Since Thursday is Thanksgiving, we are broadcasting Gardenline Tips early. And be sure to check out the special "Randy Lemmon's Gulfcoast Gardening" book deal below for Holiday Gift Giving.
We've covered everything on Poinsettia's from "ARE THEY REALLY POISONOUS?" to "Year Round Care Practices" to "How Do You Pronounce It?"
Well, last year at this exact same time before Thanksgiving I spent about 2 hours at Cornelius Nursery on Dairy Ashford, with my wife, getting "all things" Christmas from their indoor Holiday Shop. But in the time I was there, I saw them take down two huge displays and prepare them for a huge shipment of Poinsettias. The first thing that crossed my mind was how perfect they were, and how I wished everyone who bought Poinsettias could buy them in such pristine condition.
Too often, many people "settle" for whatever is left in a display, because they wait too long after Thanksgiving to purchase them. So, obviously, my first tip this week is to encourage you to get the pick of the litter, the cream of the crop. And the second tip to help you determine how to pick out the freshest ones available.
Besides the obvious, avoiding those whose leaves are already browning or crumpled, the best way to determine the health of a poinsettia (no matter what the color of the leaves) is to look for a tight Cyathia, the tiny yellow flower cluster situated at the center of each stalk - which is actually the "blooms" on a poinsettia.
OTHER SECRETS OF SUCCESS
Here are the DO's of poinsettia care
DO place your plant in indirect sunlight for at least six hours per day. If direct sun can't be avoided, diffuse the light with a shade or sheer curtain.
DO provide room temperatures between 68 - 70° F. Generally speaking, if you are comfortable, so is your poinsettia.
DO water your plant when the soil feels dry to the touch.
DO use a large, roomy shopping bag to protect your plant when transporting it.
DO fertilize your plant AFTER THE BLOOMING SEASON with a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer.
And here are the DON'Ts of poinsettia care
DON'T place plants near cold drafts or excessive heat. Avoid placing plants near appliances, fireplaces or ventilating ducts or the top of a television.
DON'T expose plants to temperatures below 50° F. Poinsettias are sensitive to cold, so avoid placing them outside during the winter months.
DON'T over water your plant, or allow it to sit in standing water. Always remove a plant from any decorative container before watering, and allow the water to drain completely.
DON'T expose your plant to chilling winds when transporting it.
DON'T fertilize your plant when it is in bloom.
Click Here for our poinsettia tip sheet.
Finally, if you still believe Poinsettias are poisonous, then click here for our tip sheet we did two years ago on the subject…
Oh, and before I forget, I pronounce them POIN-Set-E-uh, as opposed to POIN-Set-Uh. Actually, both pronunciations are considered correct. Botanically, however, it really should be POIN-Set-E-uh. When you name a flower/plant after someone (And this plant was so named after a former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett) you add and I and A for the EE-Uh sound. We don't pronounce Plumeria PLUE-Mare-uh, do we?
And here's a special deal for the Holiday Gift Giving Season courtesy of me and the new book "Gulf Coast Gardening".
From this week until the weekend before Christmas, the online price for my new book is greatly reduced.
If you are a garden retailer interested in stocking this book, please call the Nitro Phos Warehouse for wholesale ordering information. 713-228-1868.
Until next issue, here's to
Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard
exclusively weekend mornings from 8 to noon
on Talkradio 950 KPRC.