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How to Turn a Poinsettia Red

Now that the holidays are upon us, you’re probably itching to learn how to turn a poinsettia red. Nothing screams “happy holidays” more than seeing pink, white, cream, apricot, variegated, and red poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) on the shelves. However, if you want to stick to the classic-themed Christmas décor, you’d go for the red ones.

 

How to Turn a Poinsettia Red

What You May Not Know About Poinsettias

If you think that poinsettias are mere houseplants or annuals, think again. These deciduous shrubs can grow up to 12 feet tall and can thrive well outdoors in areas that are identified as USDA plant hardiness zones 9 to 11. The only downside to this type of plant is the fact that they lose their blooms after about 4 to 6 weeks.

In case you’re not aware, the colors that you see in poinsettias are not in the flowers. The plant’s flowers are those tiny yellow structures that are seen in the middle, but the ones that turn red are the modified leaves that are also called bracts. The colors of the bracts change as they respond to the plant forming flowers.

When the leaf bracts turn red, they attract insect pollinators to the plant’s diminutive yellow flowers that are found in the middle. These pollinators include flies, moths, beetles, ants, honey bees, bumblebees, solitary bees, wasps, and butterflies. Shortly after the flowers are gone, the red-colored bracts and the green leaves eventually fall off as well.

 

5 Tips on How to Keep Your Poinsettias Alive and Healthy from Year to Year

Perhaps you want to keep your poinsettias alive and healthy year after year so that you can get them ready for next year’s holiday season. Here’s how you can make this happen:

 

Tip #1: Keep it in bright light

Make sure that the plant gets enough bright light, not direct sunlight, on a daily basis. Do this for at least 8 hours per day.

 

Tip #2: Keep them in areas where the temperature doesn’t go lower than 50˚F

Next, you need to place the plant in a warm room or a mini greenhouse where the temperature remains constant between 60˚F to 70˚F and never gets below 50˚F.

 

Tip #3: The soil should be dried out between waterings

In between waterings, be sure to let the soil dry out. However, avoid waiting so long if you don’t want the leaves to start wilting.

 

Tip #4: Feed it with water-soluble plant food at the right time

Your poinsettias need to be fed with water-soluble plant food once a month. However, avoid doing this during the months where the plants are in full bloom.

 

Tip #5: Don’t forget to prune them

As mentioned earlier, the plant’s flowers and leaves will eventually fall off after a few months. After this happens, it’s extremely important to prune your plant.

When you’re pruning, all you have to do is to cut the plant’s stems to about 6 inches while you maintain your plant care routine. Wait until new leaves emerge next winter.

 

4 Tips on How to Turn a Poinsettia Red

Gardening enthusiasts must learn how to force their precious poinsettias to rebloom and their leaf bracts to return to their red color year after year. If you’re interested in getting yours to turn red again while keeping it healthy for a long time, check out these must-have tips:

 

Tip #1: Place it in total darkness for 14 hours every day

Forcing your poinsettia’s leaf bracts to turn red starts with you placing the plant in total darkness for about 14 hours on a daily basis starting eight weeks before you intend to use them as a part of your Christmas decorations.

It’s important to note that placing a small night light in the same room as your poinsettias when they’re supposed to be placed in total darkness will cause disruption in the process of turning the bracts red again. The same thing happens if you have a window open and your poinsettias are exposed to the street light that’s shining through it.

For this reason, it’s best to place the plants in a closet each evening. Just make sure that no one opens the closet at any point during the night.

 

Tip #2: Increase the level of humidity

If there’s one thing you need to know about poinsettias, it’s the fact that they require extra humidity during the stage when you’re trying to turn them red again. In order to increase the level of humidity that they’re exposed to, you may place a bowl of water inside the dark closet where you place your plants every night.

 

Tip #3: Expose it to bright light during the day

After placing your poinsettias in complete darkness each evening, make sure that you expose them to bright light during the day. If you have a mushroom log, you may keep your poinsettias in the same spot.

 

Tip #4: Maintain the same routine until its red color is achieved

It’s extremely important to remain consistent with your nighttime darkness routine for more than 4 weeks or until the plant reaches the rich red color that you’ve always wanted to achieve.

 

Grow Your Plants in a Hobby Greenhouse!

If you want to take your gardening experience to the next level, consider growing your plant babies in a hobby greenhouse. Aside from giving them an optimal environment to thrive in, a hobby greenhouse also provides a layer of protection against harsh weather conditions and destructive pests and animals. What’s more, a hobby greenhouse also enables you to extend your plants’ growing seasons.

Now that you know how to turn a poinsettia red for this year’s Christmas decorations, you may keep them alive and healthy in your very own hobby greenhouse! Set one up today!

 

 

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How To Care For Carpet Roses. 3 Factors To Master

How To Care For Carpet Roses. 3 Factors To Master

You have three factors to consider to know how to care for carpet roses. Gone are the days where roses are only centerpieces, but with proper care and maintenance, you might have one of the best groundcover plants. Carpet roses will undoubtedly improve any garden bed, and you’ll be pleased how they are not even demanding constant attention. 

If you want to protect your plants from challenging environmental conditions, you can also consider growing carpet roses in the greenhouse. This will make maintenance more comfortable, and you should face fewer challenges and problems. This article will teach you the ideal conditions and practices to keep your carpet roses blooming happily. 

 

In general, carpet roses are easy to grow and are relatively low-maintenance. However, the emphasis is necessary on knowing the variety you have and adjusting the plants’ practices and requirements accordingly. 

 

Factor #1. Location

The first consideration to ensure proper care for carpet or groundcover roses is in the ideal growing environment. Remember that even though groundcover roses are not picky in sites, they should still be in an optimal location to thrive. You can determine the ideal location of your carpet roses depending on their type

For example, some groundcover roses prefer full sun, but others will thrive in partial sun. You also want to plant them in well-draining soil because these plants are prone to drowning. After ticking these boxes, allocate enough space for the carpet roses to keep them from getting overcrowded that can cause problems over time. 

 

Factor #2. Maintenance

The second factor when caring for carpet roses is the practices in maintaining them. To start, remember that it’s crucial to plant them in a well-draining area. Overwatering the plants or leaving them in standing water can drown the plants or encourage root rot. Always check the ground if the roses need watering and amend the soil to improve its structure.

Carpet roses will also benefit from fertilizers. You can boost the plants and encourage them to fully cover the ground by feeding above and below the roses. Check the label instructions of your fertilizer and put your plants on a schedule for fertilizing regularly. 

Do you prune carpet roses? Depending on what type you have, some roses will benefit from pruning. You can cut the stems after flowering to keep the roses from overgrowing their area and maintain a tidy look. 

 

Factor #3. Common problems

Carpet roses, much like other groundcover plants, are prone to pests because of the large surface area they have. Therefore, prevention is vital to keep the pest population at bay. Gardeners often use insect spray or fungicides on the carpet roses to keep off insects or fungi. 

You can also practice preventative measures such as isolation of new plants and immediately removing plants with pests or diseases to prevent the spread. Always practice proper hygiene and sanitation to avoid bringing pests into the area. More so, maintain the ideal environment to discourage insects’ reproduction like aphids or the development of diseases like powdery mildew. 

Unlike other groundcover plants, carpet roses don’t have enough foliage to smother weed. Therefore, you want to use landscape fabric with drip irrigation on top to deter weed growth. You can also mulch under the systems or add a pre-emergent herbicide in early spring or fall to manage weeds.

 

 

How To Grow Carpet Roses

You can propagate carpet roses by rooting sections of the stem of a parent plant. Carpet roses typically develop rooted stems in spring or fall that you can dig up and repot. However, remember that the best propagation method will vary on the type of roses you have, 

You may also purchase potted ground cover roses, and you can transplant them in a bigger container or onto the ground outdoors. You can again grow bare-root carpet roses after the frost in the garden the same way you would when planting other roses. Amend the soil with organic matter and water the plants after putting and firming them in place. 

Because of their low-growing habit, you can have many uses for carpet roses. You can use them as borders or barriers for paths and driveways, add texture to a slope or wall, or fill a bed in the garden. However, be prepared that these plants can become leafless during the dormant season. 

 

Conclusion

One of the best groundcover plants to consider is carpet roses. However, you must know how to care for carpet roses to keep them healthy and looking tidy. To start, grow them in an ideal location to lessen the chances of developing drawbacks and problems. 

You can check the type of roses you have to know where is the best place to grow them. Once you have ensured the ideal location, maintain your plants by watering and fertilizing regularly. Be mindful not to overwater your plants as this can drown them, and you can also boost growth by feeding according to the label. 

You can also keep the roses from overgrowing their space by pruning after the flowering season. Lastly, do the necessary preventative measures to keep the roses from acquiring pests and diseases. Use fungicide or insect spray to keep fungi and pests at bay and maintain stable conditions to discourage growth and spread. 

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