what fertilizer should i buy for a poinsettia

See all author stories here. During crop production, growers should conduct frequent on-site testing of injectors and root zone pH and EC to catch problems before they result in damaging deficiency or toxicity symptoms. Fred Hulme, Ph.D. is Director of Technical Services at Everris. Weekly foliar spray applications of technical grade calcium nitrate (15.5-0-0) at 0.25 ounces per gallon of spray solution (providing 338 ppm Ca) during bract formation (between first sign of color to until first pollen on flower) may prevent low Ca problems. Avoid this problem by adding Sodium Molybdate from September through mid-November on a continuous feed basis at a rate of 1 gram per 100 gallons (to provide 1.2 ppm Mo). If your irrigation water does not supply enough Mg, use a magnesium containing fertilizer or supplement with magnesium nitrate or Epsom salts (applied 4 to 6 ounces/100 gallons). Mix a 1/2-strength solution of a balanced, all-purpose household plant fertilizer. Sometimes, even if Ca is adequate in the growing media due to high temperature or high relative humidity, the plant may not utilize it. Fertilize: It is not necessary to fertilize your poinsettia but there is no harm in it either. Get 1 Free Product Today All India Delivery Lowest prices. Maintain a continuous feed of at least 60 to 100 ppm Ca in your feed program. One fertilizer formulation may not be able to meet all these demands. With care, poinsettias should retain their beauty for weeks and some varieties will stay attractive for months. Be sure to water the plant thoroughly after fertilizing poinsettias, especially if you use a dry fertilizer. Low Ca can lead to weak stems and leaves, bract edge-burn and depressed growing media pH. Reblooming your Poinsettia. You should water your poinsettia whenever you feel the soil is dry or you see that some of the leaves are wilting. between 1.0 and 2.5.   Higher E.C. Start with a comprehensive irrigation water analysis (alkalinity, EC, pH, nutrients and other potential problematic elements) with a reputable testing lab to determine what nutrients are abundant or lacking in the water. 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The soil in which poinsettias grow should be kept moist at all times, but not excessively wet. July: In early July, pinch back each stem by about one inch. Thin, rocky or sandy soils are often low in nutrients and hedges fail to thrive. Sign up for our newsletter. 4 pounds of Osmocote Plus 15-9-12, eight to nine month product longevity per yard) as a base feed, then use water-soluble fertilizers at half the above recommended concentrations (100 to 125 ppm N). and pH levels starting in August. For best results, maintain a feed E.C. For example, I've been using 20-0-20 with superphosphate added to the growth medium for a couple of years with great results. However, since production timing for this crop is fixed, fertilizer programs must be compatible with typical environmental conditions observed during this period. Some of these nutritional problems may be linked to the time of year when poinsettias are grown (when day length and light intensity are decreasing). values will allow salts to accumulate, which will inhibit nutrient uptake.  High E.C. Outdoors Native to Mexico, the poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) doesn't like cold. Poinsettias will respond favorably to combination water-soluble/ controlled-release fertilizer (CRF) programs. Fertilize poinsettias only if keeping them after the holiday season. However, be sure to keep the plant well watered, but never soggy. Otherwise, the fertilizer may scorch the roots and damage the plant. In fact, this is one of the main means by which the plant is propagated, and people can purchase cuttings in many large gardening stores. If you live farther north than that, your poinsettia will freeze into mush. A water-soluble fertilizer is easiest to apply, but a dry fertilizer will also satisfy poinsettia fertilizer requirements. Poinsettias can also suffer from excess levels of ammonium or boron. Know how to fertilize a poinsettia is as important as when. Begin the routine of long nights/short days needed to initiate buds: 13 hours of uninterrupted darkness, 11 hours of bright sunshine each day. Be sure to keep the soil moist but not soaking wet, and punch holes in the decorative pot cover so water can drain away from the container - do not let your poinsettia … But other fertilizer types can also be used to grow good plants. If you can’t even read a fertilizer bag, then you have no business even being in the industry. Keep temperatures in the low 60's at night. Test your irrigation water even before you pot up cuttings to help you select the correct fertilizer program. A well-cared for and well-fed poinsettia will produce those abundant colorful flower bracts again and again, or at least as long as you intend on keeping the plant. Though people normally think of the poinsettia as a Christmas flower, cuttings generally have to be purchased in late May to June to have a beautiful plant to offer during the Christmas Season. A 10-30-20 fertilizer contains three times the amount of phosphorus than nitrogen. From a nutritional standpoint, poinsettias can be a rather finicky crop that challenges even the best growers. If you cut your poinsettia for a … It is from him that the plant gets its common name. Poinsettias can be sensitive to B toxicity that results in leaf edge burn. They are absolutely everywhere during the Christmas season, from Christmas trees to wreaths, it's the ultimateChristmas decoration– aside from the Christmas tree, of course. You can buy a home soil test kit or ask your local cooperative extension office to test it for you. Because irrigation water, growing media and other management practices vary significantly from greenhouse to greenhouse, the best fertilizer programs, when matched to these different situations, also should vary. Some common fertilizers used for poinsettias are 15-0-15, 15-16-17, 20-10-20, and EXCEL Cal-Mag 15-5-15. Keep it in a partially shaded location and maintain your watering and fertilizing schedule. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Additionally, growing media and tissue testing with an outside lab can be used to monitor the nutritional status of the crop in a more comprehensive manner. Poinsettias do fine with any good quality, all-purpose fertilizer. The type and amount of fertilizer needed depends the shrub variety, age of the hedge, the spacing of the shrubs and the growing conditions. How to Select a Good Poinsettia. you can't change the color with fertilizer. Poinsettias do fine with any good quality, all-purpose fertilizer. The color transformation of the plant’s lovely bracts occurs when the plants are given precise periods of complete darkness. When fall arrives, water less and decrease fertilizer to once a month. After bract expansion occurs, further reduce fertilizer concentration to avoid soluble salts build up in the growing medium. This forces new growth to appear at the leaf axis and paves the way for a full plant that can support many blooms. If you have a mixture of dark and light-leafed varieties and are feeding all plants at low fertilizer concentrations, supplemental CRF can be used to compensate for the higher nutritional demand of light-leafed varieties. Supplemental Nutrient Treatments To Fine-Tune Crops. Do not fertilize your indoor poinsettias until you are ready to move them outside. Fertilizing hedges is more of an art than a science. Maintain at least a continuous feed of 30 to 50 ppm Mg in your feed program. A water-soluble fertilizer is easiest to apply, but a dry fertilizer will also satisfy poinsettia fertilizer requirements. The poinsettia's colorful bracts wilt and fall off to signify the end of the bloom. There are a number of fertilizers labeled as “poinsettia fertilizers” to make the selection process appear easy from a marketing perspective. Atlantic County residents can contact 609-625-0056. Switch from a nitrogen based fertilizer to an even houseplant fertilizer or one made for poinsettias, and reduce fertilizing by half. Poinsettias are cheery plants that are widely grown indoors over Christmas for their brightly coloured bracts. can also cause young roots to burn – which provides an entry point for root rot problems.  An optimal pH is in the range of 5.8-6.2.  A pH greater than 6.5 will stunt growth, and iron deficiencies will eventually occur.  Bi-weekly testing of these indicators and keeping good fertility and spray records can help you to understand what type of corrective action to take if a problem arises. The controlled-release fertilizer provides some insurance in case something goes wrong with the liquid feed program, and it may also provide some nutritional benefits in the post-production environment. 6. Learn how to care for your Poinsettia plants. Frequently monitor growing media EC and maintain soluble salts levels in the root zone below 2.5 to 3.0 mmhos/cm (based on an SME). – Growing media â€” Test samples one week after planting and every four weeks thereafter to create a decent database.–Leaf tissue–Test monthly after planting, more frequently if you observe problematic symptoms. Once you bring your poinsettia plants home, water them often—whenever the leaves are dry. Too much water can kill a poinsettia. There may be a need to supplement your main fertilizer product with components such as STEM, sodium molybdate and magnesium sources and rotating in calcium fertilizers when appropriate. September – October. Thus, they need to be applied in rotation. Now with all the heat it is suffering during the second half of the day with wilted leaves, even though I water it daily. Throughout the daytime, your poinsettias should be … Reblooming your Poinsettia. The poinsettia is a commercially important plant species of the diverse spurge family. Fertilizer programs should abide by some general nutritional guidelines, such as the following:–Fertilizer should provide the correct amount of acidification or buffering to maintain growing medium pH between 5.8 and 6.2; increase root zone pH to 6.5 if irrigation water has a high boron level.–Fertilizer should have a high (50 to 85 percent) nitrate-N fertilizer formulation. I have a mature poinsettia about 7 feet tall which produced beautiful red leaves up through May of this year. Decorating Poinsettia plants for the holidays has become a tradition for many of us. Plants are nearly 90 percent water by content, and nutrients are taken into the plant with the irrigation water. –Fertilizer should provide the correct amount of acidification or buffering to maintain growing medium pH between 5.8 and 6.2; increase root zone pH to 6.5 if irrigation water has a high boron level. Do not fertilize while the plant is blooming. 7. Place the plant in a bright, cool location away from heat and drafts. Place your poinsettia in a sunny window. Poinsettia season will soon be upon us, so it is worthwhile to review the nutritional needs of poinsettias and the corresponding fertilizer practices that will maximize crop quality. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Don’t bother fertilizing your poinsettia while it’s blooming; it isn’t necessary. While the poinsettia is blooming – when the bracts are showing their color like red, pink, or white – do not give it fertilizer. In the past few years, growers have reduced their fertilizer concentrations from historical levels, and in some cases, insufficient fertilizer has resulted in N and K deficiencies. Bring the plant indoors before the first frost. Then set the Poinsettia plants in larger pots in a sterilized mixture of equal parts of soil or sand, peat moss, and perlite. Cape May County Residents can call 609-465-5115, ext.3607. – Calcium (Ca). Please e-mail me a detailed procedure of using Peters Professional fertilizer for poinsettias. hope that helps a little. Kathy Huber has worked for the Houston Chronicle since May 1981. Low Mg can lead to interveinal chlorosis starting on older leaves. Apply fertilizer every two weeks or once monthly using a complete houseplant fertilizer. The plant should be 2-1/2 times taller than the diameter of the container. The fertilizer packaging will list these three major nutrients in exact order (sometimes referencing them as "NPK") with the numbers representing the percentage of each nutrient compared to other minor nutrients and filler ingredients.For example, a 10-10-10 fertilizer contains 10 percent of each N-P-K nutrient. When should I prune my poinsettia? Micronutrients can be limiting, especially if you’re feeding dark-leafed varieties at low fertilizer concentrations. With proper care, poinsettias can retain their beauty for two to three months, and if you’re dedicated, you can even get poinsettias to rebloom the following year. Best Fertilizer for Poinsettia Plants. Further complicating matters are the continuing proliferation of new cultivars, the lack of current nutritional research on new poinsettia cultivars and crop types and even the movement to grow poinsettias at lower temperatures to save energy. Common poinsettia nutritional deficiencies include nitrogen, potassium, calcium, magnesium, molybdenum and general micronutrients. Give them as much direct sunlight as possible, and maintain … The color transformation of the plant’s lovely bracts occurs when the plants are given precise periods of complete darkness. High levels of fertilizer will reduce the quality of the plant. The Scotts Testing Lab, for example, tests irrigation water, growing media and plant tissue to help nursery and greenhouse growers choose the best fertilizer or diagnose problems with various plants. Some are not that healthy due to mishandling and transport, were planted late upon delivery and so they lost their leaves. She was Features Copy Desk chief before becoming the first full-time garden editor for the paper in 1988. Temperatures of 60-70°F are ideal (15.5°-21°C ). Poinsettias readily exhibit both deficiency and toxicity symptoms linked to specific nutrients. For lighter, green-leafed varieties, Scotts recommends starting off the first two weeks of production at 300 to 350 ppm N on a continuous feed basis (to charge the growing media with nutrients). Root zone during production no experience in cultivating poinsettias and i can ’ even! Based on irrigation water even before you pot up cuttings to help growers troubleshoot problems and to how... 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