The holidays are here and to put our office in the festive spirit, we purchased a few holiday plants.
Poinsettias and a Norfolk Island Pine (I named him Hermie).
They sure are beautiful to look at and we would like to keep them that way!
Dressed for the season, this lively little pine looks native to the North Pole but it was actually grown from a seed in Hawaii.
How to care for your decorative pine:
Place in a brightly lit area. Near a window would be perfect, but not a drafty window, this little guy wouldn’t do well if the temperature gets below 45 degrees.
Keep the soil moist, but not soaked.
Fertilize once a month with an NPK 20-20-20 fertilizer. The first number is the amount of nitrogen (N), the second number is the amount of phosphate (P2O5) and the third number is the amount of potash (K2O). These three numbers represent the primary nutrients (nitrogen(N) – phosphorus(P) – potassium(K)).
The poinsettia, believe it or not, is also not indigenous to the North Pole, Poinsettias originated from Central America and Mexico!
Montezuma, the last of the Aztec kings, would have poinsettias brought into what now is Mexico City by caravans because poinsettias could not be grown in the high altitude.
In the early 1900’s the Ecke family of southern California grew poinsettias outdoors for use as landscape plants and as a cut flower. Eventually the family grew poinsettias in greenhouses and today is recognized as the leading producer of poinsettias in the United States.
(also, they are not poisonous! I did some research)
How to care for your poinsettia:
First of all, I was told to cover the plant from the store to my vehicle because the cold air would kill the leaves.
You want to keep your plant in an area that is void of cold drafts or extreme heat. So, not near a fireplace or heating vent and definitely not so close to a window that the leaves or bloom will touch the cold, glass pane.
Let the soil dry out between watering, then give your poinsettia a nice big drink of water, about 16 ounces. You should remove the decorative foil when watering to allow for drainage so your plant’s roots aren’t sitting in a puddle!
Do not fertilize the poinsettia when it is in bloom.
If you want to keep your poinsettia after the holiday season, you can fertilize it once a month.
To get your plant to re-bloom, it must remain in total darkness between 8pm and 5 am and be stored in a cool area, around 55-60 degrees.
Season‘s Greetings from Mike, Duston, Sharon and Deb!