How to Pinch Back a Poinsettia: An 8-Step Guide

Want to know how to pinch back a poinsettia? Read on to find out more.

What comes into your mind when you see poinsettias? You probably didn’t know what they were called, but once you see poinsettias, you’ll instantly be reminded of the holiday season.

 

How to Pinch Back a Poinsettia: An 8-Step Guide

Step-By-Step Guide in Pinching Back a Poinsettia

You can see them everywhere during Christmas, but if you want to keep your poinsettias healthy throughout the year, you’ll need to know how to pinch back poinsettias, control soil, water, and temperature conditions.

Here’s a step by step guide on how to pinch back poinsettias:

 

Step #1: Wear Gloves

Poinsettias produce sap that could irritate the skin. This white sap isn’t poisonous, but it can cause skin irritation, especially if you’re allergic to latex. Make sure to wear gloves when handling poinsettias.

If the sap gets on your skin, immediately rinse it off with soap and water. The sap can also damage your poinsettia plant if you leave it on the leaves and stems for too long. Be sure to wipe the sap off your plant using a damp rag.

Step #2: Cut Dead Leaves

Remove the dead leaves using gardening shears from February to March. Cut off any dry, discolored, or drooping leaves by cutting it on the stem at a 45-degree below the leaf.

Be careful not to cut off healthy leaves. Remember that you may need to disinfect your shear before cutting the leaves to prevent bacteria and diseases from spreading.

 

Step #3: Trim the Stems

The stems should be around six inches long, so the next step is to trim the stems. Poinsettias can grow into a big shrub. If you want to keep them small, you’ll need to trim the stems.

It’s easier for you to cut the stems after you’re finished with step 2 – removing the dead leaves. You can use the stems to propagate new poinsettias by dipping them in a rooting hormone and then planting them into the soil. For you prefer larger plants, you can leave the stems longer (about eight inches) from the rim of the container or the soil.

 

Step #4: Prune Poinsettias Often

Your poinsettias will continue to grow after you’ve trimmed the stems. You’ll need to prune them often to keep them at your ideal size.

Check on them at least once a month. If they’ve already grown, trim the stems back to your desired length and you should be left with three to four new leaves. Ideally, your poinsettia plants should appear rounded and have dense growth. Pinching small shoots encourage healthy and plentiful foliage growth.

 

Step #5: Stop Trimming by November

From the end of the fall season to the beginning of winter, you’ll notice that your poinsettias will begin to bloom and change color. By this time, stop trimming your plants to encourage maximum foliage growth.

 

Bonus Tip

Poinsettias can survive the summer heat in most parts of the United States, but the nighttime temperatures should be more than 50 degrees F. As mentioned, you can save your cuttings and root them in vermiculite to grow new poinsettias.

Find a sunny spot in your garden or by the window indoors where the temperature is between 60 to 70 degrees F. At the end of the fall season, your plants should be in total darkness for 12 to 14 hours per night to encourage winter blooming.

Regularly check the soil and only water your plants when the soil is dry. Water poinsettias deeply until the water drains from the holes and throw the water that accumulates at the bottom of the plant saucer to avoid root rot.

 

Warning

Poinsettias are very sensitive to light and they will not bloom if exposed to even a little bit of light. Be sure not to expose them to streetlights or any light that leaks into the area where you planted your poinsettias because even a little bit of light can prevent them from blooming.

 

Why Should You Plant Poinsettias in a Mini Greenhouse?

There are several reasons why you should plant poinsettias in a mini greenhouse. Here are some of them:

 

Prevent pests and diseases from damaging your plants

Poinsettias are susceptible to foliar diseases like botrytis gray mold, powdery mildew, and more. Root diseases like Pythium and Rhizoctonia root rot can also form.

If left unattended, insects like whiteflies, mealybugs, thrips, and mites can attack your plants. Growing your poinsettias in an enclosed space and regularly monitoring them reduces the risk of attracting diseases and pests.

 

Protect your plants from bad weather

Mini greenhouses are also effective in shielding your plants from bad weather. Heavy rain, frost, and extreme weather conditions can greatly damage your plants.

Placing them inside a greenhouse protects your plants from unpredictable weather. Once the weather gets better, you can transplant them outside.

 

Final Thoughts on How to Pinch Back a Poinsettia

So, how to pinch back a poinsettia? Poinsettias are a staple during the Christmas season. If you want your poinsettias to bloom beautifully in the fall to the winter season, be sure to pinch them back. Pruning and pinching encourage lush foliage growth, allowing you to enjoy beautiful blooms during the holiday season.

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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