circulation and/or display in grower and Botrytis (gray mold) can cause
oughly, saturating the soil completely, too-cold environments. this (see “Diseases,” left).
when the soil surface is dry to the touch, LEAF DROP Causes include too-low tempera- CYATHIA DROP, FADING BRACT COLOR Causes
then allow them to drain. Do not allow tures (lower than 50 F for extended periods), include not enough light, too-high tempera-
pots to sit in water. exposure to hot or cold drafts, not enough tures and/or too-dry air. sfr
TEMPERATURE Average room temperatures light, too-dry air, and/or overwatering or poinsettia buying tips
(60 F to 70 F) are required—65 F to 70 F underwatering.
during the daytime and 60 F to 65 F at WILTING, FOLLOWED BY LEAF YELLOWING AND
FLOWERS Check that the cyathia (yellow-and-
night. Cool conditions prolong bloom LEAF DROP The cause is either overwatering
red berrylike flowers in the center of the colored
time. Never expose plants to temperatures or underwatering.
bracts) are fully developed but unopened and
above 70 F or below 50 F for extended LEAF AND BRACT DROOP The plant was displaying no pollen.
periods. Wrap poinsettias well when exposed to ethylene gas, overwatered (root COLORED BRACTS Look for plants
delivering in low temperatures. rot) and/or kept too long in a shipping sleeve • with fully mature and thoroughly colored
HUMIDITY Poinsettias thrive in humid air, (always remove sleeves as soon as plants bracts (avoid plants with too much green
so in dry interior environments, place arrive; the longer plants remain sleeved, the around the edges of the leaf bracts)
pots on a pebble tray or mist the leaves or fun facts • that are not bruised, blemished or droopy
the air around the plants frequently. Keep • that do not have “burned” or dried out edges.
plants away from the heat and dry air FAMILY MATTERS Euphorbia is a member of the LEAVES Look for plants with plentiful dark green
emitted by appliances, electronics, fire- Euphorbiaceae (spurge) family. Relatives include foliage all the way down the stems, and avoid
places and ventilating ducts. croton (Codiaeum) and chenille plant (Acalypha). plants with wilting, droopy, yellow and/or
HOME SWEET HOME Poinsettias are native to brown-edged leaves.
challenges the tropical southern half of Mexico. SOIL Check for waterlogged soil, particularly if
ETHYLENE SENSITIVITY This differs from OLD WIVES’ TALE Contrary to widely circulated the plant appears wilted; this could be a sign of
variety to variety. Exposure to the gas can misinformation, poinsettias are not poisonous irreversible root rot.
cause epinasty (“drooping” leaves and to humans or other animals—unless ingested in PESTS AND DISEASES Examine plants carefully
enormous quantities, and then only mild dis- for signs of spider mites, mealybugs, whiteflies,
bracts, and leaf stem twisting); leaf drop;
comfort would be experienced. greenflies, scale insects and Botrytis (gray mold).
and cyathia drop.
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